So you’re gonna sign a lease

14 Feb

This is the first in a series where my friends over at PostGrad Apartments and I will be periodically running each other’s blog posts so even more new New Yorkers can be exposed to the helpful tips they’ll need as newcomers to the city.

Today, the basic terminology you need to navigate your way through signing your first lease! Before you move, you hear a lot about rent control, guarantors and the like. Don’t let it scare you. It’s not the sexiest thing ever, but it’s highly useful stuff. Here’s a great primer to get you started:

So you found an apartment and have already started planning how you’ll fit everything in your closet. But before you can move in, you have to sign your new lease. Even the smartest people get overwhelmed during this process. There are so many new phrases and terms being thrown at you that you begin to wonder if your broker is even speaking English.

Here are some common  lease terms that you’ll hear:

  • Guarantor – Most postgrads moving to the city don’t have the required money (40x the rent) in their bank account to afford an apartment.  That’s where your parents step in and serve as a Guarantor. They usually have to have 80x the rent to be able to co-sign with you.
  • Standard Lease – Basic 12 month lease.
  • Rent Stabilized Lease – Lease says exactly how much the rent will increase if the tenants choose to re-rent the next year.
  • Rent Controlled Lease – Rent stays the same for a specified amount of time.
  • Lessee – Tenant (you!)
  • Lessor – Landlord
  • Addendum – Extra items added to the lease such as lock-out charges.

PostGrad Apartments helps recent graduates and young professionals find affordable rentals in New York City. Our blog is filled with information on everything from apartment hunting to throwing a birthday party to shopping for kitchen essentials.


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