How to rent an apartment in New York City if you’re a foreigner 

How to rent an apartment in New York City if you’re a foreigner 

New York is one of the biggest job markets in the world, recruiting top global talents and attracting experts from around the world. 

 That’s why every year more people from other countries are swarming to the city to join its workforce, because employers from banks and tech companies, museums and universities are eager to hire experts in their perspective fields, no matter where they come from. 

But, most of the city’s rental management companies might not be so welcoming. It seems that they would prefer to rent to college students rather than to a fully employed foreign national with a six-figure income.  

If you’re an adult from another country with a great credit history, a full-time job, and a family, how can you prepare to rent an apartment when you arrive in New York City? There are a few things you can do. 

Prepare documents 

In order to get the lease and the keys of a New York apartment, you’ll need several documents. For example, you’ll need proof that you earn at least 40 times the monthly rent. 

As well, New York City owners can ask for documents that are not typically required in other parts of the world. This includes everything from all recent US bank statements with current balances, income tax returns for the past two to three years, and all the identifying information needed to carry out a credit report, including your social security number.  

Prepare to pay 

You’ll probably be asked to pay anywhere from three months to an entire year of rent in advance. While this may seem too much to ask and even unfair, it’s important to accept the fact that asking foreign nationals for more money in advance is a standard practice. It doesn’t matter what country you come from. 

Maybe the best option is to go through a third-party guarantor. This is typical for landlords to ask for a guarantor in New York City, for example, a parent or guardian who lives in the United States. 

Talk with your employer 

It’s always good to negotiate the housing costs with your new US employer. In some cases, the new employer may even have access to properties that the company rents to foreign national employees. Perhaps they have an existing arrangement with a management company. 

Talk with a homeowner 

As an option, renting from an individual homeowner should be explored. While this is unusual in Manhattan, in other boroughs it is sometimes possible to rent directly from a homeowner. If there are any to be found, this might be a solution because many homeowners are often thrilled to rent to working professionals rather than students. 

Over time, your US credit and rental histories will grow, and you will eventually be treated like any other New Yorker, even if you never choose to become a US citizen. 

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