Renter's Guide

Renters Guide

The Difference promotes a warm and straightforward work philosophy. We pride ourselves on being neighborhood experts, by gathering up-to-the-minute market data and skillfully forecasting trends—but more invaluably—by using first-hand knowledge and employing the most qualified, professional agents (many who hail from NYC). We are committed to honesty and integrity, and strive to build an amiable, approachable rapport with you as we endeavor to find your perfect space and new home. We understand and are sensitive to the importance of your real estate search and the stress and difficulties that can sometimes come along with it. We aim to make your experience a truly enjoyable one.

What you’ll need to apply for an apartment

It is recommended that you prepare the following documents prior to meeting with an agent in order to streamline the application process. • Work reference letter • Landlord reference letter • 2 recent pay stubs • Most recent tax return • Most recent bank statement • Drivers license or non-drivers license ID or Passport • Guarantor information (if applicable and available through an representative)

Once you are ready to make the commitment to rent an apartment, you will be required to issue a deposit in the form of a money order or certified check. (Sorry, personal checks and cash are not acceptable means of payment.)


New York City landlords typically require a tenant to earn a minimum of forty times (40x) the monthly rent, which means if the monthly rent is $3,000 month, you will need to show a guaranteed income of at least $120,000 per year ($3,000 x 40 = $120,000).

Landlords will also review a copy of your credit report and review a tenant/landlord court record report (ordered by

Don’t despair—if your guaranteed yearly income falls below the landlord’s requirement, other factors may make a lease possible, including income from other sources, housing allowances, or use of a guarantor (see explanation below).


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

Requirements for Guarantors:

The guarantor qualifications are typically eighty times (80) the monthly rent, with a credit review as well. This means that for an apartment that rents at $2,000 a month, a guarantor must show a guaranteed income of at least $160,000 ($2,000 x 80 = $160,000). The guarantor will be required to submit proof of income and will also be required to sign and notarize a rider to the lease. Please note the guarantor will be required to produce the exact same paperwork as the potential tenants.

When to begin your Search

On average, apartments in New York City are available to view by prospective tenants thirty to forty-five days prior to the expiration of the current tenant’s lease.

Rent, security, and any brokerage fees are due at lease signing in the form of certified funds. You may also choose to wire funds into our escrow account via the website. Please speak to your agent for instructions on using these payment methods.