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  #1  
Old 03-21-2007, 02:07 PM
pbbth pbbth is offline
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How To Get An Apartment Without A Job in Hand

Approximately 8 weeks from now I will be packing up my stuff and heading to NYC. It is very exciting and I have been applying for jobs and such for a looong time now, but the problem I am running into is that no one will even talk to you if you don't live in the city. I borrowed my friend in NYC's address and put that on my resume and it has helped (with her permission of course) but alas everyone I talk to says something like, "Well, when you get settled in the city give us a call and we can get started on the interview process."

I just spoke with an apartment finder so when I go to the city on April 24th I can find a place to live and get settled in the city so all these employers will calm down and actually interview me, and he said to get an apartment I will need my last 3 bank statements, my last 3 paycheck stubs, a $50 nonrefundable application fee, a completed application and a letter from my employer in NYC stating my starting salary.

So basically it appears I can't get an apartment without a job and I can't get a job without an apartment. Fuck. How in the world am I supposed to do this? Do I need to sublet for a month when I get there and essentially move twice in 30 days? Do I need to tell them my current company is relocating me and I will be keeping the same job even though it isn't true just so they will let me rent an apartment? Do I need to offer to pay the first 4 or 5 months rent up front to get in the door and hope I don't get screwed by a landlord who won't fix anything or help me in any way since they got a huge up front payment? I have plenty of money in savings set aside specifically because I anticipated it taking a while to get set up but I don't know how that is going to help me if they need my blood type and a colonoscopy to even consider renting an apartment to me. So Dopers, how do you think I should handle this?

(BTW, this is the direct opposite of everything TV and movies have taught me. In everything I have ever seen about NYC people moving there show up with nothing but a few dollars in their pocket and a guitar on their back and have no problem finding a job or place to live. Maybe it is because I am not an entertainer? )
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  #2  
Old 03-21-2007, 02:13 PM
Alma Alma is offline
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The only thing I could do when I moved to Chicago was get my dad to co-sign the lease, which he wasn't thrilled about, but it was only the first year and I paid on time. It was pretty damned annoying though, some places wouldn't talk to me.
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  #3  
Old 03-21-2007, 02:15 PM
Elza B Elza B is offline
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I moved up to NYC without proof of a new job, but I also had a very understanding landlord and a roommate (not that my roommate could pay my rent, but he did all of the legwork for us, and found our landlord). I just used my prior job as a reference.

Then again, this was in '99, so it may have been a little easier back then.

I'd negotiate and ask if 2-3 months of rent in advance as a security deposit might be in lieu of a letter from a current position. Tell them you're job hunting and can't be hired at the places you want to work until you're actually in the city, but you anticipate having a job within 1-2 weeks of moving.

I hate NYC housing games. I know they're trying to cover their asses, but seriously...it's a pain in the ass.

E.
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Old 03-21-2007, 02:16 PM
Eureka Eureka is offline
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Do you have a parent or sibling or someone who has a job who would be willing to co-sign your lease with you? Exact procedures vary, but this is my second apartment (not in NYC) where my Dad's income assures the rental office that my rent will be paid, rather than my actual income. The informal agreement is that if the rental office people ever come after my parents for the rent, my parents get to come down on me like a ton of bricks, but that has not been a problem so far.
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  #5  
Old 03-21-2007, 02:20 PM
cher3 cher3 is offline
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Not NYC, but when we went to the Bay Area as graduate students, we were in a similar position. The best method we found was to look for places that are managed by the owner. You want to get in front of someone who doesn't have to answer to anyone.
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  #6  
Old 03-21-2007, 02:25 PM
friedo friedo is online now
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What kind of jobs are you applying to where they won't consider out-of-towners? When I got my first job in NYC, I was still living at home in the wilderness of northern Westchester, waking up at ten to six to catch the train. After securing the job, getting an apartment in Queens was easy.
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  #7  
Old 03-21-2007, 02:37 PM
pbbth pbbth is offline
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Well, it isn't that they won't consider out of towners so much as they won't consider someone who is moving 1500 miles to be there. Dallas is REALLY far out of town! I'm sure they have heard the "I'm moving to New York!" bit from hundreds of people who are half assed about it and know they are not really moving so I'm sure they would rather wait until I get to the city. It makes perfect sense. It is a huge pain in my ass though.

