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Apartments without bathrooms: the new frontier in cheap rent?

By Virginia K. Smith  | December 3, 2014 - 12:59PM

Whether it's a less-than-stable roommate or a long, cold walk to the train, sacrificing comfort in exchange for relatively cheap rent is a time-honored NYC tradition. But there are limits—or at least there should be—which we'd always assumed included taking on an apartment without its own bathroom. Not so!

One assistant trader at a Midtown bank told DNAinfo his story of a hunt for an "affordable" apartment within walking distance of his job, which in the end, turned out to be a fourth-floor Upper East Side walk-up with a bathroom that's not in the apartment itself, but in the hallway on his floor. For $1,350 a month. (One upside, at least: it's private, and only he has the key, unlike this $1,200/month Prospect Heights studio with a "shared" hallway bathroom.) Unsurprisingly, he tells the site, "I hate it. Sometimes if I hear someone is out in the hallway, I have to hold it for a while until that someone is gone."

The site also tracked down renters who've shared bunk beds—or living rooms—in their 30s in order to afford an address in Manhattan. Lest we forget, there was also the tale of the cheap-ish Soho studio with its shower smack in the middle of the kitchen.

There's no need to begrudge anyone an apartment they think is a decent deal, but before you commit to a semi-public bathroom situation, maybe first consider bartering with the landlord—or better yet, renovating—to lower that monthly bill?


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