Apartment Hunting in New York City – Part 2

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And finally, some tips and warnings!


Use Brokers for no-fee apartments and be very clear that you don’t want to see apartments with fees. Some realty companies have arrangements with landlords to show their unit without the tenant having to pay a fee: in these cases it’s the landlord who pays the fee. Sometimes you’ll find that the no broker-fee apartments are in less-than desirable locations, and in poor condition, but these apartments are used to lure customers to other apartments where the tenant IS responsible for the fee. But still, Brokers are a good way to gain access to listings that may not be shown online. Of course this is not always the case and some no-broker fee apartments are very desirable; so think positive, and give every apartment a chance.



Every time you go to inspect an apartment, take all your paperwork with you. If you decide this is the apartment for you, you’ll need to show all your paperwork and make a deposit of (generally) one-month’s rent.

Development and Management Companies

It’s quite common for development and management companies to own many buildings and units, so you’ll probably have a better chance of renting an apartment directly from them, without the need to hire and pay a broker.


It’s quite acceptable to negotiate the Broker’s fee: ask for one month’s free rent: in this economy, your request will probably be granted.

Railroad Apartments

Railroad apartments are very fitting for close friends, or couples, because there’s less privacy in each room. These apartments are usually cheaper because all the rooms are connected in a single line: they’re considered two-bedroom, but you do have to walk through one bedroom to get to the next.

Sharing the Load

When you’re renting an apartment it’s often very helpful to have room-mates to help share the financial load. A studio or one-bedroom apartment in a popular neighborhood can be quite expensive, particularly if you’re making less than $40,000 per year. For the cost and size of an apartment it’s certainly more viable to share it, rather than rent alone.


Sneaky Landlords

Landlords will often create competition by making the one appointment for multiple applicants. If the landlord suggests a specific time for viewing, be warned that this is probably what he’s doing.

Always Protect Yourself!

Now that you’ve found the perfect apartment in New York City (or even Brooklyn or Queens) you’ll be very excited about moving in and getting on with your life. But you still have a legal agreement to sign, so take the time to ensure that you’re protected in the rental agreement. Let the experienced people at George Russo and Associates help with the legal aspect of renting an apartment. We’re your local real estate law firm, and we can help with ensuring that your documents are in order and that you’re legally protected. It’s what we do! And, we offer obligation-free legal advice, so you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

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