Level Group

211 East 43rd Street, 24th Floor
New York, NY 10017

Phone 212.994.9965
Fax 212.994.9967
Email [email protected]
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Renter's Guide

Renter's Timeline  -  Plan Out the Steps of Your Search


Given the competitive and seasonal nature of apartment hunting in New York City, timing your search is critical to getting the home you desire. Being somewhat flexible with your move-in date (ideally a window of two weeks before or after an exact date), will greatly increase your choices.
Summer is definitely the most competitive season as apartments are in high demand and turn over quickly, often within a day or two of hitting the market. Regardless of the season, you must be prepared to decide and act quickly to get the home you want. Sometimes waiting even until the next day will be too late, especially in the summer.
While being prepared and planning ahead are essential, the low vacancy and rapid turnover of NYC rental apartments also means that beginning your search too soon will be a wasted effort. By the time you are ready to act, the unit you wanted will be gone. In most cases, you should plan on viewing apartments not more that 40 days before your planned move-in date.
A timeline is presented here as a countdown to your expected move-in date.
1.     Begin viewing luxury, co-op or condo rentals
30 – 40 days before move-in date
Luxury rentals, including co-op and condo rentals from private owners require a bit more time to secure than your average NYC rental apartment. The reason for this is that landlord and building requirements are even MORE stringent at these properties, possibly including the need for additional paperwork and interviews with the board or managing agent. If you are not seeking this type of unit, go directly to step 2.
2.     Assemble paperwork and begin viewing apartments
25 – 30 days before move-in date
For a list of Tenant Requirements and necessary paperwork, CLICK HERE. Set up appointments to view apartments several days in advance.  Be prepared to act upon finding the home you want by immediately submitting your paperwork, application and deposit to hold the apartment.
3.     Sign your lease and plan your move
10 – 20 days before move-in date
Be in constant contact with your Broker regarding your application. Don’t assume that everything is complete until you have a signed lease and keys in your hand. Schedule a date for a lease signing and bring all required funds in the form of certified checks – First month’s rent, security deposit, move-in fees, and brokerage fee are all paid either in advance or at the lease signing. Schedule your move with the building management and moving company as soon as you know the final move-in date. Make sure you know building requirements such as hours and freight elevator access.
4.     Set up required accounts and address changes
10 – 15 days before move-in date
After lease signing, call your local utilities to set up accounts. This list may include Gas, Electric, Phone, Cable and Internet service companies. File a change of address form with the post office and call any of your existing accounts to let them know your new address.