Can a non-US citizen or person without a social security number rent an apartment in New York City?
First you cannot be turned down for an apartment just because of your alienage or citizenship status. (Please refer to the Fair Housing Notice links on the top and bottom of this page.). Also note that income is income and you cannot be discriminated against on the source of your income.
Second, there is a common fallacy that people who don't have social security numbers are invisible to background and credit checks. This is not true. (It once was, but it isn't any more!)
Of course, all of this does not mean that students and people without social security numbers don't run into glitches here and there. Many do, but the right agent should be able to make sure that those clients are put in the hands of landlords who play by the rules that are already in place to protect all people who seek housing in NYC.
As for me, here's how I help my clients...
So whether you're a student or visitor from abroad, please don't give up and if you need my help please feel free to get in touch with me today.