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Congratulations on your new home...

When your application is approved, read the lease carefully before you sign it. For example, the landlord might add some riders that modify a part of the printed lease.

When you’ve signed a lease, please call or email your Advisor to let us know. We want to hear from you when your search has ended in triumph!

TIP:   The lease is a legal contract between you and the landlord, and it should specify everything that you and the landlord have agreed. If there’s any part you don’t understand, ask the landlord for an explanation. If you want to change any of the terms of the lease, be sure the change is in writing and signed by both you and the landlord. Be sure you get a signed copy of the lease.

Moving into your new home...

Don’t assume that you can move in to your new home on any day of the week or at any time. Most landlords have strict rules about when you can move in or move out.

Since most people prefer to move at the very end of the month, or the first day of the next month, it could be very uncomfortable if two or three people are fighting over exclusive use of the elevator at the same time. If you are paying a mover, it will add considerably to your moving costs if you have to wait an hour or two or three for one party to finish their move so that you can use the elevator next. So ask your landlord for guidance in scheduling a day and time for your move and make sure that you will have exclusive use of the elevator during that time.

Additionally, the landlord may impose several “fees” on your move, such as...

Moving damage fee - This is usually a refundable fee to make sure that you or your movers don’t damage any of the the fixtures in the hallways, scuff the walls, or scratch the elevator. If there is an elevator in the building, as the building superintendent to put padding on the elevator walls.

Building Supervision fee - Fancy buildings often require that you “hire” one of the building staff members to oversee your move in or out and to work the freight elevator. This fee is usually a non-refundable fee.

The delays are because the managing agent for the co-op corporation (the building’s management) will do a more in-depth investigation of you. They will look to verify all of the information you have stated on your application. This investigation can take a week or two.

Once your co-op sublet package is complete, it will be forwarded to the “sublet committee” of the Board of Directors. The sublet committee will most likely want to interview you prior to the next Board of Directors meeting. Waiting for the interview can add another week or two to the process.

Once you have been interviewed by the Sublet Committee, they will forward their recommendation on approving you to the full Board of Directors to vote on. The Board meeting is often the same night, but not always, so waiting for the full Board meeting can add another week or so to the process.

In short, aside from all the detailed paperwork and expense of applying to “sublet” in a co-op, you can be faced with a delay of from three to six weeks before you will know if you have been approved.

If you can’t afford the luxury of waiting that long, and still risking that your application will not be approved, then don’t apply to rent (or sublet) in a co-op building.

However - there is one exception to this grim process of applying in a co-op.

That exception is when you apply to rent one of the apartments still owned by the “developer” or “converter” of the building to co-op. This is know as renting from the Sponsor, or more technically, “the holder of unsold shares”.

Since the sponsor bought the building and converted it to a co-op, and wrote the “Offering Plan” that created the co-op corporation, the sponsors’ always carve out an exception for themselves from some of the rules of the co-op. One of the exemptions they create is the need for Board approval when they want to sublet an apartment.

Thus, if you are renting a sponsor-owned unit in a co-op building, you very often will be exempt from needing the Board of Director’s approval. Thus, there is no interview, other than meeting the sponsor and getting him to approve you. When you rent (sublease) directly from the sponsor, you can often arrange to move in to the building within a week, although you will not be exempt from paying the various fees discussed in the next section.

Make a check list of what you have to do next:

  1. Get renter’s insurance for your new home. This will cost only a few dollars a month and will insure you against any loss of your valuables in a fire, theft or flood.
  2. Hire a moving company to arrange your move. Be sure to get moving insurance! It’s a good idea to also get “Moving Insurance” to protect you in case your possessions are damaged during the move.
  3. Assemble a tool kit: a hammer, flat screwdriver, Phillips head screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench, cordless drill, and flashlight will see you through most your decorating and repair tasks. Make sure you know where the nearest hardware store is. You’ll need it.
  4. Transfer all your government documents to your new address: passport, driver’s license, voter registration, car registration. Notify your post office of your new address by visiting
  5. Contact the utility services to turn on all service to your new apartment. You will probably need a copy of your new lease to verify your right to service at that address and to relieve you of any unpaid utility bills that the prior tenant may have left.
  6. If you have children, make sure that proper window guards have been installed. It is the landlord’s responsibility to have them installed, at the landlord’s expense.
  7. Ask the landlord for a pre-moving inspection of the apartment. You’ll want to take note of any existing wear and tear so it won’t be an issue when you move out. This is also the time to ask the landlord for any repairs you want done before you move in.
  8. Following up on #6 above, use a digital camera to record any blemishes and imperfections in your new home, such as cigarette burn marks on the counter or missing shelves. Send a copy to the landlord and keep a copy for yourself. This should go a long way towards avoiding any disputes at the end of your lease when you want to get your security returned to you.
  9. After your move, make sure your friends and family stop by for some pizza and congratulating you on your new home! From all of us here at, enjoy your new home with health, happiness, and peace.
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