We know that finding a rental apartment in NYC can be tough, with many sites filled with fake, misleading, and duplicate listings, so we’ve come up with a list of the best websites and apps to find your next home.
- Flip Lease
The best website for finding rental apartments in NYC is PropertyClub. If you’re looking for transparency, with listings direct from the source, there’s no better site than our very own. That being said, as we are a newer player, we don’t have as many listings as some of the older sites out there, but the overall quality of our listings is better. You won’t have to worry about dealing with thousands of duplicate listings or numerous middlemen and extra fees. You’ll also find some great resources on our blog, from information on how to apply for an apartment in NYC, to our market reports and studies, to information on affordable housing, including rent-stabilized apartments and the NYC housing lottery.
Localize is a newer site that’s focused on providing New Yorkers with the best data and listings. Localize has a good deal of inventory, a modern design, and a great user experience. That being said, it might take some experimenting to learn how to navigate their site as it’s not the most intuitive. For anyone who wants access to as much information as possible, Localize is a fantastic option, but if you happen to be less interested in all the available address and location data for each apartment and prefer just to see listings, you might feel a bit of information overload.
Rentalpaca is the perfect choice for renters that don’t want to have to dig through hundreds or thousands of listings as it offers a chatbot that works like a virtual Real Estate Agent. Alex the Alpacabot uses artificial intelligence to find rentals that meet your needs, simplifying the process and saving you time. You can also use the chatbot to schedule showings or virtual tours. Most of the apartment listings on Rentalpaca are no-fee as the company works directly with landlords and property managers to source listings. For additional quality controls, their AI automatically flags and removes suspicious listings, so the quality of rental properties that you’ll find on Rentalpaca is excellent. Overall, Rentalpaca is a great choice, especially if you’d like to receive curated listings.
The grand-daddy of NYC real estate sites, Streeteasy, has a ton of listings and is always a good starting place if you’re looking for quantity. That being said, be prepared to sacrifice a bit when it comes to quality. Streeteasy charges advertisers a variety of fees, and many no-fee buildings and landlords will not advertise on the platform. This means you won’t find all the inventory or even the best deals as it’s common for the website to sell ad space in no-fee buildings to brokers who might charge a fee or use a landlord concession like a free month of rent to cover their fee. Streeteasy also recently became a brokerage, so their listing quality will likely continue to decline.
Any of the three sites mentioned above (PropertyClub, Localize, and Streeteasy) are great places to look for NYC no-fee rentals, but there are also a few other websites out there that deserve mention as well. You can certainly find a diamond in the rough as all of the below sites have some unique inventory, including for rent by owner listings, but make sure you’re prepared to do a little extra legwork sifting through listings.
If you’re looking for a no-fee apartment in a full-service, luxury building, Apartments.com will be a good place to start your search. The site puts an emphasis on larger properties and has relationships with many of the city’s biggest developers and landlords, so you’ll find some of the most up-to-date listings and pricing for luxury buildings here. Many of their featured buildings also have 3D floor plans and virtual tours of the apartments and property amenities. While the site’s forte is luxury rental listings, it still lacks inventory when it comes to affordable apartments for rent.
There are some fantastic groups for apartment hunting on Facebook. One of the best and oldest is Ghostlight Housing (formerly Gypsy Housing), where you’ll find tons of apartments and rooms for rent. Facebook is also one of the best websites to find roommates in NYC. While the group is meant to be peer to peer with only no-fee listings, you’ll also find some broker listings on there. You also won’t be able to set advanced search filters, so be prepared to do quite a bit of browsing. That being said, you’ll find an incredible amount of unique inventory. There are plenty of other Facebook groups out there, including ones focused on housing in Brooklyn, finding roommates in NYC, student housing, furnished apartments, and short-term sublets.
Facebook groups like Ghostlight Housing are also the best place to find short-term rentals and summer sublets in NYC. However, you’ll need to dig through a lot of junk to find anything.
If you’re looking for short-term housing, Caretaker, formerly known as Flip, is a good option as it’s a peer-to-peer rental marketplace, and most of the apartments on there are lease breaks, lease assignments or subleases. Naturally, this also makes the site an excellent place for finding a summer sublet. One of the best things about Flip is that you’ll often find subsidized apartments on there so you can score a great deal. This usually happens when someone is in a crunch, either needing to sublet their apartment while they’re traveling or needing to assign their lease or sublease for the remainder of their lease if they get relocated or move away from the city. As it’s tough to find tenants for such limited terms, the listers will often subsidize the rent or offer a concession like a free month, which can be significant on a short 3 or 4-month lease term. Flip also tries to streamline the process, as subletting an apartment in NYC can be quite tricky.
Similar to Caretaker, Leasebreak started as a peer-to-peer marketplace, so it has numerous short-term rentals, making Leasebreak one of the best sublet websites in NYC. As it’s the older of the two sites, it often has a decent amount of unique inventory. That being said, Leasebreak has tried to become a jack of all trades recently, integrating thousands of broker listings, so you should be prepared to do a bit of filtering. It’s also an older site that is lacking in terms of design and user experience.
If you’re looking for short-term furnished housing, we’d recommend starting on a site like Leasebreak, as you’ll find the best pricing there, albeit availability may be limited. You can also try various Facebook groups, especially if you’re trying to avoid a more formal rental application. Below are a few other websites where you can search for short-term furnished housing.
Craigslist gets a bad reputation for good reason. There are tons of fake listings, duplicate listings, and scams on the site, but when it comes to sublets and furnished housing, it’s not half bad. Just make sure you navigate to their “sublets & temporary” housing directory and filter for only furnished apartments. You’ll find hundreds of furnished rooms and apartments for rent throughout NYC. The main thing to remember when it comes to Craigslist is that if the price looks too good to be true, it probably is. And be sure to guard yourself against scams that ask for you to submit a deposit or rental application prior to seeing a property in person.
When it comes to inventory, Airbnb reigns supreme. You'll find listings in all corners of New York City, and the Airbnb website and app are well-designed and very user-friendly. Terms are also super-flexible, so if you need something for 45 days or starting in the middle of the month, it won't be a problem. The main drawback of renting through the website is that the pricing is typically higher than elsewhere, and that's before the service fees that Airbnb tacks on.
Although Apt212 is a real estate agency, meaning that most of its listings will be a bit pricier than if you found them directly, you’ll enjoy better service and a seamless experience when you rent one of their apartments. They offer a good selection of furnished rooms and apartments throughout the city and are a great option if you’re looking for convenience.