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Summer rentin': how to survive the rental rush

Summer is the most competitive time for New York City renters. Experts offer insider advice for how to beat the rush.

Vesela Pehlivanova on the terrace of her new apartment. Credit: Bess Adler/Metro Vesela Pehlivanova on the terrace of her new apartment. Credit: Bess Adler/Metro

Hopeful renters may be feeling the heat this summer as mounting temperatures are matched by mounting prices—and seemingly surpassed by the growing numbers of New Yorkers and soon-to-be New Yorkers looking for a place to call home.

Experts say that while summer is traditionally the busiest time of year for the residential rental market, the situation is even more complicated now, as vacancy rates are "hovering barely above one percent."

"There's not a lot of inventory coming on the market, and prices are starting to escalate again," explained Citi Habitats president Gary Malin.

But don't despair, renters: Malin has some advice for what tenants can do to increase their odds.

Malin recommends starting your search about 30 days from when you want your lease to start, and broker Rory Bolger added that it's best to look during the workday.

“Landlords and management companies don’t work on the weekends,” Bolger pointed out. “You have much more control during the week.”

Bolger recently helped one woman through a real estate struggle: Vesela Pehlivanova spent 25 days in a hotel as she looked for apartments.

"I saw quite a few places and didn't like the majority of them," Pehlivanova said. "Everytime I woke up in the morning and realized it wasn't my place, I said to myself 'again?'"

Bolger helped her find her dream apartment in Midtown, as well as roommates so she could afford a nicer place. Bolger said this is a common practice for him.

"In a lot of cases what i end up doing is finding one person who wants an apartment and work with them to find roommates," he explained.

Bolger and Malin both urged rental-seekers to come prepared and act fast: having money for a deposit and all the paperwork needed to secure your apartment will be a tremendous help if you find something you love, Malin said.

"In a market like this, there's a chance that the apartment will be gone if you have to scramble for a few hours," he warned.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat

 
 
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