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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!

intrnz to the Rescue!

The sure-fire way to avoid your own potential horror story is to secure, safe and fully-furnished accommodations at one of our three locations around New York City. We offer a suite of amenities and activities to bring you an unforgettable summer experience. Best of all, you can reserve your space online now!

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The applicant…
  • Is interning in New York City for the summer as part of or related to the Applicant’s college or university school programs of study
  • Is not currently subject to any disciplinary sanction from Applicant’s college or university that would bar Applicant from residing in residential housing at Applicant’s college or university or elsewhere
  • Has not been convicted of any crime in any state of the United States or in any foreign country, and there are no criminal charges pending against the Applicant. The Applicant hereby authorizes Pace to perform a criminal background check relative to the Applicant and further authorizes Pace to certify the results of such criminal background check to Pace.
  • Has no medical or psychological condition(s) that should prevent the Applicant from safely residing in Pace housing.
  • Has health insurance or other financial resources that meet the requirement for access to health care. If you cannot meet this requirement, you will not be able to proceed further with this application.
  • Has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including a booster vaccination shot.
  • The Pace Student\Intern Applicant certifies the truth and accuracy of all statements, warranties, and representations made in this application. Pace reserves the right to immediately cause the removal of the Pace Student\Intern from Pace’s residential housing if it learns that any statements, warranties, or representations made by the Applicant in this Application are incomplete, inaccurate, false, or misleading. In the event of such removal, the Pace Student\Intern shall not be entitled to a refund of any fees paid to Pace or Pace.
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  • Agrees to comply with all applicable New York City, New York State, and Federal laws including drugs and alcohol
  • All interns must sign an Intern Housing Agreement and familiarize themselves with the policies and procedures of the institution. All Interns will be held accountable for all policies and procedures outlined within the guide. Residential Life reserves the right to terminate your housing for failing to abide by any of said policies and procedures.
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