Renting an apartment in New York City can be a daunting task. The city’s rental market moves quickly, with many potential renters, students, and young professionals alike, looking to move within or to the city each year. Unprepared renters or those unfamiliar with the NYC rental process can get left behind. Therefore, those who are newer to New York and are looking to rent an apartment must learn more about the rental process and think about what they want for their next home.

Every year, a new wave of renters move to the city to pursue their careers, start school, or immerse themselves in the multitude of cultures different areas offer. Since purchasing property in the city is expensive, many residents rent their apartments and move between several units throughout their time in New York City. Younger and newer residents may start renting with roommates and work up to living independently or starting a family over the years.

With over 20,000 available rentals on RentHop, it is easy to grow overwhelmed by the number of choices. How much does rent truly cost? What’s important when considering where to live? Are there any exceptional circumstances that may influence the type of apartment someone wants to rent? All these questions, and more, should be considered when planning a move.

Depending on preferences, an ideal apartment may be a Chelsea studio or a pet-friendly walk-up in Washington Heights. Each city apartment has its unique neighborhood, with distinct charms and characteristics.

This guide will go through several essential questions to answer before searching for an apartment, then guide renters through the touring, application, and moving process.