Searching well in advance of your actual move-in date may seem desirable, but the New York real estate market is unique in its pace. Be prepared to discover that vacancies do not make themselves known until approximately thirty days before move-in. It will be difficult to view an available apartment before this. Any apartment you find well in advance of your desired move-in date will likely not be vacant when you are ready to move. A two to four week period is usually sufficient for an apartment search in New York City.
That being said, you can use the time leading up to your actual search to review online listings, look at neighborhoods, and review market data so that you are prepared and confident when you begin your housing search in earnest.
The most crucial component of apartment hunting in New York City is going into the rental market prepared. Whether you are looking for sublets, apartment rentals, or roommates, there are a variety of factors that you need to consider first. Check out our Glossary page for more information on commonly used terms in the NYC rental market.
Manage your expectations. The newer the apartment, the appliances, the facilities and conveneiences - like proximity to a subway or even NYU, means a higher price. Elevators and a doorman add to the price as well. Be open to the possibility of having to live in Brookly, Queens or even New Jersey to get a better price and more space. Know your wants from your must haves -- more than one bathroom or bedroom, quiet neighborhood, closet space, safety of the neighborhood, building amentieis. Basically, go into your search knowing what you can live with and what you can't live without!
As you begin your search, make sure to include these questions to your own:
Landlords generally approve applicants based on the strength and/or balance of an individual's income, credit, assets, and guarantor. The following are commonly required information and details that will help you prepare for completing an application for an apartment:
*A note for international students: Landlords may ask for three or more months' deposit on an apartment if you do not have a guarantor who is employed in the United States.
Take a look at our pre-recorded presentation on your own time. This presentation will provide you with information on how to navigate this website and make the most of the resources available.
Tenants' Rights information, advocacy organizations for tenants, legal aid, and a "Worst Landlord Watchlist".
A guarantor, also called a co-signor, is someone who is willing to guarantee your lease. The guarantor is responsible for all terms of your lease and guaranties not only your share of the rent but the entire lease - if in a share situation. Below are fee based guarantor's if you do not have someone who can co-sign for you:
Note that NYU is not affiliated with any of those listed above.
A very common way to find an apartment in New York City is through a real estate broker. New York State licenses real estate brokers and salespersons. Brokers charge a commission for their services which is usually a stated percentage of the first year’s rent. The amount of the commission is not set by law and should be negotiated between the parties. The broker must assist the client in finding and obtaining an apartment before a commission may be charged. The fee should not be paid until the client is offered a lease signed by the landlord. The broker may also charge the client a reasonable amount to conduct a credit check. Under the Rent Stabilization Code, a broker’s commission may be considered “rent” in excess of legal rent when there is too close of a business or financial connection between the broker and the landlord.
For a list of brokers, not affiliated with NYU, however provided as they have indicated an interest in working with college students in their search for accommodations, is available under the Apartment Search Links tab.
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