It is a known fact that craigslist is one of the most widely used websites in the world with over 400 million monthly users.  It may come as a surprising fact that it also happens to be one of the most used websites to find an apartment in New York City.  Finding an apartment rental in NYC comes with many complexities that few other cities have.  There are low supply, high demand, and a large broker population, who charges an enormous sum of money, in the middle of most transactions.  There is also random terminology that does not exist anywhere else in the world.  Terms such as 'by owner', 'no fee', 'no broker', 'no fee broker', 'owner paid' are thrown around like hotcakes.

The NYC rental market is so complex that craigslist NYC even has its own sub filtering sections just to help users filter through the thousands of results.  It's called craigslist NYC apartments for rent by owner    


One of the most commonly used filters on craigslist NYC rentals is the 'by owner apartments only' option.  It is so popular that it generates 1000 search terms a month so users can shortcut to the results directly through google instead of browsing (also the main reason behind this blogpost).  Why is this search term such a popular option?  Simply because broker fees have consistently been very expensive.  We are talking about a one-time fee anywhere between $3,000 to $7,000 based on today's rent prices.  It is no wonder why everyone and their grandmothers want to rent directly from landlord owners.    

Craigslist NYC Apartments For Rent By Owner Is An 'Okay' Option But It Comes With Flaws

  • Not all landlords and property managers have the time nor patience to post daily onto the site - Craigslist, like Facebook and Instagram, allows free open postings where older posts continue to get pushed downwards as new listings are posted.  A new post quickly gets stale.  So if a landlord isn't getting enough leads off craigslist even though it is free, they give up because time is worth more.  This reduces the amount of real actual available inventory and what remains is our next point
  • Fake listings that are posted by brokers or scammers - There are so many postings on craigslist you start to get dizzy.  It is very difficult to trust the listings because it is an absolute free for all for open postings.  There are horror stories of unsuspecting renters getting scammed out of thousands of dollars and other stories of last-minute broker fee charges coming up right before you sign the lease.  It defeats the purpose of the original filter because the spam isn't enforced well enough.  You wind up paying a broker fee anyway. 

One Great Alternative To Craigslist NYC Apartments For Rent By Owner Is  

If you are exhausted from browsing through the no fee apartments NYC craigslist section, Transparentcity is a great alternative option for no fee apartments in NYC. 

Transparentcity is a marketplace for no broker fee buildings.  The site connects renters directly to property managers bypassing the broker fee 100% of the time.  The 100% assurance is only possible because the site is not an open postings platform and the websites to landlord property managers have all been researched and validated.

  • Browse without worrying about someone posting scams
  • Browse comfortably knowing it is impossible for fake information to seep through
  • Browse knowing no broker will be in contact with you

Of course, the site isn't perfect.  There are private individual landlords who continue to post availabilities on craigslist to fill their vacancies because it is a free tool to use to advertise their listings.  We are talking private individuals who may own one apartment unit or one building that has no need to market their listings too frequently.  There are absolutely hidden gems on there but it is hard to sift through to find that needle in a haystack.