Rental Basics in New York>Question Details

Siobhan Mack…, Renter in Santa Monica, CA

I'm moving to Manhattan the begining of Sept and will be renting inititally. When is the best time to come out and secure an apt? Mid July or

Asked by Siobhan Mackey, Santa Monica, CA Wed Mar 7, 2012


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Congratulations on your upcoming move to NY!!! NY is the city that never sleeps with lots of culture, restaurants, social and outdoor events. New York is a great place to live!

Do you know the requirements needed to rent an apartment in NYC? Are you interested in living Manhattan, or the outer boroughs? Have you begun you search? If not, the most effective way to find an apartment is through a broker. NYC brokers are savvy and know the NY market well. We know the ins and outs of working with landlords and management companies. If you are still searching and need a broker that will work harder for you please contact:
Deresia Williams
Anchor Associates
(C) 631-805-4565,
I am available to answer all questions and concerns. I don't show crapy apartments.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 20, 2012
i am looking for an apartment in manhattan , and want to know if there is any way around the 40x the rent rule
Flag Mon Feb 11, 2013
Mid-July. Please call me . My name is Erika and I can be reached at 917-335-8569 for assistance. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 19, 2012
Siobhan -

Actually - Mid July would be a great time tor start.. as July sees most people and agents taking vacations.. and the timing would be for good picking up a great place. You seem to have done some due diligence on your part in a timing factor.. now is the time to find an agent that may be able to help you secure that place.

You need a Knowledgeable Broker/Agent working for you here until you are ready!

If I may, I would advise you to contact Jennifer Chiongbian- 917-250-2284, Broker at Rutenberg Realty in NYC.

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 12, 2012
Hi Siobhan-ee,

Congratulations on your upcoming move! September 1 is the No. 1 move-in date of the year, and as such, competition — and rents — will increase every month leading up to then. The very best deals will often rent within a day, so your best bet is to work with an experienced broker who can prequalify you and rush your application through with all the requisite paperwork, sometimes ever lobbying a landlord to approve you.

That said, anything vacant will generally be available IMMEDIATELY, so one possibility is to begin your search in the first few days of September — yes, even before the landlord might have had time to paint or clear. Or, you could try seeing occupied apartments in August for a Sept. 1 move-in — which you'll need a good agent to get you into.

Please feel free to contact me via phone, text or e-mail with any other questions you might have — and good luck!

Bruno J. Navarro
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
BOND New York Properties, LLC
1776 Broadway, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10019
212.804.8948 mobile
270.675.9195 fax
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 11, 2012
Dear Siobhan-ee

Bring your identification, recent bank satatement, last year's first and signature page of the past two years' fed income tax, a letter of reference from the landlord where you are now living stating that you have not been a problem tenant and have paid your rent in a timely manner, plus your employment letter... you only need to be here six weeks in advance of when you are going to rent the apartment.

Best wishes, and remember to contact a broker of your choosing that you feel comfortable with.

If you have already been to the city, perhaps you know where you want to be but share also with your chosen broker things that are most important to you.

If you cannot provide income 40x (one month's rent) then get a guarantor who has 80x (one month's rent) annual income. New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennslyvania are the four states a guarantor should come from. Our banks here cooperate better.

Any questions or if you want to speak with me, see my compasny information and email me;

Best wishes to you!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 10, 2012
Hi Siobhan. The Manhattan rental market is on fire. The vacancy rate is barely above 1% and you're timing will coincide with many College aged people that will be looking for apartments for thier upcoming school year. In short you're coming at one of the busiest times of all, Summer!

As you're possibly looking online to get a feel for NYC rentals, there are things to know. I will tell you now, forget looking on your own and get talking with an agent/broker. Be prepared as there will be less available than you might think and in this town, no space is too small and no rent is too high as this is truly a supply and demand situation. Please take a minute to read the link below which is a NY Times article about the NY rental scene and how to prepare for it. Good Luck.…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
It will really help you to have a reference letter from your current landlord, so try to remember to arrange for it before you leave your current home!

Also, things are different here. Apartments rent within a week, quite often. So bring your running shoes!

Karla Harby
Lic RE Salesperson
Charles Rutenberg LLC
Manhattan, NY
212 688 1000 x146
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012

July is a very busy month in real estate, in both rentals and sales.
Just like most of everyone is saying, just get here one month before September.
Some quick tips for you:
- Know or fix your budget. Minimum and Maximum.
- Know what you are looking for (full service buildings, condominiums, rental buildings...)
- Choose one thing that is primordial for you to have in your next place to live at and stick to it. Now this is new york, it is impossible to find an exact match of what you will be looking for. And remember, size is the only thing that can be a problem for you.
- Hire an agent. Don't think saving some dollars and do it yourself because at the end you will end up paying way too much or not finding anything, or even better get scammed. Finding an apartment in new york isn't easy like some people think.

Feel free to let me know if you need additional help or explanation.

Warmest Regards,

Raoul Sodogandji
Global Market Specialist
Licensed Salesperson

(o): 212.252.8772 (EXT.782)
(c): 347.993.8333
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
Hi Siobhan-ee,

If you are planning to move to NYC in the beginning of September, I would say start looking in the end of July/ early August. However, when you do it, be paperwork ready and as soon as you find an apartment you like, act fast and apply for it. The vacancy rate is very low in Manhattan and maybe by the time you make the decision on the unit you saw earlier or the day before, it could have been rented by someone else!

