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How to rent an apartment in NYC as a student?

How to rent an apartment in NYC as a student?

You probably heard that it’s challenging to the nth degree to secure student housing in NYC. If you’re hoping to live off-campus instead of in a dorm, that’s bad.  

If you have your heart set on the former option, I don’t blame you. By choosing this, you’ll have a living space that’s typically more private and bigger. Because most rental apartments tend to be unfurnished, you’ll also have an opportunity to inject some of your own personality into your living quarters.  

The Cost of Living in NYC  

NYC rents vary widely depending on the neighborhood and type of apartment you’re looking for. Usually, monthly rents for a studio or one-bedroom apartment in the Big Apple range from $2000 to $3000.  

The cheapest accommodations you’ll find in NYC is renting an individual or shared room. This is a common living arrangement for budget-conscious college students. 

How Landlords Use Credit Scores  

Typically, a landlord won’t rent to a prospective tenant if their credit score is below 700. However, most students don’t have an extensive credit history. Many landlords take this into account and only require a credit score of 650 or above if you’re enrolled full-time in college.  

Landlords use credit scores to help them figure out the probability of you defaulting on your lease. The credit bureaus ascertain your credit score based on how timely your loan payments are, your spending habits, and how you usually use credit.  

How To Rent an Apartment in NYC As a Student  

The Big Apple is a vibrant mecca where students all over the world flock to achieve their educational dreams. However, the inability to secure off-campus housing could be a significant stumbling block to realizing your long-held vision. If you want to overcome this hurdle, read on to find the best way to secure student housing in NYC.  

Figure Out How Much You Can Afford 

 Rental requirements in NYC are among the strictest in the nation. Many Big Apple landlords only want highly qualified tenants. This means you’re going to need to make a lot of money if you’re looking to rent the nicest apartments in the city.  

However, decent apartments can be had even if you’re not an upper-tier income earner. Before you start looking for student housing in NYC, determine what you’re able to pay for rent and other expenses such as electricity, internet, security deposit, and broker’s fee. 

Decide Which Apartment Features Are Most Important  

Once you’ve come up with a budget that includes rent, prioritize which apartment features are most crucial. These are things like apartment size, how contemporary you want it to be, closeness to public transportation, and closet space.  

While finding an apartment with every feature on your dream list is probably impossible, you should be able to find one that has some of these features. 

Do Research  

Because the NYC rental market is so competitive, you don’t want to wait too long to start looking for student housing in NYC. If you do, you risk not finding one at all or paying an arm and a leg for one because of limited availability.  

Start researching apartment options at least one month before you’re due to arrive in the Big Apple. To do this, use websites such as Craigslist, Reddit, or Aya. The three most crucial factors are location, affordability, and easy subway access.  

Try to find a site that lets you search for rent-stabilized apartments. With these spaces, the rent can only be raised by an amount predetermined by the Rent Guidelines Board. If your apartment search is causing you to pull your hair out, find a service that’ll help you do it. Some charge a fee, while others are 100% free (like Aya). 

Get To Know the Neighborhood  

If you’d like to learn more about a specific neighborhood, look for telltale signs that will help you understand the area better. This involves becoming an amateur detective as you investigate the neighborhood’s character. For example, if you want to know if a particular community is family-friendly, look for the prevalence of strollers and schools. 

You should not only visit a neighborhood during the day but also at night. Ask people who live there what’s it like. If you want to know the crime rate, ask a police officer.  

Find a Roommate  

It’s challenging to find student housing in NYC that the average college student can afford. That’s because rents in NYC are among the highest in the nation.  

Even individuals with excellent incomes sometimes struggle to pay all their living costs independently. By taking on a roommate or two, you’ll not only have the glorious opportunity to live in a bigger space. You might also get to enjoy some creature comforts you could never afford by yourself.  

There are benefits to having roommates that go way beyond the obvious. It not only decreases the financial burden of living in the Big Apple, but it can help you to forge lifelong friendships, boost networking possibilities, and give you someone to talk to when you’re feeling down in the dumps.  

Lay Down the Ground Rules   

Before someone moves in with you, discuss the rules of the shared living situation. This includes shared expenses, rules for behavior, and anything else you need to put into place to ensure that interactions are harmonious for all living partners.  

One thing you’ll probably need to talk about is how you’ll be splitting the costs. This isn’t only the rent, but the electricity, gas, internet, and cable. Discuss who’ll be on the lease and how the rent and other housing costs will be split up.  

Living with roommates usually means finding a space with more than one bedroom. This could be significantly cheaper than renting a one-bedroom apartment on your own. That’s because the more bedrooms an apartment has, the lower the cost per room.  

However, many apartments have bedrooms that are all different sizes. This needs to be factored in when figuring out how much each roommate will pay for rent.  

Talk about whether pets will be allowed, what the visitor policy will be, if smoking will be permitted, and the hygiene standards everyone will be expected to adhere to. Consider whether you’ll be sharing food or keeping everything separate.  

You should also talk about your individual standards of apartment cleanliness. You might want to create a rotating chore calendar to help evenly distribute the cleaning tasks. That way, nobody gets stuck doing the same nasty job week after week. 

Create a consensus around this stuff and put it all in writing. This helps avoid misunderstandings.  

How To Find a Roommate  

 If you decide you want to live with a roommate in NYC, start by seeing if anyone you already know wants to live with you. This is probably the easiest and best way to find a roommate.  

Another thing you could do is to scan your social networks to find out who’s looking to share quarters in The Big Apple. Message friends and acquaintances to see if they know anyone who’s looking for a roommate. You can also create a post saying you’re seeking someone to live with.  

Get a Lease Guarantor 

Many experts say you need to earn at least 40 times your monthly rent to be approved for an apartment in the Big Apple. The problem is that very few college students make this kind of money. Luckily, there are things you can do to get around this stringent requirement.  

One of these things is finding a lease guarantor. This is someone who’ll pay your rent or lease should you not be able to.  

If you’re a student, you’ll almost always be required to have a guarantor. While most guarantors are typically family members, they can be anyone willing to shoulder this responsibility.  

Avoid Being Scammed  

 Rental scams are a huge problem in New York City. If you don’t want to be swindled out of your hard-earned money, you’ll need to be vigilant. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. For example, if the rent is $400 a month, and all the other apartments in the area go for $2500, that’s a red flag. 

Be particularly wary of landlords who sound desperate to get you into their apartments because desperation is often a telltale sign of fraud. Never rent space without seeing it with your own eyes. If a landlord doesn’t want you to visit a place before moving in, chances are they’re a fraudster. 

Find Your Next Apartment with Aya   

Let’s say you’re a student looking for affordable student housing in NYC. In that case, you probably also want living quarters that are conveniently located, trendy, and in a desirable area of the city. The best way to do that is by using Aya.  

You won’t need sky-high income when using our service, and you might not even need a guarantor. We typically look for a credit score of 650 or more and a monthly income that’s three times the monthly rental. 

We minimize the chances you’ll have a bad experience by rigorously vetting both the landlords who list with us and prospective roommates.  

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