By Julie Fishman
If you thought finding an apartment was a struggle, you are in for a treat, mon frere. Actually sealing the deal is half the battle, and in most cases it involves an infuriating mix of timing, luck, and favoritism. Fortunately, a little preparation and a light sprinkling of gamesmanship can give you the head start you need to nip all those other jokers at the finish line. Prepare your documentation beforehand and bring it with you when you visit apartments to put yourself on the leader board from the word “Go.” Next, make sure that any roommates have their things in order, as well. If anyone is out of town, you will need to fax all of the documents and have them sent back. In some states, these documents may need to be notarized (the same goes for guarantor’s forms, which are discussed below). Finally, try to buddy up with the super and doorman when you visit the apartment—they are on the front line and will know exactly the right time to strike.
What You'll Need
Gather these essential items below and bring them on apartment hunt outings.
Note that if a guarantor is involved, all of the above items will be required from them, as well.
Getting a Guarantee May Require a Guarantor
Most management companies require that a tenant’s income be above a minimum level, usually about 40-45x the monthly rent (income of roommates can be combined). For a $2,000/mo apartment that means you have to make between $80 and $90K. If you don’t stack this type of money (you’re not alone), you may need a guarantor to co-sign the lease. The guarantor agreement is provided by the landlord or management company and requires some basic personal and financial information. Signing it legally obligates the guarantor (usually a family member or close friend) to pay rent if you de...