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Monthly Archives

December 2015

30 Dec 2015

How many years have you sat in front of the television on New Year’s Eve watching the ball in Times Square tick down to midnight? Well now that you are an official New Yorker, with your own rental apartment, you are actually here for the festivities!

As with every city or destination location, there’s premium pricing for New Year’s celebrating, but some experiences, as they say, are priceless. Here’s our list of places to ring in 2016, from Times Square to Washington Square, from free to a small fortune.

Our top venues in New York City for New Year’s Eve

  • Times Square – Times Square is every bit the spectacular that you see on TV. Tons of people and music and excitement. It truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. BUT, it’s not for the faint of heart. Security is tight and so are the crowds. If you plan to watch the ball drop in person, arrive early, really early! Backpacks, open alcohol, there’s lots of no-no’s, but the one thing there is unlimited permission to do is have a fun and memorable evening.
  • Clubs – The club scene is wild for New Years, with each club trying to be more exciting, exclusive, …and yes, expensive. Clubs will charge top, top dollar for the cover charge and drinks, but they also go all out on keeping the entertainment quotient in the stratosphere.
  • Restaurants – The great thing about New York City is that there is a restaurant for every budget. Many places have New Year’s Eve packages that include drinks, food, and entertainment. So whether you want an intimate evening for two or room for a crowd, your options are plentiful.
  • Apartments – New Yorkers know how to throw a party. You don’t need a 3-bedroom penthouse to have a good time in your rental apartment on New Year’s. What you do need is creativity, good food, good drink, and people you enjoy being with. How much you spend is up to you (personally, we are really fond of pot luck mixed with lots of sparkle — who wants to be in the kitchen and missing the revelry!).  As building managers we ask that if do celebrate at home – whether it is in a one-bedroom unit or a multi-bedroom share – to be mindful of your neighbors with noise levels, partying into the wee hours, and guests who may have over indulged.

So ring out the old, and ring in the new in NYC style.  Wishing you a very happy new year and all good things in 2016!


23 Dec 2015
Christmas in New York

Christmas in New York

There is no more magical place to spend the Christmas holiday season than New York City. Manhattan is all a glow with lights and decorations. Is it no wonder that Christmas and New York has been immortalized together in dozens of books and movies? But nothing can capture that holiday spirit better than being here in person… and lucky you to have your NYC rental apartment from which to start your adventures.

Our top sites in New York City for the holidays

  • Rockefeller Center – The tree! The illuminated angels! The ice skating and hot chocolate! Rockefeller Center is THE iconic NYC landmark for the holidays and no tour around NYC during the Christmas season is complete without a visit and a picture in front of the tree.
  • 5th Avenue – If you want showstoppers, then just walk along 5th Avenue and look at the store windows. From Lord & Taylor at 39th to Saks at 49th to Bergdorf Goodman at 58th, to all the shops in between including Tiffany, Cartier, and Bendels. And best of all, the price is free!
  • Radio City Music Hall Spectacular – You don’t need to be a kid to enjoy this NYC classic that includes Santa’s flying sleigh, the Rockettes, and sheep in the manger, along with contemporary scenic design and music. The show is a sensory delight and will leave you wondering, what do they do with the camels between shows?
  • Christmas markets – Union Square, Bryant Park, and Grand Central Station all feature holiday markets. This is your time to shop small and personal. The unique array of vendors will have your gift recipients feeling they are truly one-of-a-kind.
  • The Messiah – This Handel classic gets star treatment at Trinity Church and the New York Philharmonic. Be moved and inspired.

The weather outside in NYC right now may feel more Easter-like than Christmas, but the wonder, excitement, and joy that are the holidays resides inside all of us. From our family to yours, happy, happy holidays.

photo credit: Hark the Herald Angels Sing via photopin (license)

15 Dec 2015

It’s January, a time to turn over a new leaf. And, we’re not just talking about exercise regimes but new living arrangements as well. At this time of year, we meet lots of folks coming to New York either for the spring college semester or for a 6-month job rotation.  With our NYU renters, this can also be the time to find a new apartment if the fall roommate situation was less than successful.  And for young professionals, after months of commuting from home, they are ready to work and live in NYC.   Whatever your reason for starting the new year in a new studio, one-bedroom, two- bedroom, or multi bedroom share, this time of year can work in your favor.

Why this time of year can be very good for finding a rental apartment

  • Less competition – With our large concentration of apartments around NYU — including Greenwich Village, East Village, and West Village – looking for an apartment for January means you are not competing with a lot of returning undergraduates and graduate students or newly minted job hires.
  • More value – OK economics majors, you know all about supply and demand. With fewer students and new job hires coming into Manhattan at the beginning of the calendar year (vs. the academic year), prospective renters are in a position to get more value for their money.
  • More flexibility – And because there fewer people all rushing to look at apartments within the same few weeks, rental offices can be more accommodating about showing times, move-in dates, and other rental requirements.

