Monday, January 17, 2011

New York: Home of the 82 page rental app for a $2400-mo studio apartment

Eduardo Espirito Santo, a sociable graduate of the University of Richmond who comes from a prominent Portuguese banking family, would seem like a stable enough tenant. Even in a slow economy, he landed a summer internship at the Atlantic Council in Washington and this month started a second internship at a financial firm in New York City.

But these qualifications were not enough for a few Manhattan landlords he tried to rent from, partly because he did not want a one-year lease. So Mr. Espirito Santo had to jump through even more hoops than the typical Manhattan renter.

Even in a city where residents constantly come and go, most landlords rarely agree to leases of less than a year. This has become a problem for recent graduates that are having trouble landing permanent jobs and do not want to commit for 12 months.

“Maybe 15 to 20 percent of the kids getting employed right now are getting internships that may lead to that full-time job,” said Blair Brandt, whose referral company, the Next Step Realty, introduced Mr. Espirito Santo to Tony Caputo of Citi Habitats.

In December, Mr. Caputo brought Mr. Espirito Santo to see some studio apartments with six-month leases. The first two apartments Mr. Espirito Santo liked demanded application fees so high that even the broker thought they bordered on predatory. One landlord demanded Mr. Espirito Santo pay $300 a month in utilities in addition to a $500 credit check and application fee. Another wanted Mr. Espirito Santo to pay a $300 application fee and to use the temporary furniture company of his choice.

When Mr. Espirito Santo found a sunny, furnished, 15th-floor studio at London Terrace Towers, a complex of a half-dozen buildings on West 23rd Street where studios in his buildings typically rent for $2,400 to $2,600 a month, he decided to go for it.

But since he would be subletting in a co-op, Mr. Espirito Santo was handed an 82-page application that required him to give detailed information about employment history, income, educational background and even “name of organizations to which Applicant belongs.” He had to provide detailed accounts of his assets, liabilities, stocks, bonds and real estate holdings, along with information about his cash, money market funds and investments. He also had to get three personal references including his most recent landlord in Washington within four days.

“It was just a nightmare,” he said. “I’ve never had to do anything like this before.”
Read the rest here.


Unknown said...

Am I the only person who realized that is name is "Mr Holy Spirit"?

Anonymous said...

Good griefs. More tragic things have happened than a rich kid going through such a "nightmare".

John (Ad Orientem) said...

I think you are missing the point. The issue is not the kid's wealth or lack thereof. The issue is that he is applying for a short term lease on a studio apartment, not for a job with the CIA. I don't care how much money you have or don't have. An 82 page application for an apartment lease is unreasonable. And some of the questions are way over the top.

If you can't come up with a two or at most three page application form upon which you could make a reasonably informed decision to rent (or not) to someone, then you need to find another line of work.

Michael said...


You are absolutely correct. This is another example of the hysterical nature of American society today. Americans, in general, have become a gigantic herd of spooked cattle, ready to stampede at the slightest provocation.

This is what the late Polish psychologist Dr. Andrew Lobaczewski called "The Hysteroidal Cycle." A quick reference to this concept can be found here:

Lobaczewski points out, that the progressive hystericization of society over the course of several generations, leaves a society vulnerable to being taken over by criminals, psychopaths and other character-disordered people. This has unquestionably happened in the United States today.

Sadly, once a society gets to this point, there is no place to go but downhill. Any society (whether the U.S. today, or Weimar Germany or late Romanov Russia) which arrives at such a point has to hit "rock bottom."

I tremble for people of conscience who are stuck in the U.S. Only God can help you through what is coming.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

I'm guessing this is a product of rent-control. Landlords are not allowed to discriminate on price, so they must come up with a way to discriminate on other means.