Renter's Guide

new york city building types

In New York there are different types of buildings. These include rental buildings, co-ops and condos. Each of the 3 types of buildings have their own advantages and disadvantages. It's important to know the difference between the three.


In rental buildings there is one owner/landlord who owns the entire building. Depending on the building, the apartment could be a free market or stabilized. With a stabilized apartment the landlord can increase your rent by a small amount, usually 2 to 3 percent, when your lease expires. In a free market apartment the landlord can increase rent any way he or she sees fit when your lease expires. In a rental building the application process is usually one week long and includes a credit check, income check and the first month rent as a security deposit.


Cooperatives or co-ops are usually only found in New York. These buildings are set up as corporations. Instead of one person owning the apartment, people own shares in the building. Regardless if you are a renter or a buyer, attempting to get into a co-op can be one of the hardest things you will ever do. In Manhattan co-ops have strict guidelines and requirements. These buildings can dictate your lifestyle including roommates, pets and more. The approval process for a co-op can take a minimum of a month and can be very extensive delving into your personal background, criminal history, financial stability and more. Applications and move in fees are usually expensive and can vary depending on the co-op.


Condominiums or condos are buildings where individual people own each condo unit or apartment. The owners are flexible and can establish lease terms and rent as they see fit. When preparing to rent a condo expect a 1 to 4 week application process, first month's rent for a security deposit, move-in fees and additional requirements established by the condo board. Condos are usually the most optimistic options for those who have less than ideal credit.