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Can I Get An Apartment In NYC Without A Job?

The New York property rental market can be cut-throat. With the city having famously high rent and living expenses, finding an affordable apartment can be a huge challenge in itself. So, what happens if you don’t have a job? Is it impossible for the unemployed to find an apartment in NYC?

The good news is – while it might be more difficult – you can get an apartment in NYC without a job. To help you on your journey to finding your new place, Roomi has laid out some possible avenues for you to try, so you know what to expect and how you can strengthen your chances. We can help you find a room, but it’s down to you to make sure you don’t get landed with a roommate that’s a slob!

Be prepared to shop around

Arriving in New York with nothing but a dream might be the stuff of movies, but in reality, patience and preparation are key. Trying to secure a new apartment without a job is likely to take much longer than if you could prove your financial security on a long-term basis, so make sure you have somewhere reliable to base yourself during the search.

The safest option is to stay with family or friends, but your current landlord might be able to offer a month-to-month lease if your current lease is due to run out. 

Know what landlords prefer

While a career and a solid history of pay slips is one of the primary things landlords expect when considering your application, there are other important factors that can determine if you’d be a reliable tenant. Not working at the moment? Be prepared to ramp up your eligibility in some other areas.

You’ll be in with a chance if you have:

  • Lots of savings. It’s important that you can show you can financially support yourself, even if your current stream of income has been paused. You’ll set a positive foundation if you can show that you’re capable of holding down employment and are sensible with your money. If you can prove that you have enough funds to cover six months of rent, you may just get accepted.
  • Proof of future employment. If you’re due to start a new job in the next month or two, a letter of employment or signed contract will increase your chances of being accepted for the apartment you want.
  • A good credit score. Having a great credit score puts you in a better position when being considered for a property. It proves that you pay bills on time and can manage your finances well. Keep your credit score high by always paying rent on time, too.
  • A guarantor. A guarantor is a friend or relative that can act as the financial guarantee when it comes to paying rent. They must have an excellent credit score and an income of 80-100 times the monthly rent, and will be required to fill out an application and provide financial proof as supporting documents. 

Consider looking into a sublet

New York’s Multiple Dwelling Law governs the terms people have to follow in order to sublet their property. Most tenants do have the right to sublet their apartment and, while they have to get permission from their landlord, the landlord has to have a good reason to refuse their request.

Subletting might be a feasible avenue for you while you find your feet in terms of employment, as it generally renews every month and means you don’t have to commit to a 12-month lease. You’ll still have the same sort of rights as if you were straight-up renting, and your sublet should be a formal agreement between yourself, the tenant (or leaseholder) and the landlord.
Apps like Roomi make it easy to find flexible rental agreements, so you can find safe, legal sublets and leases with roommates that are vetted by us first. That means finding an affordable place you love in NYC could happen faster than you thought!