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What Financial Qualifications are Landlords in NYC Looking For?

It is paramount that you make sure that you have what it takes financially to get approved.

Before beginning your journey toward securing a NYC apartment, it is paramount that you make sure that you have what it takes financially to get approved.

Landlords in New York are generally looking for tenants who have an annual income that is 40 times the monthly rent and a credit score of 700 or above. Additionally, they like to see that applicants have enough cash in the bank that at a minimum enables them to pay the security deposit (usually equal to one month’s rent), the first month’s rent, the broker’s fee (up to 15% of a year’s rent depending on the listing) and funds to cover application fees, utility deposits, renter’s insurance and moving expenses.

Landlords of rent regulated or stabilized apartments are especially strict regarding these applicant qualifications. 

In theory, these requirements are designed to help landlords determine whether a tenant will be able to afford the rent and pay it on time. But in reality, many landlords use it as a way to screen out tenants who they believe will be a headache or who will damage the apartment.

To be blunt they believe that good credit and high income equals responsibility and stability. 

One of the most important requirements is a good credit score. Landlords will typically check a potential tenant's credit score to see if they have a history of making timely payments on their bills. A credit score of 700 or higher is generally considered good, and a score of 750 or higher is considered excellent. Landlords may be more willing to rent to tenants with higher credit scores, as this indicates a track record of responsible financial management.

In addition to a good credit score, landlords may also require that tenants have a certain level of income. This is because the rent on an apartment in New York City can be quite expensive, and landlords want to ensure that tenants will be able to afford the monthly payments.

In general, landlords will require that tenants have an annual income that is at least 40 times the monthly rent. So, for example, if the monthly rent on an apartment is $2,000, the landlord would require that the tenant have an annual income of at least $80,000.

It's important to note that these requirements may vary depending on the landlord and the apartment building. Some landlords may be more flexible with their credit and income requirements, while others may have stricter standards. Additionally, some apartment buildings may have higher rental prices, which would require tenants to have a higher income in order to qualify.

If these requirements sound impossible or discouraging for you, stay tuned for my next post where I will share with you a way to get past this seemingly daunting barrier.

Reginald Richardson is a licensed real estate professional in New York City who enjoys reading books by Octavia Butler, listening to Afro-house music and following the Brooklyn Nets. He also is a founding member of the Skybridge Group of VORO Real Estate.