Apartment Horror Story

How to Avoid Your Own NYC Apartment Horror Story

Still floating on air after scoring that fabulous internship in NYC this summer? Pull yourself down to earth because you still need to figure out where you will be staying! The world of New York City rentals is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Remember Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland? NYC-land is no less daunting, with plenty of apartment horror stories to prove it.But there is a way to find a great apartment in NYC without getting tripped up by one of these pitfalls. (All of these stories are true but the names have been changed to protect the clueless!)

The Board (Over)Sees All

When Allison arrived in Manhattan for an internship with a prestigious law firm last summer, she planned on rooming with her college friend, Alex, who was checking out grad schools in the city. A friend of a friend had told them about a sublet apartment in a co-op building in their first-choice neighborhood. What luck, right? But when they showed up at the apartment, the owner quickly ushered them in, shut the door behind them, and told them they needed to appear before the co-op board—and it would make the approval process easier if they were a nice married couple, perhaps expecting their first child. Could they go along with that?!

AKA Secret Gambling Den

A graduate student named Vivian jumped at the chance to see a studio apartment in Manhattan for only $500 a month, even though her instincts told her it was too good to be true. She arrived at a dilapidated apartment building in Chinatown and was shown an apartment with a floor that sloped in all directions, exposed wires everywhere, and a seriously sagging ceiling. On the bright side: there were no visible vermin crawling around! But then the landlady made an odd request. To make a little extra cash on the side, she ran a late-night gambling operation out of the studio’s kitchen and wanted to continue the games while Vivian slept in the back room. “I could get over walls falling apart, a roof caving in and a bathtub in the middle of the kitchen,” Vivian says. But the one thing she couldn’t deal with was a group of midnight gamblers in her kitchen clapping and screaming over a couple of plastic tiles!

Space Is So Overrated

Mike arrived in New York the day before his internship started, fresh off the intern wait-list—he couldn’t believe his windfall! He didn’t know anyone in the city, and every apartment he called on was already taken. Then he stumbled across a studio buried in the wrong category in an online housing marketplace—what luck! He literally ran to the building, a nice-looking brownstone near the park. When the manager took him up to the fourth floor and opened the door to the apartment, Mike’s jaw dropped. It had obviously been the walk-in closet of the apartment next door with the door plastered over. Along one wall was a makeshift counter with a sink and hot plate, in the corner stood a toilet with a shower curtain around it, and the floor was too narrow for a bed, so a futon—folded in half—claimed that space. Lucky Mike!

A Temporary Fiasco

Congratulating themselves on their ingenuity, Carolyn, Micah, and Fernando found a short-term rental for the entire summer on another website listing apartment rentals in NYC! It had a posh address, a doorman, and was only blocks from their summer internships. They plunked down a deposit and arrived in the city late at night after driving halfway across the country. Breezing past the reception desk with their rental agreement and keys in hand they were confronted by police moments later and they were escorted out to the curb! The officers told them the renter of their apartment had no legal right to sublet, and they must leave the premises immediately!

33 Beekman Street to the Rescue!

The sure-fire way to avoid your own potential horror story is to secure, safe and fully-furnished accommodations at 33 Beekman Street. The turnkey residence in lower Manhattan offers panoramic views of the city, 24-hour security, a smooth commute to work — located just one block from the Fulton Street Subway Station. And, the sleek 34-story high-rise a variety of configurations, complete with Wi-Fi and cable access and a 24-hour gym. Best of all, you can reserve your space online now!