10 Questions First-time Renters Need to Ask Before Moving to NYC

Empire State Building, Central Park, Broadway

Who doesn’t like the idea of moving to NYC? Empire State Building, Central Park, Broadway- it all sounds so magical! Even spending a day in the city seems like a dream come true for a lot of people. So we can only imagine how excited those people are who are actually moving to NYC!

I’m pretty sure all of us have dreamed of having an NYC apartment like Monica and Rachel’s but alas, the city’s real estate will not allow that. Most first-time renters, especially the ones who are young, have to settle for much smaller and cramped apartments. Unless, of course, you happen to be a multi-millionaire, in which case, please enjoy your Central Park facing NYC apartment- we’re all jealous of you.

But for the rest of us, finding a good NYC apartment can be a challenge, especially if you’re a first-time renter. In fact, NYC real estate is so bad that when you do find an apartment that seems adequate, you want to jump at the offer without considering much else. But that is a bad idea. As a first-time renter, you need to be careful about the choices you make and we are here to help you. Here are 10 questions you need to ask before moving to NYC.

Related: Best Features In A NYC Apartment Finder

Am I moving to NYC without cell service?

Let’s start with a basic one for first-time renters. When you go to check out an NYC apartment, be sure to check if your phone has good connectivity ALL OVER the house. Not just one spot. Believe me, moving to NYC without cell/data service is a fate worse than death.

Can I control the heat and AC in my apartment?

A lot of buildings in NYC have central heat and AC. So when you’re looking at an NYC apartment, make sure you ask if you get to control the temperature of your apartment. After all, bad air conditioning shouldn’t be the thing that ruins your life in NYC.

What is the apartment and building’s bed bug history?

First-time renters, pay extra attention to this one. Ask if your building has any history of bed bugs. This is a gross problem that you never ever want to be in the middle of. You can check out the Bed Bug Registry or NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development, and see if your building turns up. Some NYC buildings are notorious for poor management, so keep an eye out for it.

Are maintenance services available around the clock?

Don’t let your landlord take advantage of you because you’re a first-time renter. Make sure you ask if maintenance is available 24/7 and how quick the whole process is.

What is the guest policy?

While this will probably be mentioned in your lease, still get a verbal confirmation beforehand. Not being allowed to have guests over can be a deal-breaker for many first-time renters, so keep this in mind. After all, don’t you want to show off your new NYC apartment to your friends?

Also see: 8 Easy Ways to Make Your New Apartment Homier

What is the Pet Policy?

Sort of in the same line of thought as the previous one. But ask about the pet policy even if you don’t have one at the time of renting. Pets are adorable little creatures and can really make moving to NYC a lot better. You should know where your building stands on the issue of having pets.

Does it get very noisy?

We know NYC is the city that never sleeps but that doesn’t mean you also need to give up your sleep. Moving to NYC should not mean you end up with insomnia. It’s important to know how noisy the neighborhood and your neighbors are. This is one of the tiny things that can really improve your quality of life or completely ruin the city for you. And first-time renters- don’t be afraid to ask your future neighbors to not be loud- it’s your right! You can find out more about excessive noise control here.

Who will take care of the repairs around the house?

Oh boy, this is a big one. Especially if you’re a first-time renter and too shy to ask about these kinds of things. If you’re moving to NYC, chances are you will need maintenance services often. So be sure to know exactly how your building manages repairs. You really don’t want your life in NYC ruined because your sink is perpetually broken.

What will happen if I break my lease?

I know, once you find your dream NYC apartment, you don’t even want to think about leaving it. But believe me, it’s important to know what the consequences of breaking your lease will be. You should keep that in mind and make arrangements accordingly.

Does the rent go up often?

First-time renters can sometimes get blindsided by rent hikes because they never thought to ask about it. Most NYC apartments will hike the rent during the renewal of your lease. While this is pretty customary, you can be prepared for a hike in your rent if you know by how much it has been increasing in the previous years. If the rent hike is very steep, then this might not be your dream NYC apartment.

Related: Where To Find A Short Term Rental Furnished Apartment In NYC

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