Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apartment Ads In New York

November 9, 2012

Daniel asks…

How do i market my home cleaning business online?

I live in New York City “Harlem” and im trying to start a cleaning business “house, apartments.” and i need some advice on how to market it. I opened a Craigslist account but i don’t know exactly what to put in my ad. The name i chose to call it is Maid-In-Harlem. Can anyone help

Administrator answers:

I would also include a toll free number on your ads. People will be more likely to buy from you because: a) A toll free makes you look more professional and b) It encourages people to call you. I recommend searching for a number at I’m sure you can find something with “MAID” or “CLEAN” in it. I guarantee it will boost your profile. It worked for me.

David asks…

How does my story sound so far?

It was a cold, dreary morning in New York City, and I was walking, hands stuffed in coat pockets, to my old apartment – my first apartment, and also, the first and only place I ever really felt at home at. I hadn’t seen the place in ages, and I had the sort of anxiety one might have visiting an old friend. I guess it was because in the back of my mind, I was hoping that as soon as I got there, I would, indeed, find an old friend waiting inside. I was hoping that as soon as I would climb the stairs of that little brownstone, I’d get to the door, Apt. No. 4, insert the key, but before I could turn it, the door would swing open and I’d see none other than Ellie Spinelli standing there, smiling, waiting happily for my return. Of course, that was impossible. I hadn’t even seen or heard from Ellie since I left New York, shortly after my twenty-first birthday, a very distant memory now.
Really, the only reason I was even returning to New York was to recapture that part of my youth, which wasn’t much of a youth at all. Well, I lived in the fast-paced, never-ending way that a young adult does or at least should, but I realized later on in my life that most of that time was spent in utter misery and heartache, caused by none other than the infamous Miss Ellie Spinelli, Miss Ridiculous Name, Miss Ridiculous in Every Single Way.
In fact, I don’t think New York would’ve even been that special to me had it not been for Ellie. When I arrived in the city, I was transfixed by all the possibilities, but I realized right away that New York was just a shallow mess of concrete and noise. I was twenty when I bought my first apartment there. I had abandoned my banal existence in a small town in Kansas, where I grew up. I graduated from college in Wichita and feeling as though I was merely drifting in the empty sky above corn fields and feeling complete nothingness, I scraped up what little dough I had made from working on my uncle’s farm every summer and set out for New York. I spent my time before that purchasing New York newspapers and circling every ad for available apartments, at least ones in my price range. I had won a small prize in a journalism contest my last year before graduation and I used this to supplement the purchase of a small, one-bedroom apartment. I said nothing to my family about this, they would’ve said I was crazy and tried to stop me, which they did when I packed up my things one lazy Sunday afternoon and headed into town to board my bus.
As soon as I got to New York, I had a job interview waiting for me (I really had planned everything out). It was with a prestigious newspaper and although the position was a small one, in my head I imagined quickly impressing my superiors and almost instantaneously rising up the ranks, becoming a valuable reporter and then maybe even a renowned columnist. But really, it wasn’t my dream. I went to school to study journalism, but only because I liked to write and it seemed to be the most realistic possibility for me to do so. I had always wanted to be a real writer, an author, but I lacked true inspiration and I knew this, so I settled for writing the news.
If Ellie ever taught me anything, it was never settle.
Nonetheless, I was excited by all that seemed to await me. I walked into the establishment, every bit of me looking shined and polished, clean-cut, slicked-back and well-mannered. I dished out my qualifications to a Mr. Weinstein – a man who gave off the appearance and demeanor of a man who just stuffed himself on Thanksgiving – and he seemed none to impressed with me, but somehow I managed to land the job. I was now Robert Zimmerlee, budding journalist.
So my first few weeks in New York seemed wonderful, at least wonderful in that I was finally experiencing something different. I felt free and took satisfaction on my going out on a limb by coming there. I didn’t regret a thing. My apartment wasn’t as bad as I had expected it to be. To be honest, I imagined rats and complete squalor because of my lack of very sufficient funds, but the area really wasn’t that bad, except for being loud and bustling, and still even with all those people, it was a little lonely. The apartment was dark and cramped, but it was mine and that’s all that mattered to me.
When I wasn’t working, I spent almost all of my time inside my apartment, hunched over an ancient computer struggling to find something worth writing about that wasn’t news. I wrote a few short stories. One was about a man who moved into an old house, only to find it was haunted by the ghost of a little girl. He became so invested with her, that he soon started to forget she was a ghost until he finally became so obsessed he went completely mad.

thats all I could fit on here but does it sound good so far?

