Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apt For Rent In Nyc

September 15, 2012

Helen asks…

Is this man a crook?

My gf and I are apt hunting, using a broker.
We found a perfect apt and applied.
We paid the $500 initial fee.
We have perfect credit, good jobs, about 4 yrs of rent in our bank accounts.
We are maybe 4K short of the yearly income requirement, but my gf’s mom has a $1M house in New Jersey
We applied on Mon. The broker told us we would know on Wed, Thu at the latest. It is now Fri.
We have been in contact with the broker several times since we applied.
We have heard: “Pretty sure you have it”
“looks good”, “Just waiting for final word”,
Everything except “Come down and sign the lease”.
It has now been five days, and the same old rhetoric.
From what I understand:
In NYC, there might be six or more brokers trying to get the same apt rented.
Until a lease is signed, the apt. remains for rent.
Every day we wait, our chances of getting it diminish.
What is the hold up? Do we have it or not?
NYC apt hunting is unique, so please only answer if are familiar with the procedure in NYC.
The broker will also get 15% of the years rent once the contract is signed.
He hasn’t answered the basic questions:
Do we have the apt or not.
If so, when can we come down, sign the lease and pay the fees/deposit.
If not, what else do we need? Extra cash, invoke my girlfriend mom as guarantor (whech she agreed to)
Is it common for these things to take 5 days in NYC?

We are ready to hand the broker and the landlord a several thousand dollars. Why are they dragging their feet?
Why can’t we get a straight answer?

Administrator answers:

I just went through the same experience. Whenever there was a 24 delay, we didn’t get the apartment. The management company that finally approved our application did so within an hour. If you find a good deal in NYC, all of your paper work must be prepared that day, or you will lose it. We had to have W-2 and W-4 forms, pay stubs, and a letter from my employer that I currently work there. I don’t know what the $500 fee is for. I only paid $150 for a credit check once we submitted our application. From what I’ve seen, it all comes down to the management companies that actually own the properties. A realtor only finds the apartment and submits your application. Some are stricter than others. One management company rejected our application for a less expensive apartment than the one we ended up settling on. I think your Realtor is stringing you along because he/she doesn’t want to lose you. If the owner of the apartment really wanted you to sign, they would have done so already, as to earn your rent. Our realtor recomennded using a guarantor because we just missed the required income, but they may give you different advice. If you have already invested money in your broker that is non-refundable, stick with them. We used Ardor NY Realty. They also charged 15%, which is on the high end, but you get what you pay for. I heard you can go straight to the management company and not have to pay a fee, but I am not sure how that would work. You probably would have to let the realtor show you a place, and if you like it, get the number for that specific management company, claiming you have to ask them a few “questions”. Go to the managemant company and ask if they have anything else for rent. But that can become very time consuming. I also found that it was worthwhile to submit multiple applications for multiple apartments. If you want information on Ardor,or have any other questions, e-mail me. If you find their number on the internet, ask for Spencer or Helen. Good luck and don’t lose hope. It us about three weeks, but we eventually found something great in a neighborhood that we really like.

Ruth asks…

Landlord Health Code Violation In NYC?

I just moved into an apt in Harlem NYC about two weeks ago. Today I discovered that the apt two floors down from me is completely uninhabitable. It has a padlock on the door and my Super randomly showed it to me when I asked about the padlocked door.

Turns out the former tenant (who died over a year ago) who lived in said apt for over 20 yrs paid only $150/mo rent, and my landlord refused to renovate it and apparently isn’t planning to do so anytime soon.

This apartment looks like something out of a movie. The walls are torn up, there is exposed plumbing, leaky pipes, sagging floors, rotten wood, mold, rust, no sinks, etc etc and it even has the former tenant’s furniture and personal belongings still inside. In other words, it is completely uninhabitable I would not be surprised if it harbors rodents, roaches, bedbugs, etc.

The fact that my landlord would allow someone to live in an apartment only half as dilapidated as this one DISGUSTS me. I have no tolerance for such slumlord-money grubbing behavior.

My question is can I use the condition of this apartment & my landlord’s neglect as grounds for breaking my lease? Or at least can I blow a whistle that will require him to fix it?

I am not sure what recourse I have since the unit is technically not my unit or is it a part of the building’s public space.