The new year is a time for new hopes and dreams. If you are dreaming of a new rental apartment in New York City, now may be your time. Visit our No Fee Rentals’ listings at and see what the new year could hold for you! And, when you’ve found the perfect pad, remember the 3 P’s of moving:

  • Parking –Welcome to New York City, where a parking spot is as valuable as sitting behind the Yankee’s dugout. The majority of rental buildings in NYC, including those owned by No Fee Rentals, don’t have parking garages, which means you will need to rely on street parking for your moving van. We recommend that you have at least two people for your move – one for the heavy lifting, the other to stay by your vehicle to avoid parking tickets. Insider tip: Best time to find street parking is Sunday morning. Move-ins are allowed after 11am on weekends, so get your spot and then get a latte, and then get ready to lift and carry. If you prefer to use a moving company, No Fee Rentals can supply you with a list of those in the area.
  • Packing material – Your packing kit should include a tool kit and scissors. Pack essentials separately so you can get to them quickly. Emptied cardboard boxes should be flattened and recycled; everything else can go into the garbage bins. No Fee Rentals adds extra staff for garbage collection at the beginning and end of each month so hallways are kept neat. Save large items for bulk item pick up days, which are posted in the lobby of each building.
  • Politeness – Regardless of whether you are moving into a short-term or long-term rental, you will be neighbors with the people on your floor and your building for months. New York City can be a very friendly place if you are mindful of your fellow tenants. Avoid move-in activity after 8pm, don’t keep the front open unattended for extended periods while bringing in boxes, and keep the hallways clear of debris.

Moving in is exciting. These tips should help to make it a lot easier so that life in NYC in your new apartment rental starts off with another P: painless!

9 Dec 2015

NYC apartment temperature controlBaby, it’s cold outside

The days are getting colder and the temperature outside is dropping. Since the beginning of indoor plumbing, temperature control in NYC apartments has always been a hot issue. Hot, we say, because sometimes there can be too much heat. This is especially true of older buildings, so pay close attention our friends with rental apartments in the East and West Village, Lower East Side, and Chelsea.

And age-old issue with an age-old solution

NYC apartment buildings typically use steam heat or hot water heating. The temperature is set at the central boiler. So the same system that is providing heat is also providing all that delicious hot water that tenants love. Rental apartments in our classic NYC buildings generally don’t have individual temperature controls. So while you may be feeling a little warm in your studio on the 3rd floor, your neighbors in the multi bedroom share down the hall may feel the temperature is just right.  And that is why we recommend the age-old solution: open a window. Yes, one of the distinct advantages of renting an apartment in an older building is that the windows aren’t sealed shut and actually open!

One thing we absolutely caution against is touching the radiator valves. If you feel there is something amiss with the valves on your radiators, please contact your building’s maintenance team and they will take care of any problems.

Sounds that clang in the night

It’s not unusual to hear clinks and clanks in your rental apartment during the colder weather. No it’s not someone beating on the pipes. It’s air traveling through the pipes along with the steam or hot water. Don’t get worried. Just give our maintenance office a call and one of our team can come into the apartment to bleed the radiators. For those of you unfamiliar with bleeding a radiator, it’s a relatively quick procedure, but should only be done by our staff. Do not try to do this yourself!

Getting warm and cozy in your rental apartment while the cold wind blows is one of the things our tenants love about living in New York. Did someone say, “Pass the hot chocolate!”


2 Dec 2015

When it’s time to find a rental apartment in Manhattan, there’s a lot of factors to consider. Here’s what should be on your list to help narrow your great rental apartment search.

  • Budget – Before you do anything else, first figure out how much you, or you and your roommates, can comfortably afford. Also factor in whether utilities such as gas, electricity, and water are included in your rent or are extra.
  • Location (or as it’s otherwise referred to: location, location, location). You know what you need to be near – college, job, subway, train. And once you know how much you can afford on rent, it helps narrow down the locations.
  • Noise – Streets are quieter than main avenues, which have buses and trucks trundling by. Also consider what’s in your neighborhood – late night bars or clubs may be cool when you’re hanging out at them, but can also interfere when you want to get some sleep.
  • Size – If you are living alone, a studio or one-bedroom may be your options. Two people can live in a two bedroom or a one bedroom apartment – sharing the bedroom or converting the living room into a bedroom. In the latter case, look for listings with a convertible one or a wing two bedroom. Multi bedroom shares can accommodate 3 to 5 renters depending on the size of each bedroom.
  • Laundry – Classic brownstones and walk-up buildings usually don’t have on-site laundry facilities. If you are a college student, this is less of an issue than for families with babies or young children.
  • Air Conditioning – If you are going to be in New York City for the summer, you may want to check whether your apartment has A/C. This is especially true in older buildings. We also know that many of our tenants are very comfortable with just fans if they are out most of the day.

Come Prepared

Attractive rental apartments go quickly so if you see one you like, you need to be prepared to act. And if you are coming from out of state, it’s super important to have these documents on hand so that you don’t lose any time! Here’s what you need to seal the deal:

  • Proof of employment/enrollment – The rental office will request a copy of your enrollment certification letter from your school if you are a college student, or an employment verification letter if you are employed.
  • Tax return – If you are employed, our office will need to see a copy of your tax return. We also require a guarantor for every applicant (see August 17, 2105 blog posting) so make sure to also have a copy of your guarantor’s tax return.
  • Sample lease – You can request a sample lease in advance of viewing rental apartments so you know what will be required. Tenants often find it helpful to review the lease in advance.

Our last word of advice is to be prepared to compromise. Not every apartment is going to have absolutely everything you want, regardless of how much you are willing to spend. No Fee Rentals offers a wide range of rental apartments so that you can weigh factors and find the apartment that you can call home.