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NYC Tips

6 Jun 2018

Sure, New York City apartments are tiny. However, there’s one awesome thing about living in an apartment building: Many of them have rooftops with stunning views, and you can escape to these rooftops during hot days to cool down, get some fresh air and relish the dazzling cityscape around you. If you’re not sure what you should do on your rooftop or need ways to take advantage of the space, check out some fun ideas below. Just make sure you have permission from your landlord to access and use the space before you go up there!

Set up a Garden

We all miss the greenery when we’re constantly surrounded by concrete sidewalks and steel skyscrapers. You can have a little patch of green of your own by starting a garden on the roof. Get large planters or a raised garden bed, fill it with soil, and plant seedlings. You can either tend to a garden of beautiful flowers, or you can grow fruits and vegetables of your own. Just make sure to add some chicken wire to keep out any unwanted pests. Ask your neighbors if they want to join you in planting or taking care of the garden. A shared rooftop garden is a great way to bond with and get to know the people who live around you.

Lounge in the Sun

If you’re someone who loves soaking up rays, get a lounge chair or two for your rooftop; then spend the hot days you have off work lounging in your swimwear or tank top, reading a book or magazine. Make sure you put on some sunscreen first, or get an umbrella so you can tuck away in the shade.

Add a Dining Table and Chairs

Sometimes the hot days are just too hot to spend outside in the sun. However, summer evenings in New York can be lovely and temperate. So, add a dining table and chairs to the roof. Cook dinner in your apartment, load up some trays, and enjoy it while you sit outside. Eating dinner outside on the roof is a great way to cool down after standing over a hot stove or oven cooking, and there’s no more romantic backdrop to a dinner than the twinkling lights of Manhattan, Brooklyn and beyond.

Screen Movies

Are you a movie buff? Consider setting up a projector screen — or using a big flat wall if your building has one on the roof. Bring up a project and an extension cord, and hook your computer up to project a movie onto your screen. Talk to your neighbors about joining you; you can have a regular weekly or monthly movie night for your community. Everyone who participates in the movie night can take turns picking movies, or you can theme your movie series by only showing movies of a certain genre or era — horror movies, film noir, 1990s rom-coms — whatever floats your boat!

If you are looking for an apartment in New York City with a rooftop you can enjoy, look no further than NoFee Rentals. Many of the apartment rentals from NoFee Rentals have roof spaces that are available to building tenants. In fact, many even have private roof decks that offer awesome views and great amenities like picnic tables, garden space and barbecue grills. Start your search now.

24 Jan 2018

When you secure a new apartment, it’s easy to let your imagination run wild with all of the future possibilities for decor, parties and life changes on the horizon. But while you’re packing up your old place, it’s important to keep your mind focused on the here and now so you can create a useful first-night landing kit. Here’s what you’ll need.

Assembling Your Landing Kit

What is a landing kit? It’s everything you’ll need to have on hand to get comfortable and have a smooth transition for your first night in the new place. It’s the collection of things you’ll want to separate from all your various books, decorations, kitchen supplies and other odds and ends so you can take care of daily routine things like brushing your teeth and charging your phone. You can use a suitcase or a box to assemble your landing kit; the container isn’t as important as what you put in it.

As far as what goes inside, it’s a good idea to plan this in advance and make a list. You may even want to pack your landing kit before you start packing up the rest of the stuff in your old place so you don’t accidentally put important stuff like medications in a random place during the moving shuffle. If you’re using a cardboard box for your landing kit, make sure you mark it clearly. Be sure to bring it with you to your new place or have the movers pack it last so you know where it is and can set it aside so it doesn’t get mixed in with the other boxes, bags and containers that contain your life. You’ll want to have the landing kit on hand so you can get your new apartment liveable and comfortable as soon as possible.

