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There are two major ways buildings are owned in most cities. They differ in regards to the approval process you need to go through in order to live in them, as well as other related requirements. Apartments are slightly easier to get into, as condominiums sometimes have associations which govern parts of the application approval process.
Rental Buildings: A single landlord typically owns these properties, which can be rent stabilized or non-rent stabilized depending on the local real estate laws. Landlords typically require the standard paperwork (discussed above) and a credit check, as well as one month’s rent and one month’s security deposit, for you to be approved to move in. The approval process can take anywhere from one day to one week, but usually no longer. It is more likely that maintenance will be left up to the tenant in many cases.
Condominiums: Each unit is individually owned and can either be used as a personal residence or rented out to somebody else as an investment property. Regulations for moving into a condo are set by the board—a governing body for the building made up of individual owners. As long as owners follow the board’s regulations, they can set their own rental price and lease length. Owners will typically require you to furnish the standard paperwork, plus whatever additional information they feel necessary for approval.
Generally the board does not have the right to turn down an applicant that an owner is willing to rent to. Tenants are generally required to pay application and/or board and move–in fees, as well as additional security if required. With a condo, the approval process can take anywhere from one week to one month.
Making a Final Decision
While many renters will immediately walk into a unit and know it’s for them, others have to weigh the pros and cons of multiple units. Here are some important things to consider: