The Vent

New York Apartments

4 years ago by

New York Apartments

They say if you can find and rent an apartment in NYC, you can pretty much do anything. It’s a dog-eat-dog world and you essentially have to sign away your first (unborn) child to someone who posted a link on Craigslist but somehow feels validated in calling themselves a broker, in spite of the fact that YOU found THEM. And, who honestly makes an income of 40 times the monthly rent?!?

After this soul-sucking (possibly), bank-breaking (always) adventure, you get a landlord and/or a management company to take your hard-earned dollars each month. I have rented five apartments in the eight years I’ve lived here and have weirdly, exclusively rented from landlords who also lived in my same building. This is a special relationship that requires a lot of finessing. I sometimes wish I had a faceless company who I’d never accidentally run into while taking out my trash in my too-short shorts or when too hungover to manage more than three words and they want to talk about your leaking fridge or the massive rat that keeps trying to break into your apartment through your back window. Remind me why we pay so much for rent in this city?

There is also the entirely different battle of trying to find a single room in an apartment full of people who already have a rapport. You put on your best self to convince them you’re not a murderer but rather will perfectly complete their broken roommate circle. We won’t even start talking about what happens when you realize one of your new roommates is a living nightmare.

Surviving and conquering the apartment hunt in NYC is like a badge of honor, right? I’m a firm believer if you can do it here, you can do it anywhere. What do you guys think?


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  • I think it depends on the rental management company. The first company I tried to work with needed everything but my kidneys. In the process of waiting for their zillion questions to come through and be answered, I found another apartment on Craigslist… the broker asked for a simple application, $100 fee, and a screen capture of my credit score. It took just a couple days to be signed and finished with my first NYC apartment.


  • Jorge Alexandre Teixeira July, 11 2017, 2:55 / Reply

    Carie, your story is so funny and do you know why? ‘Cause it’s true !!! Beijinho !!!

  • Ugh, I’m just starting this process as I move to the city! The horror stories certainly don’t help but like you said, if you can do this you can do anything. Shout out to anyone who wants to sublet or has an extra room! Haha.

    Briana |

  • Ashley July, 11 2017, 7:10 / Reply

    Totally hear you. It’s the worst – nevermind renting as a non-American.. I made 80x monthly rent and I still had trouble getting approved because I didn’t have a credit score since I’m Canadian. That’s actually happened to a few friends – I’ve had friends have to put down a year of rent down upfront.. in cash. Insanity.

    Not sure how wide your search is but I’m always amazed by how much people are resistant to the idea of a slightly longer commute, so perhaps checking out slightly less popular places in Brooklyn would be worth a shot. Or Long Island City, NJ, etc – I’ve always lived in Brooklyn for instance and I’m always shocked by how many people refuse to check out Brooklyn (except maybe Williamsburg) because they don’t want to commute a few extra stops (not saying this is you but if you’re searching in a narrow field, definitely worth considering!)

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