there are standard form leases that landlords can use but it is always better to have an attorney to prepare your lease or at least to review it first because there are some new requirements, such as a bed bugs disclosure and other that you, as a landlord may not be aware of and your attorney will.
As for post dated checks - it is not common to collect post-dated checks in New York and they do not give you any additional security, anyway because a tenant may not have funds on the account when you deposit his check. This is why in New York landlords do thourough due diligence, collect paystubs, emplyment verification letters and previous landlord reference letters, as well as run a credit check on their tenants to make sure they are going to be good tenants and will be able to pay their rent throughout the lease and on time.
My advice - if you going to become a landlord in NYC -do you due diligence on tenants and get the once with good credit, salaries and good previous rental history. As an alternative, you can ask them to get Insurent, which costs extra.... more