What to Ask Before Renting a Luxury Apartment in NYC


August 27, 2018

As a property owner, you bring a lot to the table. However, that still doesn’t mean you will be able to find a dream tenant easily. Not only is financial profile important, but lifestyle and rental history are key factors to make sure they qualify for approval. We recommend asking some key questions to tenants before renting your luxury apartment.

 

Where they are coming from

  • What neighborhood are you currently renting in?
  • What type of property are you renting? One bedroom? Studio?
  • How long have you lived there?
  • Are you coming from a neighborhood with comparable rent rates?
  • What is your current rent?
  • Why are your leaving that particular lease?

In New York City, location and price are usually the top reasons that tenants change apartments. Understanding these key factors will let you know what the experience with your tenant might be like. These questions will quickly eliminate unqualified renters. Why someone is leaving their current apartment is definitely the top question to ask before renting out your luxury apartment.

 

Where they are going

A woman wearing a grey sweater holding a cardboard box talking to a man with brown hair holding a cardboard box with an iron and a wicker basket inside

  • What is your desired move-in date?
  • Do you have roommates that you would like to bring in?
  • What do you (and prospective roommates) do for a living?
  • How long have you had their current job?

Anyone searching for a luxury apartment in the city will most likely have a high salary. The overall lifestyle of your tenant plays a huge role in how they will care for your property. Consider the differences between renting to a student whose parents are the guarantors, and a single business manager focused on a career. Both can pay the rent without a problem but the wear and tear over time may be drastically different.

 

More than meets the eye

  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you have pets?
  • Will you have guests visiting you from home or overseas?
  • Anyone planning to move into the apartment with you? (e.g. fiancé)

Personal questions are not out of line when renting out your apartment. Feel free to ask anything about your tenant’s lifestyle and future plans. As the owner, you need to protect the quality of your property and its value.

Landlords need to be very clear on what their Airbnb and subletting policies are. Be explicit with tenants about your expectations when friends and family come for long-term visits. Subletting the place is another story. Most luxury buildings do not allow tenants to sublet apartments at all. Even though you are the owner of a unit, the board will have the right to set some ground rules between you and your tenants.

When a tenant gets married or starts a family this can drastically change some of the ground rules and the cost of the rent. Most landlords have explicit guidelines in their lease when another person enters the apartment full time or if a room is converted from general living space to an additional bedroom. Try to get the tenant to be upfront about their plans. Get an idea of the next one to two years so that the sound of wedding bells or a baby shower invitation doesn't surprise you.

 

Tough questions

  • Have you ever been evicted?
  • Will there be anything negative in the results of your background check?
  • Have you ever filed for bankruptcy?
  • Will your current landlord give you a good reference, and do they know you are looking to move?

Though they may sound tough, these should be easy questions for a prospective tenant to answer. Hopefully, the answers will be No. No. No. Yes.

Financial difficulties and bad blood with current landlords are huge red flags. These will be the dealbreakers when deciding who you will choose to sign the lease. If you believe that their past troubles will become your future struggles, it is a sign to move on to a new applicant.

 

Money talks

  • Do you make at least 30-40 times the rent?
  • Do you have a guarantor?
  • Are you able to pay a lease application fee when applying for the apartment?
  • Are you able to pay the security deposit at the signing of the lease?

When people budget for their lifestyle, rent is always at the top of the list. A luxury apartment tenant may not think of rent as the ultimate expense. However, it's still an important factor for you to feel secure in your lease. You may have heard the standard “30 times the rent” for renting in New York City. For younger applicants, it may be “40 times the rent” and for some luxury buildings, it may be even higher. Consider the total cost of living (outside of the rent) for your tenant before setting an income threshold. Between living essentials, food, entertainment, travel, and technology how much should your tenant be earning to make the rent a secure part of their budget?  Requiring information about their total earnings including salary and other sources of income are standard. Still, take the time to include more specific financial savvy questions before renting a luxury apartment.

 

Other amenities

  • Cable and Internet needs?
  • Do you have a gym membership?
  • Will you need storage space?
  • Do you require a parking space or a deal on parking in a nearby lot?
  • Do you need regular dry-cleaning services?

These questions may seem driven towards attracting the tenant to sign a lease but they also help tell the story of who your tenant is. Your building may provide Wi-Fi for all your tenants. If the reception is not that great on the 30th or 40th floor though, you should be upfront with the prospective renter about this.

A birds eye view of a parking lot. All of the cars are white and silver and black, while one red car is in the middle, looking for an empty space.

If your building provides amenities like parking and storage, check to see if your tenant will take advantage of these services. Not all questions will be targeted towards whether or not the tenant will be a good fit for you. It is also to show them that what you are offering and validating the rental price you charge.

Alternatively, you can work with a company like Blueground. They find and screen prospective tenants so you don't have to. They sign the lease for long-term rentals, so you can feel completely secure. No matter what, you will always get your rent on time!


We use cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn more

I accept

United States