What Documents Do I Need To Rent An Apartment

By: ROS Team

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Ney York is often dubbed as a renter’s city, with a big proportion of residents renting rather than owning. The rental market exhibits all types of residential properties. The rental market also includes landlords and property owners, who maintain buildings and make a profit off of their residential holdings.

Landlords are business persons and they always make sure that there is no risk involved in the potential deal. In that process, they generally ask for various documents which give them the required confidence to strike a deal with the renter.

There could be some exceptions but 99% of NY landlords are going to want the basics documents.  Besides, more documents mean you are in a better position to negotiate a deal of your favor. So, don’t forget to bring these documents with you when you step out to seek a rental property.

Following are the Documents that you will be Required to Provide to Rent an Apartment in NYC

Job Letter:

This is the most essential document in your list of documents. Landlords need to make sure that you can run the rent installments in time. The majority of the landlords ask for a job letter on a company letterhead categorically mentioned duration and salary.

Not having a job letter makes most of the new renters lose their first apartment as they cannot produce the letter in time. Therefore, it is highly recommended to keep a hard copy of your job letter before you start your search for the property.

Note: An offer letter is not a job letter.


If you are not new in the city and already have a job, then you might be asked to submit copies of your previous paystubs.

Self Employed:

What if you are a businessman or self-employed? There is another letter to provide in that case: a CPA letter which bears the information about the nature of business and how long you are into this business.

Try to furnish as much information as possible on that letter to make your case appealing to the landlord. The more information provided the better.

Tax Returns:

The tax return is an important document to measure your gross wealth. The New York landlords are always interested in your adjusted gross income. The adjusted gross income must be equal to 40 times the monthly rent. That means if you’re looking at a $2,500/month apartment, landlords would wish to see a figure of $90,000 in income.

Therefore, you must provide the first page and the signature page of the last couple of years’ tax returns.

Bank Statements:

The newcomers in the city don’t have much in their bank accounts. Landlords essentially don’t seek a lot of asset descriptions but they are always interested in seeing that you have a bank account in a credible standing.

Don’t even think of forging it with the help of certain software. They would be interested to see a full bank statement. That means you have to submit all pages of the statement.

Landlord Reference Letter:

If you are not renting for the first time and shifting from another renting building then good to attach the letter from your previous landlord. This letter shall reflect the rented duration of the apartment, the rent you paid for the apartment, and note that you served your rents in time.

A few words of a happy mutual relationship would help you a great deal and attaching their phone no and email will be helpful.

Photo ID:

You need to keep a copy of a valid driver’s license or passport. There shall be no doubt about it.

Certified Bank Check:

Usually, landlords require the first months’ rent and security. The same applies to the brokerage fee.

It is mandatory to have an amount equal to four months’ rent in a bank with an NYC branch. Once you place your application you will be required to provide a certified bank check. The four-month amount is liable to cover the first month’s rent, security, and a broker fee, plus applicable fees.

List of Past Addresses:

You will qualify for most rental applications if you could furnish at least three references of past landlords.

Banking Information:

When you need to provide banking information to strengthen your bet for the desired home then make sure to submit your potential landlord with printed copies so you do not have to share your private information.

Final Thoughts:

The New York rental market is highly competitive with a low vacancy rate. The city is not able to accommodate all the newbies. So what gives you an edge over a potential competitor is the beforehand availably of these documents.

You might feel cumbersome when preparing these documents but for a moment step in the shoes of a landlord and you will empathy as anyone would try to cut the risk out in a potential deal.

There could be a slight difference from landlord to landlord, but being armed with the documents discussed above equips you to start the process of registering an application.