We’ve all been there: We’re moving and it's a stressful but exciting time. You know the furniture you want to bring, and maybe already have your eye on a new set of drapes. Before you go filling your Amazon cart, we recommend taking this checklist of 10 Questions to Ask Before Renting An Apartment in New York with you on your tour for your potential new abodes.
So.... without further ado, we give you our 10 Questions to Ask Before Renting An Apartment in New York:
- Check The Plumbing - Now, this first one isn't technically a question but just trust us on this one. As soon as you enter the apartment, turn on the water in both the sink and the shower to check the water pressure. Turn on the hot water specifically and see how long it takes to turn warm. Flush the toilet and watch how it goes down.
- Pests - Ask if there is a rodent or insect issue. If you were to have an issue, what steps would they take to eradicate; some buildings have an exterminator they work with and will treat the hallways or common areas once a week or so, if they do you can ask them to use this remedy in your apartment as well.
- Garbage - Where does it go? Is there a trash chute on the floor or are bags dropped off on a specific floor, or outside?
- Maintenance - How are repairs generally taken care of and in case of an emergency- IE, if you have a flood at 3AM, who can you call? How do maintenance requests work?
- Heat And Air Conditioning - Ask how the Heat and Air Conditioning are controlled. Is it centralized throughout the entire building or is it apartment by apartment?
- Broker Fees - Check out the address of the building and management company before. You may be able to rent direct from the management company. A great website to do this is at transparentcity.co
- Bed Bugs - Keep in mind this is different than asking about the previous history of bedbugs. In NYC, you only have to disclose if there has been an issue with bedbugs if it happened within the last 365 days. For example, if you are viewing an apartment on December 1st and the building had a history of bed bugs on November 1st of the prior year, the bed bugs are not something they have to disclose. While bed bugs are definitely gross, do not be alarmed. At some point or another most buildings have had to deal with some of NYC’s more unseemly transients. Landlords usually take this seriously because no one wants to deal with them spreading through the whole building.
- Renters Insurance - Is it required? This is not a huge deal, and usually a nominal cost (in our experience usually it's $250 for the whole year), but sometimes you need to show this at lease signing, so just something to be prepared for. Some websites that can help are Lemonade, Allstate, and Geico.
- Construction - Do you know of any construction in the building or in the area that I should be aware of? A lot of people like to ask how noisy a property is. The truth is, in NYC there will always be noise, and if you are sensitive to this, a good pair of earplugs or insulating your window might do the trick.
- Costs And Fees - Besides the first months' rent and security deposit, are there any other fees I need to be aware of?