I would rather my parent's not have to co-sign for me. I am an adult and they shouldn't have to do that. If it comes down to it though I am sure they will and will probably be the only way for me to get an apartment but I don't want to have to ask them for that.
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  #8  
Old 03-21-2007, 02:37 PM
Rigamarole Rigamarole is offline
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Another possibility is finding temporary acommodations (how much stuff do you have packed up?). I did that when I came out to L.A. for the second time, I stayed at this place which was not a hotel but more like a hostel - it was less expensive than a hotel and they charged you by the week. They had internet access and I spent all day looking for both apartments and jobs simultaneously.
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  #9  
Old 03-21-2007, 02:40 PM
Elza B Elza B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigamarole
Another possibility is finding temporary acommodations (how much stuff do you have packed up?). I did that when I came out to L.A. for the second time, I stayed at this place which was not a hotel but more like a hostel - it was less expensive than a hotel and they charged you by the week. They had internet access and I spent all day looking for both apartments and jobs simultaneously.
Good point. I apologize, pbbth, since I don't know if you're male or female, but if you're a female, there's a women's residence on the East Side around 30th - 34th Street - I can't remember the name of it, but I did know someone who lived in it for awhile before finding her own apartment, and she said it was very nice - safe, comfortable, and clean. It's a nice stopgap while you get a job and an apartment.

I'm sure similar lodgings exist if you're male, I'm just not familiar with them.

E.
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  #10  
Old 03-21-2007, 02:50 PM
pbbth pbbth is offline
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I am a girl so I'm sure I could do the temp housing thing, but I have a cat I am bringing with me. I would need a temporary place where I could bring my kitty because he is more important to me than most people. Also I have a roommate who is going with me but she is also in Dallas right now and we will be moving up to NYC together. I thought about getting a cheap hotel room for a week or two but every hotel I find that is less than $100/night has reviews online that mention bedbugs and I am not down with that.
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  #11  
Old 03-21-2007, 02:56 PM
DVsickgirlDV DVsickgirlDV is offline
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This happened to me when I moved to L.A. My dad had to cosign and I had to pay 2 months rent up front - not including the rent I would have to pay for the first month. (So total, I had to fork over 3 months rent to move in). Paying up front is probably going to be your best bet.
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  #12  
Old 03-21-2007, 03:06 PM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbbth
(BTW, this is the direct opposite of everything TV and movies have taught me. In everything I have ever seen about NYC people moving there show up with nothing but a few dollars in their pocket and a guitar on their back and have no problem finding a job or place to live. Maybe it is because I am not an entertainer? )
Well, more often than not the people in those movies live in a Lower East Side shithole walk-up.

The reason that landlords do this is that, generally, it's pretty tough to come up with $2,000 a month in rent if you don't have any income.

Last edited by msmith537; 03-21-2007 at 03:06 PM..
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  #13  
Old 03-21-2007, 03:11 PM
sugar and spice sugar and spice is offline
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Most people I've known who have been in your situation in NYC has found a roommate share or a sublet on craigslist. You'll have more options if you look at situations where your name won't actually be on the lease, since financially its less of a risk for whoever is letting you in. If you do want a lease, a cosigner is your best bet , but a few years ago I was offered an apartment in Queens just on good credit (I was a student) so it might be possible to get something without a cosigner. And if you haven't done so yet, read up on the rent stabilization system in NYC, it will explain a lot. Good luck.