Packing and Customizing For Your Needs

Before you start packing, remember that your landing kit should contain the essentials you’ll need for a day or two only. You can think of it like packing for a vacation, only with a few extra items that hotels usually provide for you. Double check your list and make sure everything you need is on there. Here are some suggestions for what a landing kit might look like:

  • Bedding (sheets, blankets and pillows so you can make the bed)
  • Bathroom supplies (toilet paper, towels, essential personal care items)
  • Electronics (phone charger, computer and charger)
  • Everyday essentials (phone, purse/wallet, keys, medications, glasses/contacts)
  • Kitchen basics (reusable water bottles, hand soap, paper towels)
  • Clothes (pajamas, clothes for the next day, outerwear if needed)
  • Pet supplies (bed, familiar toys, food, water bowl)

The suggestions above are general; everyone’s needs are different, and your landing kit should reflect what’s essential for your lifestyle and what’s available in your new place. For example, if you’re moving into an apartment with roommates, you might not need to bring toilet paper for the bathrooms or hand soap for the kitchen because there will probably already be some when you arrive.

6 Dec 2017

NYC is one of the most magical places in the world during the holidays. From the tree at Rockefeller Center to the latkes at the 2nd Avenue Deli to all of the beloved sites made famous in Home Alone 2, there is a certain spirit that takes over the city when the end of the year rolls around, and that spirit touches everyone who lives there.

If you’re new to NYC, one of the most important city customs to learn as the holidays roll around is tipping the people who work for you and around you. Tipping people in your daily life during the holidays can help them feel noticed and appreciated, and it can help solidify good relationships for you in the year to come.

Here is a helpful guide to tipping in NYC around the holidays so you can make sure you give a token to the people who matter but don’t spend any extra dollars on people who don’t need to be tipped.

Who You Should Tip During the Holidays

Door Attendant

If you live in a building with a door attendant, it’s customary to give a tip as a gift for the holidays. The amount that you give can range from $25-$125. According to a recent survey, many door attendants receive $25-$75 per apartment. Think generously when you’re tipping your door attendant, but stay within your means.


Many rental buildings have a superintendent (or super) who takes care of maintenance issues, oversees the building and so on. If you have a super in your building, consider tipping at the holidays. You can tip a super a similar amount to a door attendant — or less, depending on how involved they are. If you never see your super, consider simply tipping $20-$25 to express thanks for their work and maintain a good rapport.

Maintenance People

Sometimes, we may send a staff member or maintenance person into your place to do the manual work of making a repair. You can tip that person for their work at the end of the year. You only need to give a small token, between $20 and $50.

Dog Walker

Don’t forget to tip the person who walks your beloved furry friend while you’re at work. You can give your dog walker a small token, like $25, or up to an amount equal to a week’s worth of payments.

Who You Don’t Need to Tip During the Holidays

Your Postal Delivery Person

By law, postal delivery people cannot receive any gift greater than $20. However, if you feel like your mail carrier has done a great job and deserves a gift, consider also getting them a token that costs less than $20, like a bottle of wine or a gift card to a favorite coffee shop.

Living in the city can be delightful around the holiday season, so don’t forget to spread a little bit of your cheer in the form of a small tip. By showing how much you appreciate everything that they do, you can help ensure that the people around you also get to have a lovely NYC holiday season.

8 Nov 2017

After moving to New York, you may not have time to visit family for Thanksgiving, especially if you want to make the trip home for other holidays. Instead of eating alone, you can celebrate Friendsgiving in your apartment.

Follow these five tips to make your first Friendsgiving a success!

Make an Appropriately Sized Guest List

Take a close look at your apartment so you can decide how many people you can fit comfortably into the space. If you have a fairly large home, then you may want to invite a few coworkers, fellow students and people who live in your building. If you have a small apartment, keep your list as short as possible.

When you invite guests, ask them to RSVP for the event. Some of them probably won’t have a chance to attend, so you can select replacements from names lower on your list.

Related: Thanksgiving in NYC

Shop for Ingredients a Few Days in Advance

Grocery stores can run out of popular ingredients during the week leading up to Thanksgiving. Getting an early start will help ensure that you can find the ingredients that you need for your dinner.

A traditional Thanksgiving meal requires a turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes. If you want to serve these dishes, then you should go shopping several days before your event.

