Moving to NYC for an internship and need an apartment? Here’s Brick Underground’s best advice

By Austin Havens-Bowen | January 23, 2020 - 4:00PM 

Congratulations on landing an internship in New York City! Now you need to find an apartment, not an easy task here. Here's Brick Underground's best advice on finding a safe, legal, and affordable place for a short-term stay.


New York City is the epicenter for art, fashion, finance, media, and other industries, and so landing an internship here can really boost your resume. But finding a place to rent is a tremendous hassle, especially for a short-term stay.  

You are competing with thousands of students vying for similar places and short-term rentals are notoriously in short supply. Plus the rental market here is unlike any other city (meaning far more expensive and complicated), so before you even start looking for an apartment, be sure to brush up on the paperwork and what sort of finances you need to have. Check out Brick Underground's "The 8 biggest hurdles for first-time NYC renters, solved."

Brick Underground has rounded up some of our best advice on what you need to know about short-term rental companies, co-living, taking over a lease, and more. Read on.

Avoid scams when you sublet

Most internships last one semester or run during summer break, so you’re only going to need a place to crash for three months. But the typical lease in NYC is one and sometimes two years. Subletting for the short-term can be a solution, but you want to steer clear of illegal listings. Some buildings, like many co-ops, have rules against subletting, although apartment owners will still try to sublet on the sly. If you're considering an apartment sublet, be sure to ask whether an apartment owner or leaseholder is truly allowed to sublet, and ask to see documentation. You wouldn't want to be kicked out before your internship was completed. For more advice, read "How to rent a short-term, furnished apartment in NYC without getting scammed."

There are scams galore in NYC, so you want to look at every apartment listing with a critical eye, ask questions, and even check out the broker, because if an apartment seems too good to be true, it probably is. For more tips, read "Don't fall for any of these real estate scams." 

Consider a short-term rental company

If all that sounds like too much of headache, then you should consider using a short-term rental company. These are furnished, turn-key apartments. While these may be more expensive, you will get peace of mind and not have to fear being kicked out. For a round up of the short-term rental companies with locations in NYC, read "An insider's guide to finding a short-term, furnished apartment rental in NYC." 

Find a roommate

Getting a roommate for your stay in NYC helps cut costs and responsibilities. Need help finding one? Brick has you covered with "The 12 best websites for finding a roommate in NYC. Make sure you meet in person, or if you’re moving from another city, schedule a FaceTime meeting, and ask tons of questions. Not sure how to screen potential roommates? Be sure to read, "The 21 best questions to ask potential roommates to get the perfect match."

Give co-living a shot

Co-living is like an upscale, turn-key take on dorm living. These shared apartments are typically furnished, and cleaning services and utilities are included, and you are matched with roommates, removing the burden of finding them yourself. They are ideal for internships because lease terms are flexible, and they don't have stringent income requirements or require guarantors like regular landlords. Many offer an instant social life with events and programming. But you do pay a premium to live here. 

There are lots of co-living companies in NYC, and they each strive to cater to a different niche. To get a sense of what's available, check out "Brick Underground's guide to co-living spaces in NYC."

Skeptical about sharing a space with strangers? Brick Underground has talked to several co-living renters about their experience. Check out "What co-living is like: An insider describes his life in an 'adult dorm,'" and "My new co-living life: Paying one price for state-of-the-art amenities and an instant social network."

Ready to sign up for a co-living apartment? Be sure to brush up on some of the rules so you don't find yourself on the wrong side of the law. Make sure you are signing a lease for an apartment, not just a room. Read "Understanding the legal issues of co-living: 3 ways to protect yourself." 

Some renters at a company called Bedly probably wished they knew what they were getting into—after loads of complaints about service and safety, the company shut its doors this summer. To make sure you don't find yourself in a similar situation, see "How to tell if a co-living company is legit or sketchy: Lessons from Bedly's meltdown."

Find a no-fee rental apartment to cut some costs

no-fee apartment help you save some cash on your move to NYC. You'll avoid a broker fee with many large rental buildings where you rent directly from management. For more resources, check out "The 8 best websites for finding a no-fee rental apartment in NYC in 2019" and "How to use Google Maps to find a no-fee apartment in NYC."

Take over someone else’s lease

In New York City, people are always coming and going, even before the end of a lease. That could be an opportunity for you, since you only needs a place for a several months. You can find listings on Leasebreak, and you can search for both fee and no-fee listings in all five boroughs.

You can find listings for sublets, rooms in apartments and entire apartments, and furnished spaces. Listings are searchable by how long you want a place as well as move-in and move-out dates.


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