New York City Apartments in Manhattan

Here, we've put together some of the most frequently asked questions about our NYC apartments services. Let us know if you don't see your question here and we'll add it to this section. We're here to help you find the best New York City apartment for you!

Q: I've registered with and I'm ready to begin my apartment search. What do I do first?

A: First of all, BE FLEXIBLE! See more apartments than you might think would be necessary. Start with a wide range of parameters and narrow your search as you go. We've found from experience that more than half of the renters in New York City end up happily moving to an apartment or neighborhood that differs from what they had originally imagined. Take full advantage of the service and see as many apartments as you can. Second, BE PREPARED! Have all the necessary paperwork with you at all times. Go to see every apartment as though you intend to take it and have everything you need to expedite the process and ensure that the apartment will be yours. Remember, locating an apartment is only half the battle; the other half is being approved. In order to be approved you need to be prepared. Third, order a free credit report NOW and know your credit status before you find an apartment. Don't be held up by a problem with your credit when you are ready to rent an apartment. Fix anything that needs to be fixed in advance, so that you will not lose your apartment to someone who is better prepared. Finally, if you view a listing that appeals to you, don't delay. Go to see the apartment immediately. Apartments move quickly in New York. Don't lose out due to procrastination.

Q: Is one time of year better than another for finding an apartment?

A: The best time to start thinking about finding an apartment is in advance of the time that you must move. Knowledge, preparation and patience will help you to find an apartment at any time of year. This is one of the advantages of Whereas a broker will only work with you when you are actually ready to move, you can utilize for as long as you like. You can research and prepare, or, if you're in a hurry, you can work more quickly. The choice is yours.

Q: Apartments seem to be so expensive in New York. How can I determine how much rent I can afford?

A: The standard formula for determining how much income you must earn related to how much rent you can pay is earnings should be equal or greater than 40 times the monthly rent. For example, if you are interested in an apartment that rents for $1000 per month, you should earn $40,000 per year. However, each listing on the site will let you know the landlord's income requirements, so that you will avoid wasting time. If you do not earn enough, do not panic. Many landlords will accept a guarantor. Specifics about who accepts guarantors are included in's listings.

Q: Is there such thing as a "low-end" rent in Manhattan and what would be typical of such a rent?

A: Essentially studios start at $1100 and can go as high as $3000, but there ARE good deals, such as studios for under $1000. They do go quickly, but you can get one if you don't hesitate. Act fast!

Q: Why are Manhattan rents so high?

A: Manhattan rents tend to be high due to supply and demand. Manhattan is an island with only so much available space; it is a finite piece of real estate. Many people want to live in Manhattan. It is the center of business, commerce and entertainment. Therefore, due to a finite supply coupled with an ever-growing demand, the prices are commensurate.

Q: I've seen an apartment I like. What do I do now?

A: Apply immediately! As a client you'll already know everything you need to qualify. Make sure you bring all required paperwork with you so that your application will be complete. Make sure, too, that you have already ordered your credit report and resolved any problems in advance, so that no surprise issues will arise to deprive you of your apartment.

Q: How do I go about getting a credit report?

A: Generally, business people who need to know your credit history run credit reports. The average person does not, traditionally, order one on his or her own. You can order a credit report through our affilliate. Other companies will usually do so only if you become a subscriber to their service. At, we'll help you to order a credit report for free whether you become a member or not.

Q: What if my credit report has imperfections? Will this effect my acceptance for an apartment?

A: It depends upon what the imperfections are. Generally, late payments on credit are not considered to be a tremendous problem but "charge-offs" (totally unpaid debts) are problematic. If you have not seen a copy of your credit report recently, you might be very surprised at its content. It is important to find out what's there before a prospective landlord has the opportunity to reject you as the result of a credit problem. If you believe an entry in your credit report has an error - for example, it is possible that an outside party obtained your Social Security number or credit information and made charges against your account without your knowledge - be sure to resolve it now. Why wait until you have to defend yourself to a prospective landlord? Make sure your credit report is as clean as possible, so that you can get the apartment you want.

Q: I am a student/someone with modest means. Is there hope that I can find an apartment in Manhattan?

A: Yes, but if you are not earning enough money to afford the rent, your chances will be better if you find a roommate or a guarantor.

Q: What is a guarantor?

A: A guarantor is someone who will take responsibility for the lease commitment in the event that you, as the principal, default on your responsibility. The guarantor needs to have a reasonable income and, perhaps, own real estate himself.

Q: What are the requirements to be a guarantor?

A:A guarantor must have an income that not only supports their lifestyle, but can also support your rent should you be unable to pay. Many landlords require that a guarantor own real estate within the tri-state area.

Q: I don't have anyone who is willing to be a guarantor for me. What do you suggest I do?

A: Include a roommate in your apartment search, preferably one who has a guarantor to contribute. Or you can offer more security, and/or offer to pay several more months of rent up front in advance. The amount of the additional security and/or rent should be determined as you negotiate with the landlord.

Q: Once I've seen an apartment that I like, will I have to pay a commission to the landlord?

A: No! By law landlords are not allowed to charge a commission. Only a licensed real estate broker may charge a commission.

Q: I've seen an apartment that I'd like to move into. Once I've applied, how and when do I find out if the apartment is mine?

A: It varies from landlord to landlord and depends upon how many other applications have been received. It also depends upon whether or not the apartment is available for immediate occupancy. If it is, the landlord will want to fill the vacancy quickly. If there is time, the landlord might wait to assess ongoing receipt of applications. However, no matter how much time is available, no landlord wants to lose a good tenant, so the better your application is, the better your chances to obtain the apartment and learn about it within a few days.

Q: How much of a security deposit can I expect to pay?

A: Security most often varies between one and two months of the rent. Please note that security, by law, must be held in an interest-bearing bank account and must be returned to you upon vacating the apartment, assuming the apartment is left in the condition in which you found it.

Q: Is it better for me to sign a one- or two-year lease?

A: This decision depends upon market conditions and upon your intent. If you're sure you are going to remain in the apartment for two years and the price the landlord is offering for a two-year lease includes either a very minimal increase or no increase after the second year, in a market that you believe will continue to support growing rents, a two-year lease is advisable. Conversely, if you're not sure you will remain beyond a year and/or you believe rents will go down within the year, a one-year lease would be more suitable.

Q: I have a pet. Will this make finding an apartment more difficult?

A: Cats are generally acceptable, because they tend to be quieter animals. Some landlords, however, do not accept dogs due to the possibility of noise and damage. If a landlord decides to accept dogs, it is usually preferable that they be small. This is not to imply that no landlord will accept dogs, many will. Either way, every listing will inform you of the pet policy, so you don't waste your time.

Q: How long does my membership last?

A: Citirenters' memberships last as long as it takes to rent an apartment. Begin your search as far in advance as you choose and see as many apartments as you like... we encourage it. And when you do find an apartment, there are no additional fees or commissions!

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Another NYC Apartment Testimonial
Many of our clients send notes of their successful New York City apartment search

I would highly recommend citirent!
"I was becoming quite bitter in the search for a New York City apartment and dealing with different companies, but when I met with Sidney all of the worries went away. I would highly recommend this service to anyone in search of NYC apts."
-Elissa B.
I'm seeking:
age range
zip code
needs a room
has a room