Renting an Apartment in NYC (Beware of being ripped off)

24 07 2008

I have been thinking of getting my own apartment since March, and I became serious about it for last two months. I have been seeing many apartments in Queens in various locations such as Forest Hills, Rego Park, Astoria; but did not like any that I saw and the rent was also very high in all these apartments.

On that day I found one apartment in craigslist.com; the apartment is located in Flushing, it’s a modern 1-bed apartment with Terrace. The pics looked really good. I called the broker and made an appointment to see the apartment.

After work, I went to the apartment to see it, and the apartment was too good to be true for a NYC apartment. I loved the apartment. I loved the terrace so much; the unit is located in one of the upper lever floors, and I get a really nice view from the terrace.

So, I told the broker I loved this place, and I wanted to take it.

She said, ok, I need $200 from you in cash now for the fee. I was like, wow! is this all she charges! (normally a broker charges one month rent or 12 or 15% of the annual rent as their fees in NYC)

So I paid her $200; she and her husband gave me all the papers to fill out, and they said they would give me the result the next morning after I send them all the documents they were asking for.

The next day she said I was approved. And she told me to bring two official checks or money orders for the one month security deposit and one month advance. And her broker fee is 12% of the annual rent. I was like, why the fee is so high!

But anyway, I called her up later again and brought the fee down a little.

But I still was not happy. I felt like they were charging me too much for the fee and I also realized that I made a mistake by not asking her about her fee on the very first day I spoke to her.

So, I arranged a friend to call her up and ask her about her fee. And she told my friend that her fee is one month’s rent! So, in that case I should be paying much less than what she was charging me!

I just wanted to post this in my blog so other people can be aware of that too and be careful when they rent an apartment. Ask the broker about their fee beforehand.

Another point to make here is that always believe in your instinct. If you feel like something is not right, then find out before you step into it.

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