Renting an apt in NYC; need advice

Old Mar 30th, 2009, 09:29 AM
  #41  
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Harlemite: Thanks for the website. I checked out the extended stay option. The cost is $3500 plus 17% tax for July. $75 cleaning fee (optional) NO REFUNDS. The apt is at 2nd ave and 12th St. This location means nothing to me, but it may be helpful for others reading the board. The man I spoke to on the phone put me on hold each time I asked a question -- not a very good feeling. We had trouble communicating. You ARE right; it is a hassle. Ditto to NYtraveler.
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Old Mar 30th, 2009, 10:25 AM
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Second Avenue and 12th St is one block from where I live. It's a good neighborhood, the East village, very popular, full of restaurants and small local shops rather than large chain stores.
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Old Mar 30th, 2009, 11:58 AM
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I agree with the location --- I used to leave nearby myself. Very close to Union Square with the farmer's market in summer -- yum. But if the price isn't right. I also wonder if you'll have better luck booking closer to your intended stay date. Hotels don't want to drop rates until they realize they have to. My friend booked the Off Soho Suites for $109 night vs. their posted rate of $159.
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Old Mar 30th, 2009, 12:47 PM
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When I visit NYC (which is often, but never often enough), I will always stay in a residential neighborhood like the UWS or E Village or similar. Much more relaxing, much better "feel" on the streets. Plus, shops and restaurants tend to be higher quality and better price (though of course that's all relative in NY), because they depend on repeat business much more than do places in midtown.
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Old Mar 31st, 2009, 06:26 AM
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Thank you, Harlemite and rizzuto. I am looking for a neighborhood feeling; I much prefer it to a hotel area. I am going to take a wait and see attitude. Perhaps, as we get closer, there will be more people willing to offer discounts. Meanwhile, we continue to look at other holiday choices. Thanks again. Annetti
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Old Mar 31st, 2009, 02:26 PM
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I'm a little surprised no one mentioned New York Habitat in this thread. wwww.nyhabitat.com We've never used them (we always end up staying in a suite hotel), but I know a few people who have (it's been several years, though).

Is this company still considered a viable, reliable option for sublets in NYC?
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Old Mar 31st, 2009, 03:51 PM
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Hi Brookside, I just tried nyhabitat.com but there was no website. Any chance that there's another spelling or form that it takes? Thank you. Annetti
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Old Mar 31st, 2009, 04:24 PM
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It's right there - but I think you need to use the www. Although, I can;t vouch for the apartments.
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Old Mar 31st, 2009, 04:53 PM
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Thank you nytraveler. You are right; I needed the www. The apts look pretty decent for the price. Lots of one bedrooms in my price range. Okay. . . anyone out there have direct experience with this company? Thanks in advance.
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 08:13 AM
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I did use nyhabitat once, about 7 years ago. There are individual owners. My experience worked out OK, but the owner, a rather young guy was very flakey. He was an hour or two late meeting us with the keys. He told me to contact him directly next time and it would save me money. I referred two friends to him and they rented for a week and it was disaster. They arrived to find someone else in the apartment, but he showed up and he was casual about it -- saying the other people were staying an extra day so he arranged for my friends to stay in a neighbor's apartment that he was 'watching' while the owner was out of town. My friends had the impression the owner of that one never even knew they stayed in it. But the next day they moved to the right apartment. Then my friends could never get their deposit back -- just a lot of stories from the guy, first he had sent it, then his secretary had failed to, and then it had been sent -- but it hadn't. They finally just gave up. I contacted nyhabitat and told them the whole story, making clear that we didn't hold them responsible as we hadn't booked through them and they simply replied that yes, there had been problems with that owner and they had "dumped" him anyway and no longer would rent his apartment.

Once again, anything can happen with any of this agencies that have various individual owners.
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 12:18 PM
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Renting an apartment is not the same as booking a hotel. Cancelation fees are steep, you're often asked for half or more upfront and it's usually not possible to read reviews of the particular place you're getting. You'll be asked I can't emphasize enough that MOST short term rentals are illegal in some way-either b/c the building doesn't really allow it or the city zoning doesn't allow it. This doesn't stop people from doing it, but you need to understand that it's not a common thing.

People are illegally renting out apartments that should be long term rentals to tourists and yielding two to three times the money they would otherwise.
Example: a studio apartment rents for ~ $2000/month (unfurnished). Instead, a coop or condo owner or landlord of a rental building puts some furniture in and can rent it for $200/night. The tourist thinks they're getting a bargain, the owner/landlord can get $6000 for the month if he can rent it for every night instead of the $2000 to a long term tenant and that more than pays for some furniture. Each renter is charged for cleaning and security in case of damage.

Imo, by definition people who do this are often a bit flaky.

I think if you like any of the b & b's I linked for you and any of them show openings, it doesn't hurt to ask for a price for a 3 or 4 week stay. I notice the Monet suite at west-eleventh.com is free the last half of June and all of July. (btw, a lot of NYers leave in July/August. I think it might be easier to get a deal for a month then than in June).

