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New York landlords are more cautious than most and may want certain guarantees when a foreigner without an American credit history wants to lease a home. Although it has happened, the least likely scenario is that he will want a New York resident to co-sign the lease and /or put down an up front security deposit of two or three months rent.

  • Check deposit equal to one-months rent: You will have to have a check in hand to put down a security deposit on-sight when you find an apartment you like. This deposit check in effect holds the apartment for you until your credit check is completed, which usually takes a couple of days. The check will be returned if you choose not to sign the lease. If you do sign, the check will be held as security and returned to you when your lease terminates.
  • Documents the landlord will want to see: A letter from your employer verifying employment, position and salary; passport and Visa; employee ID card; Social security #, US drivers license if you have one.
  • Bank reference: It is not necessary but a very smart idea to have in hand a bank letter written in English from your home countries bank stating you are a customer in good standing.
Checks written at lease signing:
1. Security deposit equal to one months rent
2. First months rent
3. Commission to the real estate broker (varies throughout New York area from 12-15% of the first years rent to the equivalent of one month's rent)

Any foreigner coming in on an H1 Visa should be able to purchase property. You will need to check with different mortgage lenders to determine what procedures they require. A qualified lending source in the NYC area:

Chase Manhattan Bank
350 Park Avenue
New York, New York 10022
Contact: Darin Fink - Second Vice President - 212-527-9221

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