In this edition of Take It or Leave It, our perpetual renters weigh the pluses and minuses of a Brooklyn Heights 1-bedroom with floor-to-ceiling windows, in-unit laundry and a shared roof deck. Our panelists—who have 43 years of collective rental experience—are RentHackr founder Zeb Dropkin, freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald, and BrickUnderground senior editor, Lucy Cohen Blatter.
Size:1 bedroom, 1 bathroom Location:116 Montague St. between Henry St. and Hicks St. in Brooklyn Heights Cost:$2,900/month Flexible Layout:No Days on the market: 12 days on the market according to StreetEasy, but it looks like it's actually closer to three months.
For a couple of years now, New York City residents who rent out their apartments for less than 30 days have been violating a 2011 amendement to the city's multiple dwelling law. Recently, an ongoing dust-up between short-term apartment rental exchange Airbnb and New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman--in which New York is demanding that Airbnb turn over data on their 225,000 users--has cast a further chill over the turn-your-apartment-into-a-cash-machine trend.
So what about apartment swapping? Is it legal to swap apartments if no money changes hands? And if so, how does your landlord or board feel about it?
Q. I just received an assessment of $8,800 from my condo board for an elevator replacement project. What happens if I can't afford to pay? What are my options?
A. The short answer: Try your best to work out a payment plan with your board, say our experts.
"While most condomimium bylaws require the board to pursue collection against unit owners in arrears, board members will generally try to work with unit owners who have financial exigencies, particularly if there is not a pattern of arrears," says co-op and condo attorney Scott Greenspun of Braverman Greenspun, who recommends reaching out proactively before the first payment is due.
Although it might feel like paying a broker’s fee is a necessary evil in NYC, it doesn’t have to be. Click on over to apartment rental website Naked Apartments and you'll find many no-fee and low-fee options—meaning ones that call for fees of less than 9% of a year’s rent vs. the usual 12-15% commissions. Scan the places listed here in our Low-Fee Rental Roundup or log onto Naked Apartments to hunt by “no fee” or “low-fee.”
The NYC co-op board application process is not easy (which is why we at Brick have dedicated dozens of posts and even an entire series to it), but as is the case with most things in life, the more prepared you are, the easier it'll be.
For this look at a topic of understandably perennial interest, we asked nine current and former board members and one property manager (privvy to board members' decisions) what matters most to them. Roughly speaking, their concerns fell into four categories.
The stark white paint your super used may cover up the previous tenants’ paint job, but can make your place feel more like a hospital than a home.
To provide some color inspiration, we polled interior designers, local paint stores and paint companies to find out which shades are most popular in our fair city. And some of the same ones kept coming up again and again.
The Real Estate Survival Guide for NYC Buyers, Sellers, Renters & Dwellers
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