I just do not want to live in a building that obviously harbors such a blaring health hazard or one that is owned by a person who would have the mindset to leave an apartment in that kind of condition to fester.

Administrator answers:

Well you should talk to a lawyer. Tell him what you write here.

There might be a health problem that the owner should address.

Mark asks…

Landlord wont return security deposit in NYC?

I rented an apt for 4 years.Paid rent on time monthly, not noisy, no crowds. Gave landlord 2 months advance that i was moving. Cleaned the apt., did a walk through with his son who signed a letter I wrote stating apt. was left clean and no damages. The landlord is giving me excuses as to why he does not have my money-he will be out of town, someone stole his identity, etc. I sent a certified letter and will fax a letter to the attorney general . He is a principal of a NYC school. I want to go there and hold a sign up stating he stiffed me on my security. I am not giving up without a fight and I will go to court. My question is if I win in court, i heard its difficult to collect. Is it true, then why go to court. help I need advice.

Administrator answers:

You might try this site first.

Lisa asks…

Moving while pregnant?

Is anyone else moving to a bigger home while pregnant? My husband and I currently live in a 1br apt. where we’ve lived for 3.5 years, and are used to our awesome landlord and cheap rent. We live in a suburb of NYC and rent prices have skyrocketed since…we are prepared to pay double for a 2-br apt.

We’re thinking of moving in March, when I will be 6 months pregnant. I am concerned about packing, lifting, moving, and acclimating to the new place when I am (probably) already going to be big. We can’t move before then because 1) moving in a NY winter is no fun and 2) we need to save up for the rent increase and new furniture we’ll need to buy once we’re at the new place.

Has anyone else gone through this? Any advice?

Administrator answers:

YES!! I’m going to be moving in about a month, I will be 7 months pregnant! I’m also in a suburb of NYC we are moving from a 2 bedroom apt to a house we bought, a 3 bdrm duplex. My best advice is to start packing early. I started in September, all my summer clothes are packed, my heels (I feel wobbly with my belly), all the frames are off the walls, albums are packed, most of my son’s toys. This past week I packed dishes, bowls, and glasses. We will be using paper plates for the next few weeks. Just pack everything you can live without. I’m livng in boxes right now but I think it will be worth it when I don’t have to stress out last minute. I also made a list of things to pack a week before, days before, and day of. I’m hiring movers even though it would be cheaper to rent a truck because I don’t want to stress out about the safety of my stuff. I told my husband I want to be the princess on moving day just telling people where to put things! Get an estimate from movers, they will come to your house and look at your things and give you a guaranteed price. I don’t even want to think about UNPACKING when I’m 7 months pregnant but at least I’m trying to be organized with packing. I feel so much less stressed knowing that about half my house is packed with a month to go. I’m going to give you the numbers to 2 moving companies I got prices from since we are in the same area. Good luck with your new place!

Velvet Touch 718-742-5320
Movage 718-292-7002

EDIT: I donated soooo much stuff. I also had a yard sale. Great way to get rid of things and make some $. If you have a yard sale do it this month obviously, before it’s too cold. And do not try to do too much in one day – last week I packed about 5 boxes in 2 hrs and my body just ached until the next day so start packing soon and take it slow.

We’ve also been trying to save money because we’ll be paying more for our new place. I started making a budget a few months ago I write down how much of my husband’s check should go to each expense: food, spending $ for each of us, rent, bills, etc. I really try to stay within the budget and it might seem really tedious but it’s actually been working out great we’ve put alot of money in savings.

John asks…

Is it illegal to be denied refund on rent overpayment?

I live in an hdfc apt complex in nyc and at one point, the paperwork to renew our gov assistance didn’t go through and it was temporarily suspended for a few months while we disputed our case. In the mean time we weren’t paying the rest of the rent and the building warned us that we owed a lot. After we skrimped and scraped we managed to pay it all off, only for gov assitance to pay it all off the following month (obviously reinstating our assistance from then on) and now the building doesn’t want to refund the rent we paid off and wants to use it as credit, but we desperately need that money back. The people in charge don’t want to negotiate and I would like to know if that is illegal for them to do.

Administrator answers:

You can try and sue them if you want for the return of those funds. The problem is that the legal process takes a long time. It would be several months before it ever got to court, and by that point they wouldn’t owe you anything anymore because they would be all caught up.

