Rental Guide

Determine your Budget, Schedule, and Needs

Determine your budget, schedule, and needs

It is advisable to begin the process of renting an apartment two to three months prior to your desired move date.  This will give you time to understand the market and determine your budget, the size apartment you need and can afford, and which neighborhoods appeal to you. However, apartments do not begin to appear on the market until 30 to 45 days prior to the start of the lease, and there are many apartments on the market that are available for immediate occupancy.

As a base guideline, usually one’s monthly rent should equal 25%-30% of one’s gross monthly salary.  Landlords usually require total gross annual income to be 40 to 50 times the monthly rent. For example, if the monthly rent is $2,000, then one’s gross annual income needs to be $80,000-$100,000.

Renting an apartment directly from a landlord usually means the lease has a term of 12 or 24 months. The apartments are unfurnished, and include light fixtures that are attached to the wall or ceiling, kitchen cabinets, and major appliances such as a refrigerator, stove and dishwasher.  Some apartments include a washer and dryer, but usually only in new luxury buildings.

Apartments in the New York City metropolitan area vary considerably in many ways, such as the age of the building, size of apartment, available light, and types of amenities. Buildings with more amenities usually come with more staff, and higher rent.

Unless you have a large rent budget, you might need to decide what are the most important aspects of an apartment to you – location, size, natural light, quiet or little street noise, doorman, gym, roof deck, balcony, parking in the building, laundry room on-site, washer/dryer in unit, pet-friendly, etc. – as you probably can’t afford to have it all.