If you decide to get professional assistance, feel free to contact me!!!


Laura Thierer
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Ardor New York
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
Hi Siobhan-ee, I'd recommend starting your search in July. The supply of apartments isnt just rental buildings, it also includes condos that are individually owned (and also some co-ops). Tenant prospects for individually owned units like these go through a management review that can take some time (oftern at least a week, more likely 3-4 weeks). You could just stick to the rental buildings but to get a unit that best matches your needs you'd be wise to consider the condos and co-op sublets as well - I can talk you through the process and all the various requirements for the various types of units if you give me a call at 917-376-1648.

Charlie Summers, VP, Bellmarc Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
you always want to look for an apartment in person 30-45 days before the move in date. this way you dont miss out on any of the good inventory yet your taking advantage of the best price and move in date your going to get. Buildings in NYC rarely budge on their move in dates so if you start looking too soon, (for instance now), they wouldnt give a move in date of June 1st.
Call with any questions:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
Hellom well I would do July. The reason being that it will pick up towards August, and you don't want to feel rushed. When you come to town, find a good broker to work with that will show you what best fits your needs. I hope I helped you, Im an agent with Exit Realty, and if need be, you can contact me anytime.

Ciro Traino
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
Hi Siobhan-ee,

Here is a tidbit of information you’ll need to keep in mind before you start looking for apartments. In terms of time, I would agree with other agents on the timing (end of July to early August for Sept 1st-15th move in), but that isn’t the end of your question.

Depending on the buildings you’ll be looking at, this will determine how long it may take for you to get approved.

Rental buildings – Typically several days to a week for a full approval.
Condo buildings – Typically 2 weeks and anywhere up to 30 days after your package gets submitted to the managing agent.
Co-op buildings – Typically a full month, sometimes longer, this will depend if all board members are in the city and aren’t vacationing. You may need to go through a board interview and in rare instances potential tenants do get turned down.

Commission structures will also vary from Rental buildings to Condo’s and Coops.

Hope this helps and feel free to ask anything else thats on your mind.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
Hi Siobhan,

I think you should start looking beginning of August for September 1st. In the meantime you should prepare. I just posted a Manhattan rental market analysis on my blog the other day. It gives you the average rent of a studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartment in every Manhattan neighborhood and the vacancy rate in each neighborhood. It will give you a good idea of the rental market neighborhood to neighborhood.…

You should also read:…

The above rental guide will familiarize you with the rules of renting in order to make your experience as hassle and worry free as possible. I hope your first New York City rental experience is a positive one.

Feel free to contact me if you need more information or if I can help you.


Mitchell Hall, Associate Broker
The Corcoran Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 8, 2012
Mitchell Hall, Real Estate Pro in New York, NY
Renters typically start their search 4-6 weeks before they need to move. The large the apartment, the more at the 6 week mark you are looking at. If you are looking for a studio or one bedroom, a couple of weeks before is ideal, so you don't have to carry rent for an apartment that you will not be using, since landlords will not wait one month for a lease start date. As mentioned below, we are at an average of a 1% vacancy rate and landlords know that there is someone who will be able to take their unit earlier than later.

Watch: How to Rent an Apartment in Manhattan

Read: How to Rent a Manhattan Apartment…

Jennifer Chiongbian
SVP/ Associate Broker
Rutenberg Realty NYC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 7, 2012
The vacancy rate is currently under 1% which means very little inventory and rentals go fast. Therefore if you look too long in advance, that apt. will be gone by the time you are ready. If you are looking for Sept. 1st, I would suggest you look in early August. I see that you are from Pittsburgh. If you are not familiar with neighborhoods, you might want to come and spend a little time exploring neighborhoods first. It is a very good idea to rent before making your purchase so you can learn the city well and be sure of where you want to purchase.
The most important thing is to beware of scams, which are rampant with rentals. I would strongly suggest you use a skilled, experienced agent. You will pay a fee, but you will get the best of what is out there in your price range without any trickery.

Jenet Levy
Halstead Propety, LLC
212 381-4268 for all NYC listings
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 7, 2012
Hi Siobhan-ee,

You would want to start looking for an apartment in August. With that you will need to prove that you make 40x the rent with a letter of employment, 3 recent pay stubs, a recent bank statement and a current photo ID.

Please feel free to contact me when you need to start your search.

Annette Holmgren
401-837-9445 c
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 7, 2012
I have been a real estate agent in New York for 5 years now. From experience it is best to begin your search 4-6 weeks before your move in date. There is no point falling in love with an apartment that will not be available for your move in date. I have experience in rentals, furnished and unfurnished sublets as well as condos so feel free to contact me directly with any more questions, or if you will like me to assist you and email you pictures and information on options as your date of occupancy draws is my email address. All the best to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 7, 2012
If you need an apartment and do not want to start paying rent until September I suggest you make one trip in to get your feet wet and see what the rental market is like in June and then come back in late July to find something you want to rent and sign a lease. The leases available then will be for August 15th or September 1st. starting dates. Please call me or my associate Teresa Bailey if you want to discuss neighborhoods, sizes and rents of apartments. We would be glad to help you. 347 678 0119
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 7, 2012
Apartments do not stay out on the market for months, if they do there is something wrong :) you can come check out some buildings, then keep an eye out.
Manhattan Life Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 7, 2012
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