Can’t Find Cheap Rooms for Rent in NYC? Here Are Your Options

We all know just how hard it can be trying to find cheap rooms for rent in NYC. So we’ve put together a couple of top tips to help you find “the one.”

Try to Make Direct Contact

Instead of getting involved with agents and brokers, try to find a building with a rental office onsite, or register for free on a reputable room finder website where you can have direct contact with potential landlords and roommates. This way you can negotiate directly and skip any middle-man fees.

Consider Larger Apartment Buildings

A good way to find cheap rooms for rent in the city is to look at bigger buildings that have around 15 to 30 apartments. Chances are good that if the apartment block has rent-stabilized apartments, your room rental won’t be as high as small buildings and is more likely to remain that way.

You May Have to Face Something Ugly to Find Cheap Rooms for Rent

Nobody really dreams about gazing out of their windows and looking onto toll booths and on-ramps, but this kind of view may be a lot kinder on your bank account. Proximity to usually undesirable transportation facilities can be a big money saver. If you’re okay with this arrangement, look for areas close to highways, elevated train lines, tunnel entrances and even bridges and you’ll find the renal to be considerably lower than that of a room, say, a block or two away.

Invest in Earplugs

Rooms that face loud construction sites or other types of noise-generating operations can be a real steal if you’re willing to put up with the disruptions. Apartments that are located above bars and restaurants tend to be more affordable, as are rooms located along busier avenues. If disruption and noise don’t bother you at all, go for it. You could save a few hundred dollars and find perfectly suitable cheap rooms for rent.

Wait It Out

New changes to the city laws require that apartments in many buildings with three or more units have to be occupied for more than 30 days in a row. That means that it has become illegal to rent out apartments for short-term stays and this in turn will increase the supply of apartments which should cause rental prices to drop as the units can no longer be kept off the market to operate as though they are hotel rooms. So if you’re looking for long-term cheap rooms to rent in NYC, this law is worth knowing.

Try Waiting It Out Until Winter, Actually

Generally speaking, fewer people move in the winter, making landlords quite ready to do deals. If you can wait, try looking for rooms between Thanksgiving and Christmas and check out buildings with incentives, such as one month free. During the summer inventory is high and the majority of leases turn over, and that means prices are higher as are the number of people looking for places to rent. If you’re more keen to find a great deal, winter months are the way to go.

Be Prepared to Throw in Some Elbow Grease

Many potential landlords are usually happy to share the coast of some repairs and deduct those costs from the rental amount. Looking after the apartment, painting your room, snow-shoveling, vacuuming and even recycling are all great ways to negotiate a rental reduction.

Look for a Somewhat Low-Key Neighborhood

Try to look for neighborhoods you don’t often find in the real estate section of newspapers. Try industrial areas where you won’t get health-food markets or internet cafes, such as Queens, Brooklyn, Ridgewood and East Williamsburg.

Keep an Eye on Extras

Utility bills can quickly add up and add a rather hefty bump to your monthly payments. For instance, while landlords usually take care of heating costs, the electricity bill may have to come out of your pocket – or share of it if you have a roommate. One thing in particular to watch out for is older buildings that convert to electric heat. The installation costs tend to be a lot cheaper for the landlord, yet the monthly electric bills just to heat the apartment can be incredibly high.

Rise Up

As most of you already know just from looking around, rent in NYC is really high. But there are cheap rooms for rent out there. Possibly not in Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx or Brooklyn as buildings continue to crumble and landlords continue to raise the rent. So what can you do to lower your rent? You need to rise up above that and look in areas you wouldn’t normally consider, perhaps in apartments that wouldn’t usually appeal to you. You never know what bargain you may find!


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