Administrator answers:

You should never start a story, or a sentence for that matter, with, “It was…” No one will want to keep reading. You’d probably have better luck getting a teacher or friend to read this for you.

Mark asks…

Is it fraud or illegal to advertise on craigslist?

I was advertising on craigslist for a special on my apartment complex. They had a bonus where I receive 250 bucks as well as the person signing the lease. I got calls and gave them the info as well as any info that I knew about the apartments. The manager asked one of the referrals and they said that they heard of me through craigslist. He then called me pretending to be an interested party. I explained the situation and he then said he was the manager and threatened that I was committing fraud. I have no idea if this is illegal. He told me to remove the ads immediately, which I did. I am trying to figure out how this is fraud or illegal in any way. The apartment does not advertise on craigslist and the only thing it states on the flyer for the promo is “refer a friend in April and each of you get $250 after they sign the lease. Checks mailed one to two weeks after lease signing.” I am not going to tick the guy off, after all I am moving out in a few months and he can really screw me over with the damage bill, which is why I removed the ads. I live in New York if there is specific laws per state.

Administrator answers:

The law is that you are not allowed to pay money to anyone who does not have a real estate license with the state of New York. The law does not want people making money ($250 is good pay) without the license.

There are exemptions for leasing “referrals” but they are smaller than $250. The exemption is in the process of being changed. It is possible that it is now legal for you to pay $250. The worry is that you end up paying one person $10,000 in one year for 40 referrals. At some point the person receiving the money is acting like a realty agent. The information will be updated at the Dept Of Real Estate website.

James asks…

My landlord is forcing me to sublet a room I don’t have a lease for; what are my options?

While I asked about the legality of a lease without my signature and confirmed that it’s null and void without one, my landlord is now forcing me to post an ad for subletting the room on craigslist. Not only is he making me use outdated information about the room and apartment, the pictures and everything on his website are old and don’t reflect the room or apartment as it looks now.

This is in the state of New York, in Brooklyn. I’m heading to the Department of Housing about the fact that this is an illegal cellar apartment according to New York State Housing Law, but can I also call harassment on this case? This guy’s starting to really disturb me.

Administrator answers:

Without a lease signed by both you and the landlord, you are considered a month-to-month tenant. Therefore you don’t need to sublet. If I were you I’d simply give a 30-day notice and move out. Let your landlord deal with finding a new tenant.

Richard asks…

Renting from the lease holder?

I moved in to a room in New York within an apartment with no written contract but the initial ad said he’s looking for someone who will stay for at least 3 months. I paid one month’s rent as a deposit and am suppose to pay the first month’s rent tonight. The landlord saw me move in and got mad at the lease holder because the apartment was not to be shared. The lease holdet apologized to me and said that he’d work it out with the owner, but can they kick me out or raise the rent before 3 months is up? If so, is there any way I can be reimbursed of the moving cost/time?

Administrator answers:

You have no written contract with the lease holder however, a verbal agreement can hold up in Court if it came to that. For me, I would avoid Court and move on, it would be less stress and less costly.

Can they kick you out?

I wouldn’t want to stay with a room mate if they didn’t want me! Anything could go wrong in that situation.

The landlord cannot kick you out for being a guest, you have no written agreement with them. The landlord can evict the lease holder for breaking the lease and then evict you as an unauthorized occupant along with the renter.

Did you change your address and drivers license to this apartment?
If you did, then you are legally claiming this place as your residence.
The landlord would have to go through the eviction process to force you to move out along with the lease holder.

Reimbursements for moving costs and time?

