Welcome to New York, but only if you plan for it.
Finding an apartment in New York if you’re an expat can be very difficult. Part of the problem is that the companies that do credit reports for renters aren’t able to access credit reports in most other countries. (Canada is an exception, as it is now tied in to Experian’s credit database.) Without a credit report, how is a landlord to know how trustworthy and credit worthy you are?
Plan ahead before you arrive . . .
- Have your employer prepare a letter of employment for you, stating the US dollar value of your salary and benefits package.
- Bring references from previous landlords. But sure to have their address and phone number if possible.
- Bring several personal and business reference letters.
- Have your banking account information with you, including a contact at your bank. Be sure to open a New York bank account a quickly upon your arrival in NY as you can.
- Have a list of your credit cards and balances owed.
- Have a photo copy of your passport that you can leave as identification.
- Apply for a social security number before you arrive in the US. There is more information about applying here.
- Have cash/certified checks at your disposal when you start looking for an apartment. Most landlords will require a certified check for at least the first month’s rent and a month’s security. Depending on your finances, you may be required to post more than that.
- If you might need a guarantor, contact Insurent.com before you arrive. They may be just the ticket for you. If approved, it will make your searching easier.
- Read the other sections of this Essential Guide for Smart Renters to get a good idea of what the rental process in New York is like.
- There is now a corporate guarantor who will guarantee your lease - for a fee - that is generally less than a month’s rent. The company is Insurent.com. We have a little more information about them here.
Remember, with RDNY.com, you can start your apartment search before you arrive in New York. You will be able to start discovering the neighborhoods of the city and figuring out which areas provide the most convenient public transportation to your work.
Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your apartment needs.