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His advice-packed account of his recent Brooklyn apartment search includes a footnoted shout-out to some folks from the NY Times and Newsweek, so it might be that we should know who Benjamin Jackson is. We don't, but it's clear that the man has some excellent guerrilla-style lessons to share about how to find a NYC rental, including these bits of craft and cunning:
- Look during the first week or two of the month. Most places rent on the 1st, and 30 days’ notice is standard, so that time is when most people start listing and looking for tenants.
- A well-timed sublet can be a back door into a great place. People often sublet to finish out their lease, and when it’s up you’ll have the first crack at renewing. The current tenants may also be more flexible on price unless their apartment is really, really nice due to pressure to close the deal.
- Turn on the shower, unless you’re ok with going to work on a hot day reeking of Stoli and shame. Drop a couple of foot-long hotdogs in the toilet and flush to see how it handles the load.
- Search Twitter and Facebook (I found a great apartment this way that I ended up passing on), email everyone you know in town, and put up a housing wanted ad. If you can find time to hit the pavement looking for new buildings under construction, you can find great places that haven’t even been listed.