I created HowToRentInNYC.com in 2007 to help those who are moving to NEW YORK CITY. I was a licensed salesperson for a large brokerage company from 2005-2007, working exclusively in rentals, and was one of the top agents in my office. Every time I met with a new client or advised a friend who was trying to rent an apartment I was bombarded by hundreds of questions. "Should I use a broker, what's the benefit? What paperwork do I need? Is this a good building? Am I paying too much? Why do I need a guarantor? Why do I need to build a wall? Why should I use a broker... I have a cousin who rented an apartment by herself for way cheaper without one. etc..."
FOR THE RECORD, YOU WILL ALWAYS KNOW SOMEONE WHO GOT A BETTER DEAL THAN YOU. LET IT GO...
There is a need to clarify what the rental process is like in New York City today. Over the last ten years the housing market has shifted back and forth rapidly.
NYC RENTAL TIMELINE:
1996-9/11/2001: Rents increase steadily. Backhanded deals happening all over the place. "The Golden Era" of brokers where being a rental broker was an EASY six-figure job or so I heard repeatedly when I was a salesperson in 2005. No such thing as finding an apartment online or really by yourself.
9/11/2001-2003: Rents drop drastically and management companies begin to pay the broker fees.
2003-2008: Rents skyrocket and broker fees climb exponentially from one-month fees to 18% of the annual rent. Not quite the "Golden Era" but brokers starting to make a great living again BUT landlords and management companies start posting their inventory to the public via this new thing called the Internet. Renters become savvy and start branching out on their own. HowToRentinNYC.com launches in 2007 to help such savvy renters. No such thing as a landlord paying the brokers fee unless in a "non-desirable" area.
10/1/2008-2010: Economy tanks, rents drop 10-30% dependent upon the neighborhood, landlords begin to offer concessions of 1 month free on leases or paying the broker's fee.
2010- NOW: Rents are steadily increasing, there are still concessions to get people into luxury rental living but by summer 2011 this will begin to cease to exist once again and rents will start to increase again to preposterous levels.
The goal of this website is to help you be informed and feel comfortable going through the rental process based on my experiences and the experiences of others. If you have any questions please read through our most common Rental Q&A. If you don't find the answers you're looking for, just submit a new question!
Thanks and enjoy,