Carol asks…

Can I rent an apartment under my name but have someone else occupy it?

My sister is in desperate need of getting an apt in NYC.. Her credit is not good and becuase of that they have been giving her and extremely hard time to get an apt even with a co-signer they are asking that a cosigner make over 90,000 dollars a year which is rediculous!!!!! I thought a co-signer just needs to have a stable job and good credit?! anyway I was thinking of just checking out apt‘s for her signing the lease and have her occupy the apartment even though the lease is under my name. would that be ok? is it possible? help please!!!!

Administrator answers:

Depends entirely on if the lease allows sub-letting to another person. Most don’t.

David asks…

Recent rankings of most expensive cities?

Anyone have a recent, reputable tabulation of top cities in the world for cost of living? We live in NYC and am having a hard time conceiving of a more expensive place on the planet to live. Anyone from London don’t bother comparing, I go to LON a lot and if you earn pounds it’s still not comparable to this, albeit it’s no bargain either. Prices (food, rent, apt. purchase) keep going up-up-up and wages keeping coming down-down-down, this city has been pretty immune from the cost-side of the recession. It is a very safe city now, because the poor have been leaving in droves since they can’t afford it here. I think NYC should split off from the US, and issue it’s own currency, because NYC bears very little relation any more to the rest of the U.S.

Administrator answers:

Forbes ranking is cost a living for a foreigner.

I am pretty sure most NYC residents are OK with poor people leaving the city.

Besides, there is well developed rail system there, so you can leave somewhere cheap, and still work in the city.

Charles asks…

Housing assistance for NYC?

i am considering taking gaurdianship of my 12yr old cousin because his mom is on drugs and i dont want the sytem to take him. however i do not have my own apt. So i was wondering if i got temp custody would NYC help me get an apt. i dont want to stay in a shelter and am inquiring about emergency programs to assist me. im also interested in the EAF program would they help me pay for first months rent and deposit. i can handle the rest from there? PLEASE HELP.

Administrator answers:

The wait list for housing in NYC is at 9 years, he will be 21 years old then and not require a guardian.

If you are homeless you are obviously not a good choice of guardian. He will be 1000 times better off in a foster home. You are not capable of providing a stable environment.

Steven asks…

Do you like living in NYC?

I currently live in Phoenix, Arizona and have for the last 15 years. Prior to that I lived in NE Ohio. I need out of this state before it sucks the life out of me. Why am I thinking about moving to NYC? I just think it sounds like an awesome adventure. I have been reading up on what people have to say about it there and a few things concern me. Mostly I am hearing people say that it is incredibly dirty and smells like asshole. Is that true? I realize the cost of living is a lot more expensive, but I am pretty sure I’ll be able to afford it. Regardless, is it feasible to rent a one or two bedroom apt in a safe neighborhood for 2 grand a month? It doesn’t need to be huge, just decent looking and safe. I am a single woman (30 years old) with no children and would not have a roommate.

Really though, if you have ever lived in NYC I would really like to know what you think of it. The good, the bad and anything else you would like to tell me. Oh, and is it hard to meet people? I want to start over, new friends & new life. Is NY the right place to do something like that in?

Administrator answers:

Dont listen to that nonsense about “bridge and tunnel people”. Most of Brooklyn today is very hip.

I doubt that person even lived in NYC, or she wouldn’t have said “the Brooklyn and Queens AREA”. Brooklyn and Queens are each huge, they are each the size of a major city by themselves – bigger than Phoenix. And both Brooklyn and Queens have good neighborhoods and bad neighborhoods, hip neighborhoods and more stodgy neighborhoods.

I live in a lovely neighborhood called Park Slope, Brooklyn. It is VERY desirable, so much so that housing prices in this neighborhood have shot through the moon in the decades I’ve lived here. Not only does it not “smell”, it has lovely large shade trees throughout the neighborhood, several parks (including the huge, lovely Prospect Park) and stately Victorian row houses. NY Magazine called Park Slope NYC’s most livable neighborhood.

There are lots of neighborhoods in NYC. Where you want to be depends on what you’re looking for. With $2,000 a month for rent you should find something you like.

Try going to the website that NY Magazine set up to go with the article. It allows you to pick from severparametersers the ones that matter the most to you, and find the neighborhood that best suits you:

And here is a link to the original article that went with it:

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