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.Read the rest here.
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.”