We recently signed a lease to rent in UES. Besides the usual credit check, most places in NYC ask for a slew of personal information: bank statements (with balances and account numbers), federal tax return and W-2 copies, letter of employment stating yearly salary, and three character reference letters. (As for the landlord, I only know her name)
I’m told that managed buildings may skip some of these, but the apartment we found is in a condominium. Even though the landlord had already approved us, our broker prepared all the paperwork to a tee for the upcoming condo board review.
He even sent us some anonymized character reference letter samples. Some were quite amusing. For example (emphasis mine):
[…] I have always found him to be serious and responsible about his works [sic] and his private life. His home life is extremely quiet, and I would think ideal for his neighbors. Virtually all of his social gatherings are conducted in restaurants. He travels throughout nine months of the year and would probably be at home for only short periods of time between those trips. And quite frankly, his time at home is usually spent resting as part of his recovery from his traveling and preparation for his next trip. He is just the kind of quiet, unobtrusive neighbor that I would like to have.
I couldn’t help but wonder how many boards went through letters like this one. For a moment or two, I entertained the thought of asking a friend to write a pithy one-liner instead:
Spiros = corpse – odor + money ⇒ Spiros = dream tenant !
but I eventually decided that the “⇒” notation might be too much and dropped the idea altogether.
I just hope those sample letters do not really reflect life in NYC!