What Documents Do You Need When Apartment Hunting?

If you are looking for an apartment you will need the following documents when submitting an application

Landlords require certain documentation to rent an apartment. In NYC their requirements are bit more strict than other areas of the country. Besides having good credit and making 40x the monthly rent, you will have to submit the following documents.

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

2. Letter from employer stating position, salary and length of employment (or start date if you have not yet started)

3. Last two pay stubs

4. Last two months’ bank statements

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

6. Last two years’ tax returns

7. Two personal reference letters

8. Two business reference letters

9. Verification of other assets such as real estate, securities, or any other income

I always recommend having a PDF version of everything together so you can quickly send it to a landlord if you are submitting an application. Some landlords are not as strict and don’t require everything mentioned below. 1-5 are always required, so make sure you have that prepared. As for the rest of the list, it would be in your best interest to have it readably available if needed. If you are renting in a co-op then be prepared to submit all the documents listed. They have very strict requirements and usually require a high application fee.


  1. […] When you are submitting the application you will be providing all your documentation. Click here to find out what documents you […]

  2. Payel says:

    I am from India, I am a fashion designer, currently not working (take a break). I was thinking of moving to NYC & then finding a job (for a few years). But after reading this post I feel a little discouraged as I would not be able to produce any official statements or letters. So does that mean I cannot get an apartment for rent ?

    1. Perfect Strangers says:

      Hello! There are a few ways you can go around finding apartment without having to provide all these documents. 1- you can sublet or 2. you can find a less strict landlord 3. you can provide more money upfront in security rent.

  3. Jacqueline says:


    I been looking for a 1 bedroom apartment in Queens. The problem is that every where I go the realtors have told me that my income is too low. My fiancé is moving from the UK and he’s income isn’t valid. I’m not sure what to do. Is there any advice you can suggest?

    1. Perfect Strangers says:

      1. Find an apartment that is cheaper- to figure out what you can qualify for, divide your salary by 40
      2. Temporarily sublet an apartment until your fiancé gets here. You will be able to find an apartment together with both your income combined
      3. If you have some money in savings, you can offer to pay additional months upfront in rent.

  4. Nicole says:

    I love your site! My husband and I have been preparing to move to NYC from Minneapolis for the last 2 years and are getting very close. We have owned our home for the last 8 years so I assume that we won’t need any prior landlord information – just some kind of proof that we’ve paid our mortgage on time for the last 8 years? Also, are business references from our current employer or past employers or simply business professionals who know us but we have not necessarily worked for?

    1. Perfect Strangers says:

      Hi Nicole! Since you own your own home, the landlord will most likely want to see what your mortgage payments are. Business references can be anyone that’s worked with you in the past in a professional setting. You’ll find most landlords don’t actually require business references, but sometimes they do! For more questions, feel free to email me directly!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>