Application Guidelines


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What Does the Rental Application Involve?

Before outlining the forms and paperwork you need to submit, let’s talk about what a rental application is all about. For starters, when you decide you’d like to move forward with an apartment, you should submit an application ASAP. Tenants and guarantors should be prepared to submit their individual, separate applications, and application fees. An application consists of a rental application form, background and credit check authorizations, supporting documents and a check to cover the apartment fees:

The Standard Documents You Need When Submitting a Rental Application Form

Guarantors, employees, self-employed or independent contractors:

Vouchers, and Subsidy Programs:


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Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I combine my income with my spouse/partner/roommate/housemate?
Generally, yes, you can combine your income as most landlords apply the 40x rent rule to gross household income. One caveat is that landlords typically limit the number of leaseholders, so if you have multiple roommates or a large family, you may not be able to use everyone's combined income. Finally, a small percentage of landlords will not let you combine your income to qualify, but this is relatively rare.

Can I prepay the lease in full if I don't meet the landlord's income requirements?
Yes, in most instances, you can pay your lease upfront if you don't otherwise qualify. Some buildings, however, are rent-stabilized and cannot legally accept upfront payment. In these cases, you can still rent in those buildings by using a NYC guarantor service like Insurent or The Guarantors.

I do not currently meet the income requirements for the building/am unemployed/relocating, but have a signed offer letter with which I will. Will the landlord accept this?
It depends, and you should ask the landlord as they will likely consider this on a case-by-case basis, but assuming your job offer is guaranteed and will start before or around the same time as your new lease would you'll probably be fine.

Can I put up extra rent or a larger security deposit if I don't meet the landlord's income requirements?
This is case-by-case as it depends on the landlord as well as your situation, but a good rule of thumb is that larger high-rise buildings will be less flexible and accommodating than smaller landlords who may be open to accepting something along the lines of first and last months rent plus a 1-month security deposit.

Is the apartment application fee refunded if I don't get approved?

The apartment application fee is non-refundable pretty much all the time. Luckily the newly passed Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 caps rental application fees at $20.

How long is the application process?
It depends, the application process will usually take between 2 to 7 business days or more.

Is there a standard NYC rental application form I can use to apply to multiple buildings?
Unfortunately, no, there isn't, although if you're applying to multiple buildings owned by the same landlord, you should be okay with just one application. Otherwise, you'll need to pay and fill out separate applications for each building you wish to apply at. One way to try and mitigate rental application fees is to ask your agent for a refund. Most agents will be willing to offer a rebate assuming you sign with them as they'd rather you not miss out on a place because you're worried about paying multiple application fees.

NYC Apartment Application Checklist By The PropertyClub Team.