Landlord's Guide

How much can I rent my property for?

The Harlem real estate market is intricate when it comes to rentals, and pricing can vary substantially block-to-block. To add to the complexity, the rental market moves faster than the sales market, changing every 30-45 days. It is best to work with a real estate agent who knows the marketplace very well in order to give you a sense of what rentals are going for in your neighborhood.

How long does it take to find a tenant?

The answer really depends on how much you are asking in rent and the time of year. In general, most apartments can rent anywhere between 15 – 45 days, although it is better to rent you apartments in the spring or early summer, giving you plenty of time to cushion against the “Labor Day cut-off.� After Labor Day, the rental market in NYC falls off considerably and the late fall and winter months can prove in some cases to be a difficult time to rent quickly without offering incentives.

How should I screen my applicants?

Your rental building is a major investment and you should protect its finances as much as you can buy renting to only financially qualified tenants that will be able to comfortably afford for rental payment each month. At Harlem Properties, our rental applications consist of:

  • Application
  • Credit check (including consumer credit, landlord/tenant court history, criminal history, sex offender, and homeland security cross-checking).
  • Past two-year's federal tax returns and accompanying W-2 or 1099 forms
  • Three recent bank statements
  • Letter of employment
  • Four most recent pay stubs

After the application is approved, what happens next?

If the application is approved, we schedule a lease signing date in which the tenant will sign the leases and provide the funds due including, but not limited to, the first month's rent payment, the security deposit (usually 1 month), and the broker fee.

My tenants lease term is ending, can I charge more rent?

If the apartment is a non-stabilized apartment, you are free to charge whatever the market will bear. If it is a stabilized apartment, then you would be subject to the NYC rent stabilization laws. Keep in mind, if it is a great tenant that pays the rent on time and calls infrequently with complaints/requests, they are worth more than their weight in gold. You want to give these tenants incentive to stay by offering some breaks on the rent. If you try exceed market rents and your apartment goes vacant for a month or more, consider the effect on your net rental income for the year and decide whether or not it is worth it.