{frequently asked questions}

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Planning for the Search
  • Do you have any other apartments?
  • This is the number one question I'm asked. One of the benefits of working with an agent affiliated with Citi Habitats is access to the extensive apartment inventory in the City. Aside from the apartments advertised and the one you've asked about, I can get access to almost any apartment. It streamlines the process for you since you really do only need to work with one agent.

  • What paperwork do I need?
  • Letter of Employment which should state your position, length of employment, and any opportunities for bonuses
  • Your last two pay stubs
  • Your last two years of tax returns
  • Last two months' bank statements, both checking and savings
  • Verification of other financial assests, if any
  • Landlord reference letter or prevous landlord's contact information
  • Photo ID (Driver's License, Passport, etc.)
  • *The above does not apply to those with rental vouchers or other similar rental assistance

  • What if I'm a student or independent contractor?
  • In place of the letter of employment, as a student you will need to provide a letter of enrollment from your school. As an independent contractor, you will need a letter from a certified accountant stating your occupation(s) and your annual income from the previous year.

  • How much money do I need to earn?
  • A tenant's annual income typically needs to be between 40-50 times the monthly rent. You may also qualify with a rental assistance program or by using a guarantor.

  • What is a guarantor?
  • A guarantor is a person or persons who agree to pay rent in the event the tenant cannot. Typically the guarantor needs to earn between 80-100 times the monthly rent. If need be, you may have more than one guarantor to qualify, however this is at the discretion of the landlord, so always confirm.

  • Why does my guarantor have to earn so much?
  • Landlords want to ensure that should a guarantor have to cover the rent, they can do so at no hardship to themselves.

  • I'm going to be living with someone. Can we combine incomes?
  • This is at the discretion of the landlord. Some landlords will allow combined incomes, while others do not.

  • How much money do I need upfront?
  • It costs you nothing to see apartments with a broker. When applying, you will need to pay the application fee and a deposit. Upon lease signing, depending on the apartment, you will need certifed checks from your bank or money orders for first month rent, security deposit and any broker fees. You may be asked for additional security or last month's rent as well. This is building and landlord dependent.

  • How long does approval take?
  • The length of time varies. A rental application can take as little as one hour, or as long as one week to be approved. A co-op sublet can take several weeks, depending on when the board meets.

    The Apartment
  • Does this apartment have a fee?
  • Every apartment has a fee when you're working with a broker. The difference is who is paying the fee, you or the landlord.

  • What are the lease terms?
  • Typically one to two years.

  • What utilities are included in the rent?
  • Unless otherwise told, heat and hot water are included in the rent. Gas and electricity are separate and not included.

  • Is the building pet-friendly?
  • This is building dependent. In some cases, pets need to be under a certain weight requirement, typically 30-40 lbs, or a certain breed. Some buildings allow just cats, while others do not allow pets at all. It is also possible for a building to limit the number of dogs permitted to one or maybe two.

  • Will the apartment be cleaned before I move in?
  • Apartments are usually cleaned and painted prior to a new tenant's occupancy, but you should always ask for confirmation.

  • Will the apartment be painted before I move-in? Can I paint it a different color?
  • Apartments need to be repainted every three years by law. You should ask for confirmation regarding your specific apartment. Most of the time, yes you can paint the walls a different color, but they must be restored to the original color before you vacate.

  • Can I put up a wall?
  • Walls are building, apartment and landlord dependent. Many landlords allow tenants to construct pressurized walls, not permanent ones. Bear in mind that many landlords require that upon vacating the apartment it must be restored to its original condition, otherwise you may be penalized.

  • What is a rent-stabilized apartment?
  • Rent-stabilized units in New York City are those apartments in buildings of six or more units built between February 1, 1947 and January 1, 1974. Tenants are entitled to receive required services, to have their leases renewed, and may not be evicted except on grounds allowed by law.

  • What is a rent-controlled apartment??
  • For an apartment to be rent controlled the tenant must have been living there continuously since before July 1, 1971. When a rent controlled apartment becomes vacant, it either becomes rent stabilized or is removed from regulation.

  • Can I sublet my apartment?
  • Subletting is at the discretion of the landlord. Rules regarding this should be stated and agreed to in your lease.

    The Neighborhood
  • Where is public transportation?
  • Complimentary MTA maps are available at every subway station. They can also be found at Grand Central Station, Penn Station and The Port Authority Terminal. Online maps and schedules also are available at http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us. Feel free to ask me about a particular address and I'll be happy to provide directions.

  • Is the neighborhood safe?
  • A lot of my clients know already which neighborhoods they are interested in. If you are relocating or looking to explore a new neighborhood, my best advice is for you to spend time in the neighborhood. You will need to determine for yourself how safe an area feels. If you're looking for hard statistics, check out the Fair Housing Resource List.