Presentation on advice for students planning to rent in New York City

Lauren Carter, agent from the Cooper&Cooper real estate company, shares tips about renting apartment in NYC. (Zhelun Lang/The Daily Campus)

Students at the University of Connecticut learned the basics of finding an apartment in New York City during a real estate presentation at the Dodd Center’s Konover Auditorium Thursday night.

Lauren Carter, an associate with Cooper & Cooper Real Estate, spoke about the keys to finding an apartment in Manhattan as well as avoiding scams.

“At Cooper & Cooper we believe the best apartment for you is the apartment that will help you succeed in your first job out of college,” Carter said.

Carter said she recommends apartments that are within walking distance, or few subway stops at least, for the first year renting so you can be punctual and work hard to impress your employer.

With this in mind, Carter said there are five questions people will be asked by their agent: Who is the apartment for? What size apartment are you looking for? When are you looking to move? Where do you want to live? And how much can you spend?

These five questions are the guiding parameters to find the apartment that fills the needs of students looking to move to the Big Apple.

Manhattan has different options in terms of pricing and neighborhoods. The financial district (where Wall Street is located), Midtown West and the Upper East Side offer some apartments that can give you more for your money.

“Nothing in New York is cheap but you might get a little more bang for your buck in those three places,” Carter said.

The New York real estate market moves extremely quickly so it’s essential for people looking to rent to move fast and have all the necessary documents in line.

“You can find an apartment that you like in one day,” Carter said.

For Carter the most important part of the apartment hunt is the application paperwork.

“Not being paperwork-ready is the No. 1 reason people lose in their first choice of apartment,” Carter said.

The documents needed are an offer letter signed by human resources, pay stubs if you have them, bank statements (checking and savings accounts), photo ID and the first two pages of your tax return.

Prospect tenants should also consider paying an application fee which can range from $50 to $100 dollars and takes the apartment off the market.

In New York City the laws heavily side with tenants and because of this landlords take precautions before renting an apartment.

Carter said landlords will want to see that your income is 40 to 45 times your monthly rent. In other words, if you are looking for a $2,000 apartment, landlords are looking for someone who makes $80,000 annually.

There are ways to work around this such as paying more for a security deposit, pre-pay rent or have a guarantor.

“Throw money at the problem and it will most likely go away,” Carter said.

Carter warns students of shady things that happen in the “Big Apple:” Never pay for a tour, never pay cash and always get receipts, Some people make up apartments and post fake adds on the internet, so if it sounds too good to be true it probably isn’t real.

Carter said some brokers will underprice apartments and hook you in something you can’t afford.

Typical price ranges for apartments are: studios $1,900 to $3,000, one bedroom: $2,400 to $4,000, two beds $3,000 to $6,000 and three bedrooms go for more than $6,000.


Daniela Marulanda is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at daniela.marulanda@uconn.edu.