Q: I am moving from Connecticut to Manhattan at the end of this year and am concerned about scheduling my move. My current landlord requires a 60 day notice to move out. But from what I’ve seen, most apartments in New York don’t list until 30 days before they’re available, and they rent out even faster than that. I’m also considering renting in a co-op or condo, and those approval processes seem long. How do I time this correctly so I don’t end up paying for two apartments at once or worse, giving up my apartment with no place to live?
A: Most New Yorkers sign leases a week or two before moving in, and listings typically appear on real estate platforms like StreetEasy about 30 days in advance, with many units available for immediate occupancy. This means that you will give notice in your old apartment without a new one lined up.
“Once 30 days are up, it’s not a time to panic,” said Evan Osur, associate broker at Living New York. “Even 15 days later, I wouldn’t panic too much.”
Instead, spend this time getting your ducks in a row. The market is likely to slow down in the fall and winter, so rents could be a bit lower and the bidding wars that defined spring and summer should evaporate. You will have time to shop around. Spend this time zeroing in on the neighborhoods you like and determining your budget. You don’t need to come to town to do this. Instead, take virtual tours online, contact brokers who specialize in your preferred neighborhoods, and call property managers. Make contacts now so they can call you when the right apartment is available.
As you get closer to the 30-day mark, gather your documentation: recent pay stubs, bank statements, references, and information about your guarantor, if you need it. “Once everything is in place, everything moves very quickly,” said Brian P. Hourigan, a salesperson for BOND New York Properties.
Please note: Cooperative and condominium buildings are governed by different rules than conventional rental buildings. A cooperative’s application must be approved by the cooperative’s board, which generally meets monthly. Condos tend to move a little faster, but not by much.
For these apartments, give yourself a mattress for 30 to 45 days, although it could create more headaches. “You have to make sure that the start date of the lease coincides,” Osur said. If the board moves faster than he expected, “it could be a situation where I have to pay rent and not live there.” If you move too slowly, you may find yourself without an apartment when you need it. (And a co-op might reject his request, leaving him struggling.)
However, most rentals are in conventional rental buildings, and since you’re working to a strict deadline, you may want to stick with properties that cater to tenants.
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