How to find a short-term rental apartment while you renovate in NYC

The 7 best ways to find a short-term rental while you renovate your NYC apartment

  • Short-term rentals can be difficult to find and cost 20 to 30 percent more than regular long-term leases
  • To increase your options, consider corporate housing, extended-stay properties, and leasebreaks
  • You’ll find the most listings in spring, but that’s also when asking rents are at their highest
Freelance journalist and editor Evelyn Battaglia
By Evelyn Battaglia  |
January 17, 2024 - 12:30PM
A furnished, two-bedroom apartment by Blueground at The Axel in Clinton Hill

This furnished, two-bedroom apartment by Blueground at The Axel in Clinton Hill starts at $5,370 per month with a 30-day minimum stay.  


Renovating your New York City apartment involves more than finding a reputable contractor and choosing your finishes and appliances. It also typically requires you to relocate, at least while the bulk of the work is being done—and your kitchen and bathroom are off-limits. 

But short-term rentals tend to be difficult to find and typically cost 20 to 30 percent more than regular long-term leases.

The reason? The higher turnover, which is expensive for landlords. Plus, they are looking for longer-term tenants. (Note: Apartments in NYC can not be rented for fewer than 30-days unless the owner or leaseholder is present.) And New Yorkers seeking short-term stays are competing with people who need corporate housing (paid for by their companies, of course) who are willing to pay more for flexible leases.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article was published in January 2023. We are presenting it again with new information for January 2024.

You’ll find the most listings for short-term rentals in spring, but that’s also when asking rents are the highest, says Philip Horigan, founder of Leasebreak, a short-term rental listing site. Rents for summer start dates are also notoriously high thanks to all the interns that swarm the city.

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Typically, NYC rental buildings don’t allow short-term stays. There are some landlords that will rent furnished apartments directly to renters on a short-term basis, but the overwhelming majority of buildings have a one-year minimum. Most co-ops also frown on short-term stays, and some condo buildings prohibit them.

However, you don’t need to depend on the flexibility of landlords or co-op and condo buildings to find a short-term rental.

Thanks to the hosting sites and industry disruptors like Blueground and Sonder, New Yorkers looking for short-term rentals have more options today than in the past. Even corporate housing is an option (with you picking up the tab).

Whichever route you take, it pays to be strategic about timing your renovation. Co-living companies and even traditional landlords may offer concessions or allow shorter terms during the winter, when they may want to fill up unoccupied units. If your short-term lease ends in the spring or summer, landlords are better able to find a new tenant—and charge that person more. 

Keep the above in mind and use these seven methods for finding the best short-term rental while you renovate your NYC apartment.

1) Explore your neighborhood

It helps to rent in your immediate neighborhood so you can stick to your regular routine (like walking your kids to school or visiting the dog park)—and avoid having to spend time learning where to shop for food and other essentials. Just as importantly, it will be that much easier to keep an eye on the reno work to make sure it is proceeding at an appropriate pace. 

Use your local knowledge of where the big rental buildings are and stop by and ask the doorman or concierge about any current or upcoming vacancies (they always know). If you play your cards right, they just might be able to hook you up with the landlord or tenant even before a unit is officially on the market—just be transparent about looking for other than a regular yearly lease. 

short term rentals during a renovation

This furnished three bedroom at The Tempo at 240 West 73rd St. is available for $7,500 per month. 


Vector New York

2) Search for apartments online

Like regular rentals, many short-term rentals are posted on the usual listing websites, though you may need to do a little sleuthing to find them. 

On StreetEasy, for example, you can use the advanced search option to select the filter for furnished apartments, which are more likely to allow short-term rentals. You can also enter "short term" in the keyword search. A recent search of the Upper West Side turned up a handful of furnished apartments that specifically said "available short-term," including the listing above. 

NYHabitat lets you search for short-term rentals in its no-fee apartment database, with plenty of listings across Manhattan and Brooklyn. (There were 164 at last check.) The site has added a "ratings and reviews" feature, though a quick survey didn't turn up any comments for the active listings. 

RentHop also lets you search for sublets/leasebreaks, furnished apartments, or even short-term rentals, with 210 of the latter across NYC as of this week.

Or you can head straight to Leasebreak. “One great way to get a short-term rental is to take over the remaining months on someone's lease,” Horigan says. (In that scenario, a new tenant will take over someone else’s active lease, with the landlord’s approval.)

