How To Find An Apartment For Rent – Diving into the city’s real estate market can be a daunting prospect, made even more daunting by the fact that the inventory of available homes is difficult to track. Besides going straight to a management company or building owner to beg for an apartment, using a website or an app is the best way to find the perfect place.

But there are so many sites to choose from in your quest to find a new home, it can be hard to figure out which ones are the best and which ones you should avoid (ahem, Craigslist). Also, all major New York City brokerages – Corcoran, Douglas Elliman, Compass, Brown Harris Stevens etc. – have their own website with apartments available for rent or purchase. So how do you figure out where to start?

How To Find An Apartment For Rent

Here, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite tried-and-true options. But first, a tip: no single site will have every rental on the market, more than a single broker would – so try all the tools available. (Looking for a free apartment to rent? We’ve got you covered.)

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This site offers realtor reviews and the option to search for paid or free apartments, but the most useful features are the clear format listings and the option to receive daily email notifications for listings that meet your search criteria. A potential renter can also communicate anonymously with realtors and landlords who list specific apartments.

StreetEasy is probably C’s best known listing aggregator, tracking sales and rentals. StreetEasy has become so popular thanks in part to its numerous search options, which allow users to filter results by location, amenities, square footage, whether or not there is a broker fee, and many other criteria.

In addition to listing apartments for sale or for rent, Localize offers information pertinent to the quality of life in these neighborhoods: whether it’s bike-friendly or near a dog park, whether it’s quiet, and much more. And once you’ve found a place, you can search the address for details on nearby public transport options, schools in the area, and other issues.

Zumper’s platform is pretty straightforward, making it easy for apartment hunters to search by neighborhood, price range, number of rooms, and amenities. Its layout makes it easy to view new properties, apartments without a broker fee and schedule a visit. The site also provides easy-to-digest neighborhood reports and tracks rental trends across the city.

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Renthop allows users to see when new points have been listed in real-time and contact the listing agent directly. It also has a “HopScore” for each apartment, which correlates with factors the site says show a listing’s quality — like how long it’s been listed or the reputation of the owner or manager.

Triplemint prides itself on offering “pre-market access” and “personal service” to its rental listings. The site has a map that lets you know how listings are available in various New York boroughs; the downside is that ma listings will require you to sign up before you can see more details about the property.

Here you can find everything from cheap room rentals to apartment rentals in new rental developments. It’s quite simple and does a good job of keeping a steady stream of new listings on your site, while promptly removing those that are no longer available. You can also search a wide range of housing types, including sublets and rent-restricted apartments.

As the name implies, this listing site is organized around a map of the five neighborhoods, which makes it easy to find an apartment in a particular neighborhood. Otherwise, the search features are similar to those found on other sites – you can search by number of rooms, price, etc. – but you can also look for short-term rentals.

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If you’re looking for a flexible rental situation, Roomi is the app for you: users are not required to sign year-long rental contracts and can easily find something more short-term. There are built-in security mechanisms for both the renter and the person looking for a roommate in terms of background checks and an in-app payment method. You can refine your search based on the number of months you’re interested in renting, neighborhood, price, and other metrics.

The Listings project began in 2003 as an email service sent by artist Stephanie Diamond, who shared information about listings she gathered from friends and other connections in a weekly email blast. Nearly two decades later, the concept has remained essentially the same: you still get the email in your inbox every Wednesday, but there’s also a website where you can search for listings. The team even sends individual emails to everyone interested in listing their apartment; this helps eliminate brokers and managers and connects potential renters directly with people looking to rent.

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This app bills itself as an alternative to Craigslist and works like a dating site, except you’re there to find potential roommates. The services match you with potential roommates based on your budget and your living habits. You answer a series of questions about yourself and RoomZoom gives you a ranked list of potential roommates. All you have to do is send the person a message and see if it’s a good fit. To get a rental in New York these days, you need to be persistent, do your research and, if necessary, be prepared to pay even more than the landlord. is asking.

Finding an apartment for rent in New York City is often a challenging experience, and especially so now. Rents are dramatically higher than they were a year ago. There are also very few apartments available and bidding wars are much more frequent, making apartment hunting an incredibly frustrating experience.

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To get a New York apartment now, you need to be persistent, do your research and, if necessary, be prepared to pay even more than the landlord is asking.

Paying more may sound shocking, but “the reality is that it’s a homeowners’ market,” explains Gary Malin, director of operations at Corcoran real estate. Even if you’re a seasoned renter, there are strategies you should use to find the best deal and avoid rushing into a lease and later regretting it. Read on for more advice.

[Editor’s Note: An earlier version of the article was published in May 2021. We are re-representing it here with updated information for March 2023.]

Try to avoid renting a spot without being seen. You run the risk of falling into bait-and-switch schemes, when potential tenants are lured in with photos but discover the apartment is actually a different substandard the moment they receive the keys. If you use a virtual tour to check out apartments, make sure you are working with a reputable realtor, verify the information (Google the location and owner name to see what other renters are saying), and ask lots of questions.

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Not all agents have shady intentions, but some disreputable ones try to lure in clients by advertising too-good-to-be-true apartments that aren’t actually available (or at least not at this price). To learn more about this, read: “Don’t fall for any of these real estate scams.” Also, checking a listing in an unfamiliar area or with a broker you’ve never met can put you in a vulnerable position. Consider your personal safety and read: “10 Ways to Stay Safe While Looking for an Apartment in New York.”

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Rather than finding an agent through a listing, try getting a personal recommendation from a friend or your company’s relocation office.

Another good resource is Brick Underground partner TheAgencyre.com, a tech-savvy brokerage that has helped hundreds of Brick Underground readers find their ideal New York apartments. (Bonus: If you sign up here, the Agency will charge a brokerage fee of 10% of the annual rent, instead of the usual 12-15%.)

If you are using a real estate agent, be sure to get a written agreement that the agent will disclose any realtor fees paid by the landlord and offset your fee accordingly. Unscrupulous agents double-dip without disclosing; they may also direct you to paid apartments, ignoring a potentially better choice for you.

Why Is A New York Apartment Still So Hard To Find?

Determined to skip the broker fee? Here’s a list of the best websites to find a no-fee rental in New York City.

Figure out what matters most to you – be it size, price, location or amenities – and determine where you’d be willing to compromise.

If you are dealing directly with a local leasing agent in a large, free building, understand that even if there are 10 or 20 vacancies, you may only be told about two or three. (Landlords typically hold back apartments on the market to put themselves in a better position to negotiate.) So make sure you’re extremely clear about what you want—there may be another unit available that suits your needs even better.

Also, the rental agent will not always voluntarily provide information about any concessions, so remember to ask. Sometimes offered in lieu of lowering the asking rent for an apartment, concessions are more common when the market is slow or in a new building being leased. This could include things like a month or two of free rent, the landlord paying the broker’s fee,

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