Of course, you don’t need to take the traditional route for Friendsgiving. Feel free to get creative with trendy foods you and your friends enjoy. Remember to offer vegetarian and vegan options for people with restricted diets.

Cook and Store Food Before Your Celebration

As the Friendsgiving host, you will probably prepare the turkey or other protein that serves as the meal’s centerpiece. Turkey takes a long time to cook, so you should get started early. Even an eight-pound bird will need at least two hours and 45 minutes in the oven.

If you have a frozen turkey, let it thaw in the refrigerator the day before Friendsgiving. Thawing will save you at least two hours of cooking time.

You can also prepare several dishes ahead of time and store them in your fridge. Some good options include cranberry sauce, pecan pie and most casseroles. Just put them in the oven to warm them up before serving. If you have limited space in your refridgerator, ask a neighbor if he or she might be able to lend a shelf for a day or two.

Host a Potluck to Save Time and Money

Your guests probably won’t expect you to cook everything for the Friendsgiving meal. Everyone understands that you have limited space, time and money. A potluck gives you an easier way to have the dinner out your apartment.

As the host, you will have to manage the potluck, though. Make a master list of your guests and what they will bring to the event. You don’t have to assign people specific dishes. Instead, you can ask one person to bring dessert, one person to bring a vegetable side and another person to bring drinks.

Stay in communication with everyone to make sure they bring their assigned dishes.

Maximize Your Kitchen and Dining Spaces

If you have a small apartment, then you will have to get creative to maximize the space in your kitchen and dining area.

Start by rethinking your furniture placement. You can move couches, small tables, and televisions into your bedroom to create more space. Of course, you can also consider your couch a part of your dining area. It just depends on how casual you want to keep your Friendsgiving.

In the kitchen, make sure you clean as you cook. It will prevent frustration and clutter. You can also create more space in the kitchen by setting the table before you begin cooking. Suddenly, you’ll have a couple of cabinet shelves where you can store ingredients and let items cool before serving.

You don’t have to travel home to have a memorable Thanksgiving. This year, you can start a new tradition by hosting your first Friendsgiving.

1 Nov 2017

Whether you’re renting by yourself or with a group of friends, moving into a new apartment is always exciting. There’s a new neighborhood to explore, tasty restaurants to try out and furnishings to buy for your new home. With so much to do, it’s easy to forget about matters like renter’s insurance. However, renter’s insurance is actually very important and a definite must for every New York City renter.

What Is Renter’s Insurance?

Renter’s insurance is insurance specifically designed for those who rent property, which usually means apartment dwellers. This type of policy is offered by most major insurance companies in New York City and typically includes property coverage and liability protection, which provides protection to those who may become injured while in your home.

Property Coverage

According to a 2015 American Community Survey, 51 percent of American apartment renters are under the age of 30, many of whom not be familiar with renter’s insurance. If you’re part of this group, understanding the broad range of protections provided by renter’s insurance is sure to help you see its value.

Renter’s insurance, which is sometimes referred to as tenant’s insurance, provides four main types of coverage: personal property, personal liability, loss of use and medical payments (for others). Damage to personal property caused by fire, smoke, explosions, heavy snow, ice or sleet and plumbing issues, in addition to many others, are all covered. Most policies also cover theft and vandalism.

RELATED: Five Important Tips for First-Time Renters in New York City

Additional Coverage

However, coverage isn’t limited to personal items that are located in your home at the time of the incident. For example, if you park your bike at a rack and it gets stolen, the value of the bike may be covered by your insurance policy. Likewise, if you leave your laptop in your car and someone breaks in and steals it, you likely can recover the value of replacing it if you have renter’s insurance.

You can also get additional coverage for high-end items like jewelry, artwork or collectibles. Insurance experts also recommend getting replacement value coverage so that you get the full cost of your items should a claim need to be filed and not just the depreciated cash value. Some policies will also cover pets.

