Finding a rental in New York is a struggle. But finding a short-term, furnished apartment in New York City? How do I put this easily? It can be nerve-wracking if you don’t know your way around it — given just how expensive some of the furnished apartments in New York can be. However, these exact furnished apartments can seem like a savior in contrast to the 4x higher hotel prices in the same locality.
The good thing about furnished apartments, even if they aren’t the best option for everyone, is that they are a great option for renters who do not want to worry about moving their furniture, or might be relocating to a new area before the rest of their families.
Before we get into the details of finding yourself the perfect furnished apartment in New York, let’s try and understand why it’s a hassle in the first place.
Why is finding a furnished apartment in New York City difficult?
One of the major reasons is that most furnished apartments in New York are listed at exorbitant prices. This is partially due to the fact that many co-ops do not permit short-term leases, and even condos can impose minimum sublet terms, say real estate attorneys at Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson.
Other economic disincentives include:
- Illegal listings have been a million-dollar scam when it comes to New York City. They show up in the form of fake or ‘ghost listings’, and by virtue of just being present, they have been responsible for driving up rents since day one.
- Landlords (or renters) who are leasing or subleasing a unit for less than 90 days are required to pay a 5.85 percent hotel tax plus a daily hotel unit fee of $1.50 to the city. This applies to room re-marketers such as AirBnB, Home Away and VRBO.
Then there’s the matter of who posts a listing. There have been several reported instances of individual tenants posting their home, instead of the actual landlord. The key here is ensuring that the person posting has the actual rights to sublet an apartment.
Asking questions may seem rude, but there’s quite frankly nothing wrong with wanting to be in direct contact with the landlord.
Some things to consider before moving to a furnished apartment in New York City
Ask yourself these questions once you’re ready to move:
- Which neighbourhood will suit my needs best?
- What kind of building am I looking for?
Then move on to the following parameters.
- With furnished apartments, it is integral that you avoid doing damage to any of the furnishings in the apartment — or you’ll end up dealing with repair or replacement costs that will be deducted from your security deposit.
- And much like most rentals, you will end up finding the most elaborate inventory and prices during peak season, which is from June through September. So if possible, take advantage of the price drops through December-March.
- If most rentals are out of your budget, we advise looking at Coliving companies — yet another turnkey achievement of the hospitality industry. These coliving companies are shared housing or “adult dorms”, and it’s literally just living with strangers.
Why do people opt for coliving then? It’s because coliving eliminates some of the common of living with people, like finding a room.
This is an ideal fit for millennials who keep to themselves and don’t want much beyond privacy and technology. Some of the major coliving companies that provide their services in New York include Alta+ by Ollie, Common, Roomrs, Quarters, Outpost Club, Dwell and WeLive.
Ask yourself these questions to make the search for a furnished apartment in New York City easier:
Just how furnished is this apartment?
Is the unit fully furnished and move-in ready, or does it just come with a couch, dining table, chairs, and a few appliances? Furnishings also mean curtains, lamps, and kitchenware when it comes to fully furnished apartments in some cases. We advise managing your expectations and having clear conversations with the person renting the apartment to you, since this may also have an effect on your budget.
Does it have enough space for the things you will be carrying?
This is a very important question to speak with your landlord about. Your furnished apartment will also have to house all of your existing belongings.
Furnished apartments in New York are generally on the more compact side. So before moving, take a moment to evaluate the things you do not need to bring along with you.
If you already have some furniture, you may not have room in your new furnished apartment to keep it all. If not, you’ll have to shell out some extra money for a storage unit. This additional cost could completely negate the benefits of renting a furnished apartment — so plan your move accordingly!
How long is the lease?
Many furnished apartments for rent are billed as short-term lease apartments. We also recommend the exact terms of your lease before signing anything.
If you’re searching for furnished apartments for rent and just assume you’re signing a short-term lease, you might get burned in the long run.
You should also verify that you won’t be paying a higher security deposit or rental rate than you think by signing a short-term lease for a furnished apartment.
And finally, what can and cannot be changed?
All rental properties come with their own set of rules and regulations that state the control you have on the property vs. the landlord.
For instance, a furnished apartment does not come with the same ease of moving things around and deciding the look and feel of a place, as unfurnished apartments do.
But if decorations are on your mind, make sure to have this conversation with your landlord. They may be okay with you bringing along your favorite plant, but a whole office desk just might be a point of contention.
Living in a furnished apartment can be expensive. However, there are several ways you can save money while living in New York. Here are 5 tips to help you save extra in New York City!