Rental Guide & Costs

The rental process begins with a consultation to review all of your requirements so we understand you.

Star Cities recognizes your need for comprehensive resources and fast delivery. Good apartments at reasonable prices tend to move fast in New York City. Our professional agents coordinate the rental process in order to eliminate obstacles and maximize results. We have centralized access to the most comprehensive rental database in New York City and also to the individual landlords whose properties are not always easily visible and with whom we have formed loyal relationships. This power combination ensures you access to the best available properties. Our team provides the preparation necessary to become an approved tenant and find a home that suits your needs at a reasonable price.

To contact a rental specialist please click here.

Additional Rental Information:

Our experience has taught us that clients who spend time familiarizing themselves with the rental process beforehand, and making the necessary preparations, have the strongest potential for success.

There are two crucial steps of preparation. The first is gathering the proper documentation. Many people have missed an opportunity to live in their dream apartment because time was wasted searching for the appropriate paperwork when a property is located, rather than beforehand. The second crucial step is discussing your financial, living, and pet situation with your Star Cities agent prior to your listing search. Time and energy will be wasted if, for example, a bad credit history or a 75-pound dog is not brought to your agent’s attention from the beginning of the process. We can still help you find an apartment, but we need to screen suitable landlords. Whether applying for an apartment in a rental, cooperative or condominium building, you will still most likely need the following documentation. Please gather this information and documentation in advance of your housing search in order to maximize your possibilities: :

            1. Letter from employer stating position, salary and length of employment (or start date if you have not yet started), and any information regarding bonus, guaranteed or otherwise.

            2. Last two pay stubs

            3. Last two years tax returns

            4. Last two months bank statements and any investment accounts

            5. Names, addresses, and phone numbers of previous landlords

            6. Two personal reference letters

            7. Two business reference letters

            8. Verification of other assets such as real estate, securities, etc.

            9. Photo identification (driver’s license, passport, etc.)

Once your personal and financial documentation is in order, you will then be prepared to view and select prospective apartments. Remember, your Star Cities agent will provide you with a wealth of information to assist you in making an informed decision. Ask plenty of questions about neighborhoods, building types, public transportation access, etc as this allows us to provide you with the best possible advice.

Once you find an apartment that suits your needs, you must fill out an application, submit documentation, and pay an application fee. When your Star Cities agent has negotiated agreeable lease terms, a credit report and reference check will be reviewed. Upon final confirmation, you will be asked to sign a lease and settle any outstanding applicable fees.


If you are relocating from outside of New York, prepare your funds ahead of time. Landlords will not accept personal out-of-state checks. Bring your checkbook with you with sufficient funds to cover a $200 - $1000 deposit, and in some cases, two months’ rent, security (one month rent), any brokerage fees (15% of the annual rent is typical), a credit check fee ($20), and any additional fees such as a move-in/move-out fee or building application fee.

Most landlords require that your guaranteed income be between 40 to 50 times the monthly rent. For example, if the monthly rent were $3,000 month, you would need to show a guaranteed income of at least $120,000 per year. ($3,000 x 40 = $120,000).

An estimated bonus may be considered if a documented history of bonuses can be provided or if the bonus is guaranteed. Discuss your financials and potential credit problems with your Star Cities agent in advance. Being on the same page with your relocation agent in regards to your financial situation will save an enormous amount of time and allow an efficient transition. If your guaranteed yearly income falls below the landlord’s requirement, there are other factors that may qualify you as a tenant such as: income from other sources, housing allowances, or the use of a ‘guarantor’ (see explanation below).

For example, Landlords may accept roommates’ combined incomes to determine financial qualification for an apartment. In other words, if the rent for an apartment is $2,500, the landlord would want to see a total income of about $100,000. If both roommates make at least $50,000 annually, they could “combine” their incomes in order to qualify for the apartment. If the landlord does not allow for combined incomes, or if the combined total is not enough, they will require a guarantor or lease co-signer, a person who accepts financial liability in the event you or your roommate fail to pay the rent.

Criteria for Guarantors

Landlords require that guarantors make between 80 to 100 times the monthly rent in annual income. This means that for a $2,000 apartment a guarantor must show a guaranteed income of at least $160,000. ($2,000 x 80 = $160,000)

Most landlords prefer that you use a guarantor from the Tri-State area, e.g., New York, New Jersey or Connecticut. Some landlords are more flexible and will accept guarantors from anywhere in the U.S., but guarantors from Florida and California are usually problematic. If you intend to use a guarantor from outside the Tri-State area, please notify your Star Cities agent before you start your search.