Liability Coverage

No matter how careful you are, accidents can, and often do, happen. If a friend or family member is injured in your home, depending on how serious the injury is, you could find yourself responsible for thousands of dollars of medical care. With the right renter’s insurance policy, both you and your guests will be physically and financially protected, potentially even from costly litigation fees, should it come to that. You can even be covered for damage that you cause to someone else’s property or qualify for financial assistance if your home becomes uninhabitable due to a disaster or damage.


A study by the Insurance Information Institute found that 95 percent of homeowners have home insurance, but only 40 percent of apartment renters have renter’s insurance. Some people may be reluctant to get renter’s insurance because they assume that it is expensive. However, according to, the average apartment renter in New York state only pays $204 a year for about $40,000 of coverage. While rates do vary based on the policy, your credit history and the city or neighborhood in which you live, the cost is still only about $15 – $30 a month.

In a city where anything can and does happen, protecting your property just makes sense. Renter’s insurance can give you the peace of mind you want at an affordable price and in New York City. That’s a win-win situation.

Of course, finding the perfect apartment comes before the need for renter’s insurance. If you’re looking, NoFee Rentals has the size apartment to meet your needs and budget in the neighborhood you’re looking for. Start your search .

18 Oct 2017

New York City is many things to many people. For some, it’s an opportunity to receive a world-class education while others see it as a step towards their dream career. Whatever your reason for wanting to live in this amazing city, there’s one thing on which everyone can agree — NYC has one of the most diverse food selections on the planet. Food from nearly every corner of the globe is available in abundance, satisfying every taste and budget.


If you’re a student or just starting a new career, you may need to cut back on your food expenses every now and then. Fortunately, NYC has many tasty and budget-friendly options. One of the city’s most popular and shockingly cheap eats is dollar pizza. You can get a huge slice of pie (as the locals say) for only $1. Midtown and Lower Manhattan have the highest and best-rated concentration of these locales so you’re sure to run into at least one no matter where you go.

Another affordable food option is the local bagel shop. Ideal as a companion for your Sunday morning coffee or a quick take-out option, a New York bagel will never disappoint. Even vegan and gluten-free food lovers can enjoy them. Food trucks have also become an increasingly common sight throughout the city and are much beloved by the lunchtime crowd, especially in Midtown, Flatiron and the Financial District.


If you’ve got some wiggle room in your budget, you’ll find that spending a bit more gives you access to a lot of the city’s best food. There’s so much food diversity in NYC that you can try something new every day of the week — in some cases, without even leaving your own neighborhood. If you’re in the mood for takeout (or sit down), you can sample all the flavors of the Orient, including Indian, Thai, Korean, Chinese and Japanese, every few blocks in Manhattan.

Queens also boasts an impressive selection of Asian eateries, which are frequented by locals, as well as celebrities and even former Presidents, so you know that they’re the real deal. Want to try Ethiopian, Moroccan or Lebanese for the first time? You can find all three in lower Manhattan. Of course, NYC staples like Italian and Americana are abundant throughout the city and if you’re in the mood for soul food, a trip to vibrant Harlem is an absolute must. Best of all, even if it’s a rainy day and you’re stuck in the office, you can still treat yourself to a culinary feast at the click of a button thanks to food apps that deliver around the city.


Birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions are the perfect time to go all out and treat yourself to some of NYC’s finest dining. Ranked among the top five cities in the worldwith Michelin star restaurants, the city that never sleeps is home to 99 of them! In fact, six of these restaurants are ranked three-star, the highest honor possible, which denotes exceptional cuisine, service and an overall unforgettable experience. One three-star Michelin restaurant in NYC serves French and Japanese fusion in a 20-course tasting menu. French, Japanese and Asian fusion cuisine dominate NYC’s top-ranked restaurants. However, if your tastes are more sophisticated but your budget can’t quite keep up, you can also try one of the city’s newest additions, Tim Ho Wan, a dim sum shop affectionately dubbed the “world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant.”

NYC attracts a diverse range of people, and thanks to this diversity the city hosts an amazing range of food options, enough to make your taste buds sing, one bite at a time. To find a great apartment that will put you in the heart of NYC’s food scene, please visit us at NoFee Rentals. We’re happy to assist you with your apartment search.