Westchester and Putnam Counties Renters Guide

It is customary for the Landlord to compensate the real estate agent in the amount of one month’s rent. In some markets it is common practice for a Tenant to pay a real estate agents fee. This is generally one month's rent, or 15% of one year's total lease.

It is common to have a Memorandum of Agreement prepared with the terms and conditions to be incorporated into the lease. Landlords in Westchester and Putnam generally require one, possibly two month's rent as a deposit, payable at the time of the signing of the lease, unless other provisions have been worked out by the lesser and the lessee.

Speak to your Douglas Elliman Real Estate rental agent. If you are relocating, call our Relocation Division at (800) 594-0685 (toll free) for counseling and to determine when to come to New York to begin your search. At that time, schedule your appointment. Your needs will be discussed, questions will be answered about the process, and you will be assigned to an agent best matched to your needs and budget.

  1. Organize and prepare the necessary information to bring with you, including:
    • Letter of employment and salary verification (include start date if not yet employed)
    • Bank account numbers (checking and savings), credit card numbers
    • Names, addresses and phone numbers of previous landlords
    • Names, addresses and phone numbers of accountant and attorney, if applicable
    • Names, addresses and phone numbers of personal and business references
    • Tax returns
    • Pay stubs
    • Expected bonus (verification from employer)
    • Additional sources of income with verification
    • Personal identification with photograph - driver's license or passport
  2. If relocating, prepare the necessary funds before coming to New York. Landlords will not accept personal or out-of-state checks. They require certified funds. Anyone renting or relocating must:
    • Try to establish a New York bank account before you begin your search. If this is not possible, bring the necessary funds with you.
    • Bring enough traveler's checks to cover the cost of two (2) month's rent (which must be converted into CERTIFIED CHECKS). This comprises the first month's rent and one (1) month's security deposit.
    • Bring funds to cover the broker's fees if your company is not paying that expense. You, the tenant, in Long Island, pay brokerage fees. These fees are due upon signing of the lease unless your employer is paying the real estate commission for which they will be billed directly.
    • Bring funds to cover a Credit Check: $25 to $50, which can be paid by personal check.
  3. The day of your appointment you will meet with the agent who will be working with you. Then you will be taken to each property that the agent has scheduled for you to see.
  4. When you have made your selection, you will be asked to fill out a rental application and one or more miscellaneous documents. Your agent will negotiate price and lease terms for you. Upon acceptance, a credit report will be done, and your references will be checked.
  5. Leases will be signed and checks presented.

Your Douglas Elliman Real Estate agent will assist you with settling in comfortably once the lease is signed and the move in date established.