NYC: Vacation rentals on Craigslist?

Old Aug 5th, 2009, 02:02 AM
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NYC: Vacation rentals on Craigslist?

Hi all,

I am looking for affordable accommodation in NYC end of September.
I saw that on Craigslist people are offering appartment/bedrooms for rent for as low as 80-100 USD per night.

Does anybody have any experience with this? Are there many scams or are these ads usually reliable?

As long as we have a clean and safe place to sleep and shower, we don't require much more comfort than that.

Any other suggestions on how to find decent, affordable accomodation are more than welcome. Perhaps staying in New Jersey? Not much in favour of hostels, as we'd like a double private room (first real holiday as a couple...)

Thank you,
Michele
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 03:46 AM
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There are very few legal apartment rentals available for vacations in NYC.
Suggest you stay at an appartment/hotel such as these:
radiocityapartments.com
affinia.com
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 03:49 AM
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What is considered legal/illegal?
How do you know the difference?
What are the implications if you stay at an illegal apartment?

Thank you!
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 03:55 AM
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This is frequently discussed on NYC Trip Advisor Forum. go there and under Top Questions about NYC click on Is it true that vacation rentals are a bad idea in NYC?
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 03:55 AM
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http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2008...s_despe-2.html
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 03:59 AM
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Here (I think) is the link SusieQQ referenced: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic..._New_York.html
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 04:11 AM
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One issue, of course, is that illegal rentals lack insurance as rental units. The toaster catches fire, or more likely, you slip in the shower, and there is no insurance to cover the loss. The owner insists you were negligent with the toaster and demands repayment for smoke damage, or you sue the owner for a faulty tub and discover that the owner's only asset is the apartment.
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 04:16 AM
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Michele, if you post your exact travel dates (prices fluctuate by date) and your hotel budget we might be able to help. Apt. rental is not the way to go. If you're flying into Newark, staying in one of the hotels in Jersey City or Hoboken near a PATH train is one option. If you're flying into JFK or LGA, staying in Queens, particularly Long Island City which is very close to Manhattan and has some newish budget hotels is another idea. Depending on your budget and how many nights you're staying, bidding on Priceline for a hotel in Manhattan might also fit your budget. Priceline is best for shorter stays (2-4 nights).
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 04:19 AM
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PS, the St. Mark's Hotel in Manhattan is a possibility. It's not by any means fancy, but one of the few places that can be booked with private bathroom for around $100/night. It's in the east village, a young area near NYU. http://www.stmarkshotel.net/1671525.html Reviews on tripadvisor are pretty decent. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev..._New_York.html
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 04:59 AM
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Illegal rentals also mean that the second day of your stay, you could be evicted. Nearly all apartment buildings prohibit sublets. If the right person there found out that you are paying a renter to sublet his apartment, they could make life very miserable for you, including having you evicted on to the street or locking you out of the apartment, perhaps even with your stuff inside.

I think the insurance issues are minor compared to the possibility of being thrown out on the street.
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 05:09 AM
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Hi McLaurie,

Thanks for the hints. We are thinking 20 or 21 to 24 or 25 September. We would be flying into JFK. I have also been thinking about Priceline. Had good experiences with it in London. Perhaps I could split the period in 2!
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 05:19 AM
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You can get some good deals on Priceline right now, and that's what I'd recommend in NYC. I would simply never book an apartment on Craigslist. There are far too many scams, and if something goes wrong, you have absolutely no recourse, nor can you insure your payment on an illegal sublet with travel insurance. I admit that many people have used Craigslist successfully, even in NYC. But I'd buy a toaster there, never rent anything.

For that short a period, I think it's silly to split your stay between two places, even if you could get a cheap place on Craigslist. So what do you do if the Craigslist place falls through? You then pay $400 a night for a new hotel? You take the train every day into Central Jersey? And you end up wasting hours moving your stuff into a new room when you're only in town for 3 or 4 days? I just don't get that.

Right now there are some good deals to be had in NYC, although prices will be up significantly by late September, when high season kicks in. I think you could find something right now for under $150 if you look hard, and that seems a better solution to me than renting an illegal apartment that might also be a scam. If you rent, try to find a place where you can get some feedback from other renters.

(And if you rent one of those $80 a night rooms, you may end up in a single bed in someone apartment, when the actual tenant sleeping in the living room. That's not my idea of a vacation.)
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 05:34 AM
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Thanks all for the advice.
It's exactly because this all seemed to be a bit too good to be true that I wanted to have a check.

And Doug_Stallings, I thought of splitting it in 2, because my chances might be better on Priceline for 2x2 nights than for 4 nights in a row... Will let you know how things go !
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 06:06 AM
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There's a new deal on travelzoo right now for the Marmara Manhattan Hotel. It's on the Upper East Side, so it's not the most ideal location (though safe, and near the 6 train), but it's a studio suite for $109, which is a steal. I'd rather stay there than in New Jersey.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 06:26 AM
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Hi bethke,

Looks lovely indeed, but unfortunately only till Sep 15th, while we're arriving on the 20th.

I was looking into www.vervehotel.com in Queens, gets excellent reviews on Tripadvisor and on www.booking.com for just $140 a night.
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 10:58 AM
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That's a relatively convenient if unattractive neighborhood. It's kind of desolate at night, but the tradeoff is that you are exactly 1 stop from Manhattan on the E/F train, 2 stops on the R, and 3 or so stops on the 7 Train, all of which stop at Queens Plaza. Plus, you can take a cab in a pinch for under $20. If you have to stay in Queens, it's a decent trade-off.

I think you can probably get a hotel in Manhattan for this price, and I don't think you'd have to split your stay to do it.
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