Manhattan Apartment Rental Guide

There's a reason why so many people want to live in Manhattan, and that reason is... Manhattan. No other city packs as much good stuff into a space as small as Manhattan, and all the dazzling diversity that makes Manhattan Manhattan also means that there's almost certainly a neighborhood in Manhattan that matches up with what you love most about New York City. Finding the right rental apartment in the right Manhattan neighborhood is probably what brought you to Luxury Rentals Manhattan in the first place, and our neighborhood-specific search makes it easy to check out rental apartment listings in the Manhattan neighborhoods you like best. Looking for a rental apartment on the Upper West Side? Then browse our rental apartment listings for the Upper West Side. More in the market for a rental apartment in the Financial District? Or Chelsea? Perhaps Harlem? Maybe Battery Park City? Then search our rental apartment listings in the Financial District, or Chelsea, or Harlem, or Battery Park City. Finding the right NYC rental apartment is up to you, of course, but our neighborhood specific search makes it easier than ever for you to find your piece of Manhattan in your favorite part of Manhattan.

Time to find an apartment?

Start looking about a month before you plan to move. Looking earlier than that is a waste of time; apartments fill up too quickly to be on the market for months. This also means...

Be ready to rent any apartment that you visit. You can't afford to waste time -- somebody else will grab that apartment.

Find out what interests you about a particular apartment: Building Amenities? Apartment Features? Building Features? Kitchen Features? Bathroom Features?

Bring traveler’s checks or certified bank checks. You need to be ready to pay up to two months’ rent, brokerage fees, a credit check fee, and a move-in fee or building application fee.

Rent and deposits are due on the next business day after signing. This usually requires two certified checks. If necessary, bring traveler's checks or have funds wired to a Manhattan account. (Most landlords don't accept out-of-state personal checks.)

Finally, make sure you've budgeted for a deposit. One month's rent is standard.

After applying, give the landlord a week to contact you.

Read the entire lease. Understand your rent details, term of lease, escalations, utility and maintenance rules, pet and garbage policies, and so on.

Don't be afraid to insist on receipts for every cent that leaves your hand!

Using a broker:

You need an apartment broker who devotes as much time and effort to renting apartments as you do to your job. Our representatives will work for you tirelessly to find you the right place and save you the hassle, time and get you the best deal possible.

Using a guarantor:

If you don't meet financial requirements, you may need a lease guarantor. This is someone who would be able to pay your rent if you defaulted. It's kind of like a co-signer.

A guarantor from the tri-state area will get you farther than an out-of-towner. So will a guarantor who's a relative.

Companies should provide a guarantor to employees who are moving for work reasons. Check with HR if this is the case.

Documents to bring:

Letter from previous landlord touting timely payment.

Three most recent bank statements (or a bank letter showing your average monthly balance).

If employed by company: Letter from employer (on company letterhead) stating income, title, bonus structure, and length of employment.

If self-employed: Letter from CPA stating annual income.

(See our Application Checklist for a complete list of what to bring.)

Preparing for a credit check:

The application fee should cover the cost of your credit check. Check your credit ahead of time, and try to clean up any delinquent or collection accounts and substantial debt. Having over 60% available credit is best. Some landlords are flexible when it comes to credit. Plenty are not.

Condo process:

Can take 10-30 days. Possible delays include credit checks and owner stipulations. Anticipate fees, including move-in and application fees.

Co-op process:

Can take 30-45 days. Submit extensive personal information and interview with the co-op board. Expect larger fees, many more than $300. Security deposit may exceed one month's rent.

Tips for International Renters

Many international renters assume their incomes will meet the average NYC landlord's strict requirements. Remember: Most landlords expect tenants to annually earn about fifty times the monthly rent. This means guaranteed income, which doesn't include most bonuses.

Non-U.S. citizens, or those without any U.S. tax or credit history, may have to pay additional security when signing. Be prepared to pay up to twelve months rent in advance. However, landlords can request a U.S.-based guarantor who earns more than 75-100 times the monthly rent. This will limit the additional security requirement.