No way, not unless you want to try to sue for damages. What are the damages?
If you had prepared a written lease and your agreement was broken, then you could have grounds for a refund. But you could tell a story to the lease holder and ask him for money to move out, it would be a long shot.

Hopefully your lease holder will work something out with the landlord for your three month stay.
Introduce yourself to the landlord and maybe you could work something out with them too.

In the mean time, be on the look out for another place to live.
Get it in writing and if its a shared apartment, check in with the landlord now that you have this experience.

Suggestion: Buy the landlord a gift of Cookies or something small and inexpensive, with your apologies. Landlords are usually fair, but tend to be firm when lease rules are broken intentionally.
It wasn’t your fault, it’s the lease holders fault for knowing accepting an “unauthorized occupant” (as stated in some leases).

Gifts and pleasantries could possibly get you a warm welcome for your three month stay.

Best of luck on this one,

Joe Trometer

Joseph asks…

please help with grammar correction for my letter?

As I look back at my classified ad for leasing an apartment, I feel that my ad is unique. I remember I used to read a book about land development and in the book there was a little biography about a woman who enters into the real estate industry. Well actually it was the only biography about a woman in the land developing industry inside that textbook.
The lady describes her first experience in New York City where for her job; she had to write a classified ad for a room to be rented out. She spent her nights thinking about how she could stand out from other ads and as she reflected about her experience, she pointed to a story that I will always remember. The lady used to work a diner in her small town. In the diner there was a co-worker of her who received a lot of attention due to her “assets”. So this lady feel that because she didn’t have big boobs and people didn’t want to sit in her section, she went crying to her mom one day. Her mom just replied that she should do something to make herself be unique. So, she started to wear her hair into pigtails and provided the best customer service she can. People started to coming to her and then she realized what she should do to lease the room.
She got the owner to build walls and door in the small apartment. For her classified ad, she wrote, “ 1 bed room…+ den!…” That story really stick with me because I want to become a real estate developer and I realize that her personality and her ingenious way of distinguishing herself and how she applied that to her ad make me want to make sure my ad stand out too.
I tried to apply that uniqueness by mentioning a meditating room. Which can be a part of a walk-in closet with another door to a small quiet space for mediating. I realize Seattle has a good market for yoga and mediating, and I hope that my ad can come across that market.

Administrator answers:

‘… In the book there was a little biography about a woman who enters into the real estate industry…”

This is past tense to should be “about a woman who entered…”

Again “…The lady describes her first experience…”

Should be “…described her first…”

“So this lady feel that “

Should be “…So this lady felt that…”

“provided the best customer service she can.”

Should be “provided the best customer service she could…”

“People started to coming to her “

Should be “People started coming to her”

“That story really stick with me”

Should be “That story really stuck with me”

” make me want to make sure my ad stand out too.”

“Make me want to make sure my ads stand out too” or “Make me want to make sure my ad stands out too”

Charles asks…

Do I have a chance with this girl?

There’s a girl I met at the gym, she is 22 I am 24. She is a relative of my workout partner and has been training with us. I really am attracted to her, and you can see a lot of other guys are too. I really like being around her, she’s pretty, smart, whitty, respectful and well mannered. She is going to be a lawyer and lived in NY City where she went to a really good school. She inquired about me to her friend, and was surprised to find out I lived with my parents still and said I must hate it that I cant have any girls over… I work full time at an ad agency and just bought a new car, but can’t afford an apartment yet. And I feel really bad because I feel like this girl would need a guy who makes good money since she is so used to living a “posh” new york lifestyle with her lawyer friends. She is getting an apartment in Boston now and her grandparents are paying for it. Must be nice, even though we are attracted to each other it feels like It wouldn’t work because of the different lifestyles. I can tell she’s attracted to me and there’s chemistry but do I really stand a chance, she could get anyone she wants!

Administrator answers:

First rule of finding a girl, you can’t put yourself down. If there is true love involved, money or looks or anything like that doesn’t matter. I know it sounds cliche but it’s what’s on the inside that matters. You need to believe that deep down and have some confidence. Good Luck

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