Changes to the rent laws in 2019 make it a little easier for renters to get out of a lease early if necessary. Landlords have what’s called a duty to mitigate, which means they are required to try to re-rent the apartment instead of taking you to court for unpaid rent. And as leasebreaks become more accepted and common, there will be more shorter-term lease opportunities for renters to take over the remaining months of someone's lease—often at a much lower rent than the market rate, Horigan says.

Leasebreak has grown to include other legal short-term options such as furnished month-to-month rentals, unfurnished sublets direct from a tenant for a specific time frame, and rooms for share. 

"We are known as a 'short-term marketplace'— with thousands of leasebreaks all in one place! We also have sublets, rooms for rent, and companies like Blueground and Furnished Quarters who specialize in short-term rentals list with us directly," Horigan says. Those and other firms are discussed below.

When possible, seek out a short-term lease with the option to extend in case the renovation takes longer than planned—it inevitably will. Find out in advance how much notice you need to give and if that is at all negotiable. It’s safe to say you’ll need to let them know at least 30 days in advance of the extension.

short term rentals during a renovation

Churchill Living offers this furnished one bedroom at Sky in Midtown starting at $229 per night. 

3) Move into corporate housing

As the epicenter of so many industries, NYC has long been flush with corporate housing providers who help companies find short-term accommodations for their executives and employees. 

Furnished apartments are move-in ready and ideal for New Yorkers in the middle of a renovation project who are not looking to take on yet more decorating decisions. Those that come with utilities and wifi baked into the rent alleviate the chore of setting those up. 

More recently, these established companies have been rebranding themselves as suppliers of long-term stays for students, international travelers, and even families, with ample multi-bedroom units for the latter.

Prices are still steeper than unfurnished rentals but if a fitness center, children’s playroom, rooftop lounge, and other such amenities are important to you, these mostly Manhattan properties might be your best bet. Be sure to factor in a 30-day minimum stay.

Most of these places require you to submit an inquiry form to see actual pricing and availability. For example, Weichert Corporate Housing (formerly Premier Furnished Apartments) has units at about 60 buildings across Manhattan (no pricing information on its website). Churchill Living has 13 properties in Manhattan (and one each in the Bronx and White Plains); starting prices range from $199 to $419 a night with a couple of higher-priced outliers at $828 and $1,149. Furnished Quarters has extensive, higher-end listings in Manhattan and six properties in Brooklyn—all with onsite 24/7 guest service. Pricing available only upon request.  

Executive Plaza in Midtown West is another spot for furnished monthly rentals with studios starting at $159 a night, one bedrooms at $199, and two bedroom and two baths at $289. 

The best ways to find a short-term rental while you renovate your NYC apartment

Explore your nabe and search online

  • Rent in your immediate neighborhood so you can stick to your regular routine. 
  • Stop by big rental buildings and ask the doorman or concierge about any vacancies. 
  • Search for "sublets," "leasebreaks," and "short-term rentals" on sites like StreetEasy and Leasebreak.
Move into properties that
offer short-term stays
  • Corporate housing companies now serve families though they can be expensive.
  • Extended-stay properties range in price and cater as much to residents as tourists.
  • For budget accommodations, apply for a room in a co-living space.
Work with a broker or
tap your social networks 
  • There are agencies that specialize in short-term stays, though you may have to pay a broker's fee. 
  • Other brokers may have clients looking to sublet their apartments.
  • Word-of-mouth recommendations come free—ask everyone you know for potential opportunities. 

short term rentals during a renovation

AKA offers suites with a separate living area, such as this one at the NoMad location. 

4) Think like a tourist

There are a growing number of extended-stay options that are based on a hospitality model, and you can pick the one that best fits your budget. You may even be able to negotiate a lower rate, especially during the off-season. 

AKA has extended-stay properties in four Manhattan neighborhoods—Central Park, Times Square, Sutton Place, and Nomad. It offers a hotel-like experience, with free wifi, housekeeping, coffee and tea service, and access to gyms, lounges, a screening room, and business center. Rooms range from studios to penthouse suites, all with gourmet kitchens. 

Anyplace has furnished studios and one bedrooms in Manhattan (Chelsea, FiDi, Murray Hill, the Theater District, and Columbus Circle) with fully equipped workplaces (complete with monitor and wireless keyboard and mouse for your laptop) and the buildings have co-working spaces, so you don't miss a beat while you decamp if you work from home full- or part-time. Other amenities include in-unit laundry and access to fitness centers, pools, and rooftop decks. Rates start at $3,870 per month with a minimum 30-day stay. 