Last edited by sugar and spice; 03-21-2007 at 03:13 PM..
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  #14  
Old 03-21-2007, 03:17 PM
friedo friedo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbbth
Well, it isn't that they won't consider out of towners so much as they won't consider someone who is moving 1500 miles to be there. Dallas is REALLY far out of town!
Ah, OK. That makes more sense. Having never been in that situation, I can't think of any advice to offer, though. Good luck. NYC is worth the struggle.
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  #15  
Old 03-21-2007, 07:15 PM
cerberus cerberus is offline
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Given the cost and stress associated with booting a deadbeat rent non-paying squatting "tenant", it makes sense for a landlord to want to hedge their bets. Then again, having employment at the point of signing the lease is no guarantee that the renter will keep that job either.
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  #16  
Old 03-21-2007, 07:19 PM
Richard Parker Richard Parker is offline
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!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sugar and spice
Most people I've known who have been in your situation in NYC has found a roommate share or a sublet on craigslist. You'll have more options if you look at situations where your name won't actually be on the lease, since financially its less of a risk for whoever is letting you in. If you do want a lease, a cosigner is your best bet , but a few years ago I was offered an apartment in Queens just on good credit (I was a student) so it might be possible to get something without a cosigner. And if you haven't done so yet, read up on the rent stabilization system in NYC, it will explain a lot. Good luck.

Bingo! Just be sure to find a legal sublet (or be willing to face the consequences).
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  #17  
Old 03-21-2007, 08:43 PM
pbbth pbbth is offline
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I am thinking subletting might be a good idea for the first month or so that I am there, but I really don't want to move twice in such a short period of time! When one sublets an apartment does it usually come furnished or would I have to move all of my stuff to the city and then across the city again after I get a job?
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  #18  
Old 03-21-2007, 10:56 PM
Richard Parker Richard Parker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbbth
I am thinking subletting might be a good idea for the first month or so that I am there, but I really don't want to move twice in such a short period of time! When one sublets an apartment does it usually come furnished or would I have to move all of my stuff to the city and then across the city again after I get a job?
There are both kinds. I think furnished is slightly more frequent.
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  #19  
Old 03-22-2007, 02:47 PM
Johnny Hildo Johnny Hildo is offline
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How much money do you have saved? When I moved to Minneapolis from out of town, I didn't have a job and the apartment I was looking at required you to have a job. I did however have enough cash saved to be able to pay for an entire six-month lease up front. The apartment manager made an exception for me.
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  #20  
Old 03-22-2007, 03:08 PM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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How much rent can you put up front. If you can pay three months in advance, plus security, you might have a chance.
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  #21  
Old 03-22-2007, 05:51 PM
pbbth pbbth is offline
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I have 8 grand or so saved for moving so I could pay for a 6 month lease up front but my fear is that then I leave myself no recourse for any problems that would arise since the landlord already has their money. I suppose it would only be for 6 months though so that might work out okay.
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  #22  
Old 03-22-2007, 06:06 PM
Antinor01 Antinor01 is online now
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This happened to us when we moved to LA. We found an apartment manager that was willing to accept paystubs from our jobs in Ohio as proof of income as well as bank statements showing that we had cash in the bank.
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  #23  
Old 03-22-2007, 06:31 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbbth
I have 8 grand or so saved for moving so I could pay for a 6 month lease up front but my fear is that then I leave myself no recourse for any problems that would arise since the landlord already has their money. I suppose it would only be for 6 months though so that might work out okay.
When I moved to NYC the apartment did not actually make us *pay* upfront for 6 months, just prove that we could (excellent credit helps). It was a nerve-wracking process, though.

Last edited by Hello Again; 03-22-2007 at 06:32 PM..
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  #24  
Old 03-22-2007, 08:02 PM
pbbth pbbth is offline
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Well I do have excellent credit so maybe all they will need is proof that rent can be paid. I guess I will find out one way or the other when I go up to find an apartment in april.
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  #25  
Old 03-22-2007, 09:10 PM
ouryL ouryL is offline
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Sorry

I read this as "How To Get An Apartment Without A Hand Job."

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  #26  
Old 03-22-2007, 11:03 PM
boytyperanma boytyperanma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbbth
I have 8 grand or so saved for moving so I could pay for a 6 month lease up front but my fear is that then I leave myself no recourse for any problems that would arise since the landlord already has their money. I suppose it would only be for 6 months though so that might work out okay.
When I trying to find apartments in Fairfax VA I ran into problems because I had no previous rental history. Once I offered 6 months rent up front they were happy to over look my lack of history. You can have the money put in an account with an appropriate contract so they can't run off with your money and you can't bail on your rent.
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