The New York City real estate market has its own vocabulary, and one of the first terms tenants encounter is “no-fee,” which is used to describe an available listing. There are two types of rental homes in the Big Apple – those that come with a brokerage fee, which is often 15% of the annual rent, and that are free to rent. For the former, you pay the fee yourself; for the latter, you don’t – either because you deal directly with the owner (or the management company) or because the owner paid the brokerage fee for you.
So that means that for a $ 2,000 per month home listing, one free listing would save you about $ 3,600, right? Well, not always. Many of the free New York City apartments are in high-rise luxury buildings that have high rents. It’s possible that a realtor could get you no fee apartment nyc for rent that, even if they add their fee, will end up costing less per month than one of the non-chargeable ones. (For more on working with a broker, see Is It worth Paying a Brokerage Fee in New York City?)
Brickunderground, a trusted New York Real Estate Survival Guide, on the likelihood of finding a no-fee apartment in New York City: “It is possible,” she says. “It takes a lot more hard work, ingenuity, and creativity. In fact, I’ve only found one thing for myself.”
District with the Most Free apartments
According to one of the online royalty-free apartment searches, the neighborhoods in Manhattan with the most no-fees are the Upper West Side and Upper East Side; in Brooklyn it is Brooklyn Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant. Remember, this ranking is about numbers, not affordability.
So Start Your Search
There are two ways to find a free apartment: one is online and social research, the other involves good old-fashioned footwork. .. Hammering the sidewalk can produce some great results.
Start just like you would any property search – with your own social networks. Ask friends, relatives, friends of friends, co-workers, etc. if they have any evidence of a good no-fee NYC apartment. After that, go to the “Biggest, Messiest, and Most Hated Rental Option Option, Craigslist,” as Curbed NY, a website that tracks NYC real estate trends, says it. Nonetheless, Curbed concludes that “Craigslist still has a few gems, especially in neighborhoods (Astoria, for example) where rental inventory is not centralized at all.”
Some great advice on this topic from Rogers, brickunderground: “Many renters find it easier to use Padmapper to find Craigslist … Padmapper lets you sign up for notifications of new Craigslist listings that match your needs … keywords, as well as filter results through things like price per bedroom and commute time to your office, “she emphasizes.
Online Sources for Free to find no fee apartments
Nyrentownsell is a natural stop for your toll-free search. It is very extensive and gives you useful and detailed information on each listing – what apartments have that washer / dryer you (think) you can’t live without that fireplace you dream about.
nyrentownsell will show you the toll free lists (and some low fees too) with its filtering system, and you can make an appointment to see an apartment as soon as you see one you like. The site also reports how long the property was listed.
It is a no-nonsense listing of no-fee apartments posted by owners, building managers, and no-fee brokers. You can get in touch with one of these people directly, get a taste of properties that have just been posted, and search for amenities, neighborhoods, etc. The alphabetical listing of property managers is a great resource for anyone willing and able to put the time and effort into a DIY search.
GoNoFee specializes in housing in Harlem, the Upper West Side, the East Village, Washington Heights and Hamilton Heights, all managed by the same management company that rents their experience to Columbia and Barnard students.
Urban Edge NY wants to save you the hassle of looking at old, outdated listings. Anything that has not been updated for more than two weeks will be deleted. The entries come directly from owners and managers.
Apart able promises to match you with the free apartment and only “bs free, detailed and real apartment listings.” On this site you can see several units side by side for useful comparisons.
The Listings Project is the creation of the artist Stephanie Diamond, who began in 2003 by compiling a list of available apartments and workplaces for her artist friends. It has grown into a full-fledged website that just doesn’t list spaces and doesn’t include listings from managers or brokers. Available apartments submitted each week before Tuesday at 10 a.m. will be emailed to subscribers on Wednesday. Subscribing is free, not posting.
So far, your fingers have done all the work. Now is the time to exercise your feet. Try going from building to building in a neighborhood that you like. Copy and paste names of management companies that are on the outside of the building and give them a call while standing there. Ask bouncers about vacancies; Go to the local playground and ask for bulletin boards at local cafes and other businesses.
The Bottom Line
Either way, it is well worth your time and effort to explore the free rental option for a New York City rental. Take advantage of all of the helpful resources online and enlist the help of people who have gone through the process and able are about to give you some good advice. (For other money-saving tactics, see Easy Ways to Reduce Rental Costs.)