People flock from all across the world for a chance to live in New York City. As one of the largest cities on Earth, there are opportunities here for any person looking to live a better life. What often discourages people from taking the plunge and moving, though, is that rent in the city is sky high in most areas. Don’t rethink your move to NYC so fast, though! We’re going to give you the inside scoop on how to find cheap apartment rentals in NYC so you aren’t left with a rent you can’t afford.


In other cities, it may be possible to find an apartment through Facebook groups or Craigslist listings. Sadly, the NYC market makes this pretty much impossible, save for one exception.

Transparentcity is a website dedicated to making the NYC housing market more accessible for people who are hoping to avoid using a broker. This site allows users to search either the entire city or by a specific neighborhood if they wish. The perk of this is that all of the listings are for apartments that are filled directly through landlords, no broker required. That means you’ll be saving on the broker’s fees, which could easily cost you thousands!


As with most things, networking is indispensable when you’re hunting for an apartment in New York City. Most people who ended up with great places found them through networking, rather than using a broker. While useful, brokers usually charge high fees that are often out of budget for the average renter or buyer.  

Ask around with any of the social groups that you have. This may be your coworkers, sports league teammates, or any other group where you can spread the word that you’re looking for an apartment. You never know who may come to you with the information that their sister, friend, or whoever has an apartment that they’re looking to leave. With that insider information, you’ll be able to get in on the vacancy before the place even hits the market.

Networking by word of mouth can be difficult, though, and they can only tell you about where they’ve lived and been. This can greatly limit your searches if you’re only tapping into the knowledge of family and friends.

Transparentcity is, once again, a helpful source. The website hosts reviews from users with experience in a cheap apartment rental in NYC. These reviews may include photos, comments, or tips about amenities that could be useful to potential renters. Since the site has many users, there is a lot of information available on different apartment complexes.

This sort of networking may be the best way to achieve results. While searching in face-to-face social groups is a good idea, TransparentCity helps you cast a wider net in your search.  

Start Your Search in the Winter

At first glance, this may be a bit confusing to wrap your head around. If you have the advantage of knowing well ahead of time that you’re looking to move to NYC, begin your apartment search in the winter. Like most industries, winter is the “off” season for real estate.

Most people move in the summer months, so it’s much more difficult to fill an empty apartment during the winter. Taking advantage of the low demand may land you with a better deal on rent or a waiving of fees.

Look A Bit Out of the Way

Everyone’s dream is to find a cheap apartment rental that is also close to their work and favorite stores. While this is ideal, it may not always be possible to find an affordable place in a busy neighborhood.

One way to skim a little off rent is to find a place in a slightly more industrial area, where demand may not be as high. You may have to commute a bit further to work or the health food store, but this may be worth it when the price of rent is factored into the equation.

Have Your Documents Ready

Cheap apartment rentals in NYC  are slow to open up but get snatched quickly once they’re on the market. Even if you find your dream place, someone else may get it out from under you in the time it takes for you to gather all the documents you’ll need to lock it in. You’re going to need copies of your pay stubs, tax returns, credit report, photo ID, and some references. Having these documents ready will expedite the process with your new landlord and will ensure that no one has a chance to swoop in and get the apartment you’ve set your eye on.  

Finding cheap apartment rentals in NYC doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it seems to be at first. With these insider tips, you’ll be settling into your new place in no time.