Rental Basics in New York>Question Details

ericalim85, Renter in Reading, PA

Is it normal to be asked for all these documents when applying for an apt in New York? see below details

Asked by ericalim85, Reading, PA Thu Mar 28, 2013

My friend and I are applying to an apt, we make 70 times the rent and have good credit, i have never encountered an application process so strict and rude, each day they ask us for more documents which repeat information we have already turned in: w-2s for two years, tax returns, 3 months bank statements, 3 months rent stubs, letter from previous landlord, copy of previous lease, phone bill, electric bill, notarized note state prior living arrangements, credit check, it seems crazy. We almost want to withdraw our app because of all the trouble, ive rented in NY before and never seen this....

Help the community by answering this question:


Christine Gordon’s answer
Hello Erica,

How are you? I hope you're well & that the rental process is not getting you too discouraged. Each landlord has their own specific requirements but the documents you've referenced don't seem that out of the ordinary. I could understand from your perspective why having them ask for additional documents every day is frustrating. To avoid this scenario, I provide my clients with a list up front which includes everything they'll need so that I don't have to go back and forth. Perhaps you can take comfort in knowing that if the landlord is screening you so carefully then they probably did the same with other applicants therefore you'll likely be living among a higher caliber of neighbors if you're approved.

Looking forward,

Christine Gordon
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Cell: 917.881.2924
Fax: 347.328.9352
Apartment updates available at
"Home is where the heart is."
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 1, 2013
Hi Erica,
Finding an apartment in NY can be a real challenge.
The documents that landlords will most often ask for are:
- application itself
- driver license
- employment letter / offer letter
- recent pay stubs
- recent bank statement
For internationals, it can be even more difficult. An option is to check if the organization you will work for accepts to guarantee your rent. If not, additional months security deposit might be required. Specialized companies can also act as guarantors if needed.
Living in NY is great! You will enjoy it! Good luck!
Best, Marie-Helene
Mobile: 917.803.7150
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 16, 2013
Hey Eric,
All the landlords have different requirements that vary based on many different factors. I know it can be frustrating, but once you are done you will be glad you have stuck through! If you need help looking for an apartment, you can give me a call or shoo an email, and I will gladly help you find the perfect home for you!
Cell: (646) 691-6795
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 2, 2013
Hi Eric. Yes as other have stated, there are different requirements from building to building and you simply must comply or walk away from it.

Let's go to what has not been said. Managed buildings are impersonal as they are handled by a management company. They could care less if you go forward or not. As the vacancy rate in Manhattan is virtually non-existant, they will go to one of the other thousand applicants waving money in the air hoping to be picked as the new tenant.

Lastly, you've mentioned income. Now, don't pat yourself on your back just yet. There are plenty of highly qualified renters out ther scrambling for an apartment. What we don't know is how long are you on the job at this salary? for all we know you could have started a new job in January and your credit is less than stellar. Your comment about "...prior living arrangements" seems telling though you did say you've rented before. Perhaps there is something hinkey about your rommate. I don't know. You know how it goes and yes, it's a jungle out there. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 28, 2013
Keep in mind that each landlord is different, and some may require more than others....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 28, 2013
I would ask the landlord this question. This is what landlords commonly ask for and even my seasoned client's think it's excessive for a rental:

Proof of employment
* the first 2 pages the most recent tax return
* the landlord may ask for a CPA letter confirming the amount filed on the return.

Most recent bank statement
* this can be a brokerage account, savings or checking account. The landlord essentially wants to know that the person who they're approving is financially sound. That said, the more money you can show, the better your position is with the landlord.

Copy of a government issued ID
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 28, 2013
Unfortunately some landlords indeed do require all the listed documents.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 28, 2013
Landlords are getting more strict now. That is not to out of the ordinary. Its a bit much but i guess the owner is that strict with choosing tenants which in the long run would benefit you.

If you have any more questions just ask
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 28, 2013

It may seem excessive, but it looks like the landlord wants a thorough look at your records in order to make sure that you will be able to make the rent payment each month. With these documents, they can accurately gauge your payment history and find out whether or not they will expect timely rental payments, fees, etc. Most management companies or landlords want to see at least some of this information, not necessarily all of it, but it varies.

Good luck. If you have other questions, contact RE/MAX Midtown and we will be more than glad to help you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 28, 2013
Hi Erica

Some landlord do require all the documents.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 28, 2013
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer