How to rent an apartment in New York: instructions for newcomers
Elvira Brodskaya prepared a review for the site. Rusa LGBT about how to rent an apartment in New York. ForumDaily publishes it with the permission of the author.
Renting an apartment in the US (New York)
Rent an apartment - the first problem faced by newcomers. In this article we will try to explain “on the fingers” how the process of rent goes, how it differs from rent in Russia (or other countries of the former Soviet Union), and how to get around the pitfalls. At the end you will find a list of useful self-help links.
the process of finding housing in an unfamiliar city often causes panic. Where to look, how, is it not deceived? This article is mainly devoted to leasing in New York, although general schemes can be used in other cities.
The search algorithm is as follows:
- Take a stroll through the city - give yourself to it a few days. Do not seek to rent an apartment for a year or two on the first day of arrival! In most cases, this results in the tenant becoming tied to a place that does not suit him. Explore the area, you should look to different areas. Think about whether you want to live by the ocean, or in the green residential rayonchike. Consider the minimum facilities which agree.
- Look at the bulletin board in Russian and (a must!) In English. If you do not know the language, ask friends for help. You will in any case not have to communicate with the landlord on a daily basis.
- Determine the amount of money you are willing to pay per month, and give your ads - preferably with a good photo and a little story about yourself. You have to show that you are a dream tenant.
- Next: looking apartments, choose, conclude a lease agreement (lease) or subleases (sublease).
Links for New Yorkers
- For LGBTIK + and friendly people
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1446756872212445/ - long term rentals only
https://www.facebook.com/groups/nyclgbtpaganrooms/ rent for LGBT pagans
- For hipsters, freelancers, people of art and anyone who leads an unusual lifestyle:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/NYC.BK.Apartments/ all new york
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1438152599794284/ another group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/935448723167488/ - search for housing in Brooklyn
https://www.facebook.com/groups/474569976042465/ rent + questions
Resources in Russian housing for rent in New York:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/usarussianlgbt/ - Rainbow America (here you can search for rent)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/406135993108984/ Russian-speaking group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/rotfront.housing.newyork/ another russian group
https://mall.rusrek.com/real_estate_for_rent-b60-ru.html Russian-language bulletin board.
What to look for?
You can rent a room (room), studio (study), apartments with one or more bedrooms (1-2- 3-bedroom apartment). In addition, you can hook up to someone in the room or in the studio (this is called share the room). Often rent basements in urban private homes (basement). You should know that the size of real estate in the US is not static, so the room can be called a huge space and an area of 20 square. with its own bathroom and terrace, and a tiny space where the bed can barely fit and there is no window. In addition, the apartment may have a separate large living room (living room), which is used by all tenants, and maybe just a hallway leading to the room. The kitchen can be separated, can be open, part of the living room or even the hallway. Most often the toilet is combined with a bathroom.
The cost depends, first of all, not on the size, but on the area and the level of the house: a room in Manhattan can cost more than a two-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. This does not mean that living in Brooklyn is unsafe or bad. Be sure to check the comfort of the area for yourself before sweeping it off as “unsafe” by listening to others.
During the search, you need to pay attention to the following things, in addition to personal likes and dislikes, as well as prices:
- the size of the deposit, whether it can be made gradually;
- the cost of utilities (regular fee - utilities), whether they are included in the rental price, how much increase in the summer while using the air conditioner!
- type of house heating: it can be electric, which can make your bills astronomical;
- whether there are any permanent problems with insects or rodents in the apartment or in the whole house (a frequent problem in New York). You can check the invasion map here. When you come to watch the apartment, ask, if possible, from other tenants or moving tenants if there were any problems with bedbugs (bedbugs) cockroaches (croaches) either with mice (mice);
- availability of infrastructure (bus stop subway or bus near the house, laundry in the house, shops around);
- where the windows face: an apartment with windows on the "alley" can be very dark from trees, which completely block the view. An apartment with windows to the courtyard can overlook the courtyard-well - like the famous St. Petersburg houses. In addition, the window can simply go out into the wall or into the window of a neighbor. Try to find a room with some daylight;
- Is there a grille on the windows? Is there air conditioning?
- how much furniture remains in the apartment? As a rule, by default there is a built-in kitchen, stove, refrigerator. Often there is furniture in the bathroom (cabinets under the sink and a mirror cabinet or mirror with a shelf above it). On the other hand, even the curtains may not remain in the apartment, let alone a complete set of furniture. An apartment or a room without furniture is always cheaper!
If you rent a room, you need to look at the neighbors. Carefully read the ads - if it says that the neighbors love fun parties, this is what is meant.
The apartment, which is rented directly from the owner (usually it is not a separate person, but a company), is available only to people with a stable income and good credit history. Or - at least some credit history. If you come from Russia, you have no history, neither good nor bad. In addition: it is believed that a person’s income should be approximately 3-4 times higher than the rental price. Either you should receive 40 rents per year. If this is a room for 800 dollars, then your monthly income must be from 2600 to 3200 US dollars.
Can you still try to prove your trustworthiness?
- First, collect all the documents that you have something. Bank account, pension, rent, property ownership, tax certificate - everything will do! You must prove that you are not the person who, after the first month, will stop paying for lack of money. Russian-language documents - are suitable! It is not necessary to translate officially - if the landlord needs it, he will translate himself.
- secondly, look for sublease - sublet (in New York this is legal) or sublet - rent for a short time until you find the option you want;
- Thirdly, immediately tune in that a wonderful apartment with excellent repair and two bedrooms in just one and a half thousand will not get you. It will go to those who have the necessary background;
- fourth, try to find someone who will vouch for you (this should be a green card holder, or better - a US citizen, this person should have an official income and a good credit history).
If you are already an asylum seeker, then you can say this at a meeting with a potential landlord and show him a supporting document. In addition, the landlord may ask you to show your visa and your foreign passport. Please note that most Americans do not know the difference between an asylum seeker and a refugee, and also have no idea about the length of the process. Easy answer any, the strangest, questions: nervousness or anger causes suspicion.
No need to lie about your immigration status - for example, if you plan to apply for asylum in the near future, then report it. If you are dealing with a queer-friendly landlord, then this will be a plus for you before the other applicants. It is important to remember that in America, the fact that you have money for this apartment does not mean that you will rent it - you need to like the person who gives it, as long as you do not have such advantages as a good credit history and high income, as well as letters of recommendation from previous landlords.
When meeting with your landlord, you will need:
- see the ID of the person who rents the apartment (and, preferably, take a picture or make a copy);
- see his main lease agreement (lease agreement) or, if you rent directly, documents on the ownership of the apartment. You need to understand how the person to whom you give money has to do with the apartment being rented;
- conclude an agreement. Number of copies - one for each participant in the transaction. If you rent a large company - everyone should get their own copy, and everyone must put their signature on the contract. It specifies the rental period, rental details (what you can and cannot do, who is responsible for minor breakdowns, requirements for silence, the possibility of inviting guests, the possibility of having animals, utility bills), your name, the person who gives you, the apartment address and the number rooms. It also indicates the volume of the deposit, as well as how the deposit will be returned;
- transfer the money, take a receipt, where the amount is indicated in words, the address of the apartment, the name and surname of the tenant, your name and surname, the date and signature of the tenant.
A resource where you can create a lease agreement online for free - link.
Usually, you will be required to pay the first month’s rent and a deposit of one month (security deposit). However, quite often foreigners are asked for several pledges at once (up to the requirement to pay a one-year or semi-annual rent!). Try to avoid such arrangements, as it will oblige you to live in the apartment for the paid term, even if you find out that it is impossible to live there.
Yes, it is found. To him must be prepared. The chance to meet a cheater on Facebook below, on Craiglist is higher. But it always remains. How do scammers act?
- take money in advance for the selection of options for apartments (pay after the fact!);
- they offer you to immediately leave one monthly payment as a pledge - they say, what if suddenly an apartment is handed over to another! Even write you a receipt. Guess where you can go with her later;
- overcharge on sublease, knowing that you have no options (agree or not - this is everyone’s business, but in any case, ask to show the main contract);
- simply expelled from home without explanation (this is true for those who are in the United States without a status).
If you are shown a surprisingly good option for the tiny money that makes up 50% of regular prices - be on the lookout. Do not think that the person who gives you an apartment is more stupid than you, or he does not know about the size of prices in New York. The average price level in New York:
Bed or half of the room - $ 300-400;
Room from $ 600, average $ 700-1000;
Studio from $ 1000-1200;
Apartment with 1 bedroom from $ 1200-1400.
Basement (basement level) with a separate living room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom from $ 1200-1400.
Rent an apartment in New York without a realtor is absolutely real. However, as a rule, those who:
- there is no time to look for options;
- there is no place to take documents confirming the reliability (the realtor eliminates strict landlords in advance or tries to negotiate a compromise).
Of course, the services of Russian-speaking realtors are often resorted to by those who do not know English.
What are the duties of a realtor?
- search and selection of options (while the realtor can work with your chosen option);
- the conclusion of the transaction, verification of the contract;
- identifying the shortcomings of the apartment.
It is necessary to distinguish between a realtor who works with you and a realtor who works with an apartment that you have independently chosen. Realtor engaged in the delivery of the apartment, has no obligations to the tenants. His obligations apply exclusively to his employers (that is, landlords). You do not have to enter into a service agreement with a realtor, who initially works with the landlord.
Lease - rent directly (you enter into an agreement with the management company or the landlord).
Sublease - sublease (you enter into a contract with a person who has previously concluded lease).
Sublet - rent for a short period.
Studio - a small apartment for a 1-2 person, without a dedicated bedroom.
1-bedroom apartment - one-room apartment (consists of a room and a living room and / or a hall).
Basement - basement (usually with a separate entrance).
Brownstone - house with a facade of red-brown stone.
Multi-family building / house - apartment house, a house for several families.
Hardwood floor - parquet floor.
Renovated - after repair.
Unfurnished - without furniture.
Laundry - laundry.
Utilities - communal payments.
Amenities - convenience.
Short term rent - rent for a short period.
Long term rent - long term rentals
AC - air conditioning.
Terms of rent - rent terms.
Security deposit - pledge.
Roommate - a neighbor.
420 friendly - Tolerance to the use of cannabis in the apartment.
Pet friendly - it is possible with animals.
Queer friendly - gay friends.
Clean / tidy - neat.
Hard-working - hardworking.
Professional - working (in this case refers to a person with a permanent job).
Guarantor or co-signer accepted (are welcome) - you can bring a guarantor.
Credit score - credit rating.
Regular income required - a permanent official income is required.
Credit check - credit rating check.
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