The other thing you might try is running your OWN ad in Craigslist and let people respond to you.
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 05:07 PM
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Hi mclaurie, I wrote to all the B&Bs you suggested. About three of them answered me. I can't remember who said what now, but one B&B would only do two weeks, said that more time was not in his self-interest and had no discounts at all for the 2 wk period. Another offered me a 15% discount and the third offered NO discount at all. He offered me the same rate as his day rate multiplied by 30. I think at the time, I did the numbers that all three places were over $6000. I did not inquire what their cancellation policies were since the prices were out of my price range. No doubt, they are a great bargain compared to a hotel room, but not a great deal for a long visit by someone constrained by budget. None of them seemed to be impressed by the possibility of a long stay, in fact as I pointed out above, one told me flat out he does not offer long stays.

Thank you for your thoughts on the illegality of subletting. Neopatrick's tale above is not a pleasant one to read. I have no doubts that it happened. Although Habitat removed this guy they "dumped," there is probably another dishonest guy/gal taking his place. I suppose you have to be unlucky and that most people will not experience this situation or at least I hope that the odds are small, but it seems like a lot of trouble and then to end up having a bad vacation. I am finding myself less and less enthusiastic about renting an apt in NYC this summer.

I think the best of all possible worlds (besides being extraordinarily rich or incurring debt) would be to have connections in NY who would willingly do some legwork for us. Unfortunately, we are NY relationless.

Thank you, NeoPatrick for your thoughts on Habitat.
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 05:47 PM
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Well - I think the problem is that you're looking for a great deal/price but don;t want to take the risks associated with it. $100 per night really isn't enough for something that's legitimate and guaranteed.
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 06:41 PM
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nytraveler: You are right; I am not a risk taker. Even if I spent twice the price, I still have no cancellation privileges in the apt.; I would lose $6000 instead of $3000 and I may end up with no nicer place than if I spent $3000, however I probably would have the guarantee that the apt I saw on-line would probably be the one I eventually rented.

Hotels are much easier; if you don't like the room, you pay for the night or maybe two nights and then you switch places. And usually you lose no money if you cancel within 48 hrs.

When I opened with my query, I did not expect the answers I received and in no way did I anticipate it would be this difficult. I just thought posters would suggest some reputable websites/narrow down the unlimited choices I saw when beginning my search and the rest would be easy, that I would narrow it down to a few choices, ask for some assistance on neighborhoods and rent an apt. No such luck. However, I am grateful for all the honesty and help I have received. Thanks everyone.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2009, 05:07 AM
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You sound so dejected. You DO have "relations" in NYC. You have us! ekscrunchy offered the possibility of her friend's apt. What about that? Brooklyn Heights is BEAUTIFUL and a short subway ride into Manhattan. I think you should at least entertain the idea. In your shoes, I would also contact management at Worlwide Plaza and Executive Plaza. The website for Executive Plaza is here http://www.empirestateproperties.com/ They also have a building downtown at Battery Park which can be quite nice in June.

I would also make contact with the person that NeoPatrick rented from at Worldwide Plaza and mention you're interested in a 1 month rental and while you see he's booked, you thought since things can change, you might just let him know in case he gets a cancelation. Who knows, he might know of another apt. This is all about networking.

I also think you have nothing to lose by running your own ad in Craigslist.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2009, 05:12 AM
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Btw, I've just reread the whole thread and I don't understand what's wrong with $99/night or $3,000 for the month from Oakwood? I don't think you'll find anything in Manhattan for much less than that for June that will be as nice. If you rent from Oakwood, their apartments are set up for visitors like yourself. When you rent from Ny Habitat or an individual, you're generally staying in someone else's apt. with their "stuff."
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Old Apr 2nd, 2009, 05:18 AM
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One other thought, www.apartments2book.com is a UK agency that generally deals in suite hotels but they have a few listings for 1 month rentals (although not sure they'd fit your budget). Here's one http://www.apartments2book.com/newyork22.htm
You might want to email them.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2009, 05:25 AM
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mclaurie, I lost any reference to annetti finding Oakwood at $3000. She mentioned above that they were all OVER $6000 for a month in July.

I have had similar problems with Oakwood both in New York and LA. I had good luck with them in Chicago (where they have their own building, not just a number of units in various buildings). However in New York, their prices seemed more like a come on. Every time we started getting specific they had nothing at the prices they first advertised. And they didn't want to confirm very far ahead for a single month. But they are sure an agency I wouldn't hesitate to trust for being on the up and up if renting through them.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2009, 02:21 PM
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Neopatrick and McLaurie, I think the confusion over Oakwood's prices were that I was originally given a spring bargain price of $99/night, but when I checked again for July prices, the second operator gave me a price of $213 per night. Thank you again, McLaurie. You have been very thoughtful.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 12:22 PM
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I don't know if you've given up this idea but I suddenly remembered citylightsnewyork.com They are a clearing house for apartments and might have something for you.
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