Both Sonder and Blueground lean as much toward residents as tourists, with stylish spaces in desirable neighborhoods (mostly in Manhattan). Blueground has significantly more properties than Sonder in NYC—as in close to 960 (57 in Brooklyn) compared to 13 (one in Brooklyn) respectively.

Rates start at $3,780 a month for a one bedroom through Blueground and anywhere from $198 to $485 a night for a Sonder one bedroom with a minimum 30-day stay ($5,940 to $14,550). Some amenities require a fee—but if you’re not using a gym or pool, you might appreciate not having to pay for it. 

On the high end, onefinestay has monthly stays available at 32 luxury properties in NYC, ranging from $267 a night for a one-bedroom apartment at Columbus Terrace to $3,200 for a six-bedroom townhouse in the West Village. The bookings come with onefinestay’s concierge service and guest support. Guests can add additional services like housekeeping, private chefs, and in-home spa treatments as well as extend their stays and rent the home per day after the initial 30-night booking.

NYC listings include addresses in desirable nabes like Soho, Chelsea, Park Slope, and Williamsburg for one to six bedrooms, ranging in price from $267 to $3,200 per night (!) for a 30-day stay.

short term rentals during a renovation

A one bedroom at Node Brooklyn Boutique starts at $1,550 per month plus $110 for utilities. 

5) Apply for a co-living space

If you have kids and/or pets, proceed to #6. 

But if you fit the profile (20- or 30-something professional working in tech or creative sectors) and don’t mind sharing your temporary home with strangers, consider the city’s numerous co-living opportunities. These “adult dorms” offer a private bedroom in a stylish space, complete with access to a stocked kitchen, housecleaning, and buildings with modern perks. Most companies also create opportunities for networking and socializing through pop-up events and happy hours. 

Places like SharedEasy (with listings in Morningside Heights, UES, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick), Outsite (Chelsea, Midtown, Prospect Heights), Node (Bushwick), and Dwellaby (Kensington, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Borough Park) will let you stay for as little as one month; Goal House (Prospect Lefferts Gardens) requires a minimum three-month stay and has no vacancies as of this writing. 

You can expect a private bedroom (yes, you are only renting a room!) to start at around $900, slightly more for one with a private bath. A few companies require an additional membership fee. Utilities are usually bundled with the price, though a security deposit may be required. 

6) Let a broker do the work

Finding a broker who is well-versed in short-term rentals is another option, especially if you want someone to do the heavy lifting for you. 

There are a few agencies that specialize in short-term furnished inventory. Apt212 and Manhattan Management Group are a couple. Most of the larger brokerages also have relocation specialists or agents with experience in short-term rentals.

You will have to be willing to fork over a fee, usually a month’s rent for shorter leases or 15 percent for anything over six months. 

“Working with a reputable broker may save you money in the end because we can negotiate on your behalf and broaden your options,” says Tracie Hamersley, a broker at Douglas Elliman. Plus you can capitalize on their connections. “I called a property manager who had just happened to speak to a tenant who was looking to sublet her apartment, and I was able to place my client in a short-term lease. That serendipity happens all the time.” 

Hamersley also has a valuable resource in the firm’s internal bulletin board, where she can reach out to all 4,000 agents across the city to find leads on rentals that may be off market or broker-to-broker. “I can post what I am looking for and quickly get a match,” she says.

Over the past 19 years, Michelle Sedlitz, an agent at Corcoran, has helped people rent out their furnished apartment for the summer or while out of the country for half the year, including a six-month sublet of a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath condo (with the board’s permission). “I always tell renters these furnished short-term rentals will be expensive, but every now and then I find a tenant/landlord willing to come down quite a bit on the price.”

Sedlitz also finds that if there is a walkup that is a lot less expensive, "many renters are willing to forego the bells and whistles to save money on the rent."

7) Tap your social networks

Word-of-mouth recommendations are often the best way to find a temporary landing place. Ask ALL your friends, neighbors, co-workers, workout buddies, and whoever else you know if they (or someone they know) will be vacating or subletting their apartment. Post your request on social media. Be creative and persistent. You never know. 

—Earlier versions of this article contained reporting and writing by Lucy Cohen Blatter and Donna M. Airoldi

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Freelance journalist and editor Evelyn Battaglia

Evelyn Battaglia

Contributing Writer

Freelance journalist and editor Evelyn Battaglia has been immersed in all things home—decorating, organizing, gardening, and cooking—for over two decades, notably as an executive editor at Martha Stewart Omnimedia, where she helped produce many best-selling books. As a contributing writer at Brick Underground, Evelyn specializes in deeply reported only-in-New-York renovation topics brimming with real-life examples and practical advice.

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