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New York Habitat News & Tips

You’ve finished the paperwork, you’ve talked to the agents, and you’ve finally received the call with a request. Congratulations on your new booking! Not only do bookings mean a little extra income, (which is all yours by the way; unlike some vacation rental agencies, listing your apartment with New York Habitat is both free and non-exclusive) they also give you the opportunity to connect with and meet interesting people from all over the world. But where do you go from here? Many owners, both new and veteran, have questions about what is expected of them during this process. So we’ve come up with the following cheat sheet on how to be a great host after listing an apartment or room with New York Habitat.

1) Communication

Scheduling arrival times in advance helps put everyone at ease Introduce yourself and schedule arrival times

When’s the best time to contact your guest? As soon as the booking has been arranged by New York Habitat. It’s best if you introduce yourself right away and bring up a few points relevant to their stay. Now’s the time to give them as much information as possible about their new apartment and city, including any information they may find helpful for their arrival.

One of the most important subjects to discuss at this stage is check in time and arrival. If possible try to be flexible when it comes to check in and checkout times. Airline delays in particular are a common occurrence, especially for international or connecting flights, and your guests will be hugely appreciative if you’re sensitive to such travel mishaps. Read the entire story here…»

 

New York Habitat is dedicated to protecting not only our clients, but also the hosts who list with us, from illegal rentals. We are well aware that, when it comes to subletting and sharing, the laws and regulations are extensive and often confusing for individuals who lack expertise in the real estate field. One of the most prominent sources of confusion is Chapter 225 of the Laws of 2010, which amended the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law to ban certain short-term rentals. (This legislation is also known as the “Illegal Hotel Law” or “Vacation Rental Ban”).

Senator Liz Krueger’s recent press release, “Answers for New Yorkers Concerned or Confused About the Illegal Hotel Law” has directly addressed this confusion and we expect it to be of great help in improving the clarity of the law for tenants and property owners who would like to rent to guests. Please click on the link to read the article in its entirety.

New York Habitat would like to disseminate Senator Krueger’s clarification to our hosts, as well as to potential rental hosts, by keeping in mind that rental hosts want to know specifically about their own property or rental situation. Since there are many types of properties that hosts might possess, it is difficult to give a roadmap to the law that addresses every individual. The search through the abundance of information might make hosts even more confused than when they began.

Therefore, we have created a visual representation of various types of buildings and rental set-ups so that hosts can look specifically at their own property to see how they can avoid violation of the Vacation Rental Ban.

Please see below four property types:

Image of Four Property Types Four property types

Each division represents, not a floor or story, but a UNIT (see below an example of a unit):

Image that shows what a unit is What is a unit?

Please keep in mind that although the above representation contains a two-bedroom single-story unit, a unit may also be multiple stories (such as a duplex) and may have any number of bedrooms or be a studio. For most rental apartments, the divisions between units are clear. However, in other buildings, such as brownstones, the division into units may be unclear. If you are ever unsure, check your building’s certificate of occupancy on the New York City Department of Buildings website. Read the entire story here…»

 

Photos of  New York Brownstones in Harlem, Manhattan New York Brownstones in Harlem, Manhattan

When it comes to listing apartments, New York Habitat strives to safeguard the quality of each and every accommodation we offer to our clients. We take great efforts to ensure compliance with all relevant laws and building regulations.

A recent law that concerns the New York City housing market is Chapter 225 of the Laws of 2010, otherwise known as New York’s “Illegal Hotel Law” or “Vacation Rental Ban Law.” The law, which came into effect in May of 2011, bans certain short term apartment rentals.

Photo of direction signs pointing in several directions The Vacation Rentals law was followed by a wave of confusion

Unfortunately, the law was followed by a wave of confusion. Much of the confusion centers on the fear that the new legislation seeks to disrupt, or even forbid, the real estate “sharing economy.” Because New York Habitat is aware of the importance of alleviating this confusion, we are pleased to announce that New York State Senator Liz Krueger has issued a press release on her website on Friday, December 13th 2013 entitled “Answers for New Yorkers Concerned or Confused about the Illegal Hotel Law”. Senator Krueger addresses the misconceptions of the law and makes it clear that the fear of a threat to the sharing economy (the ability to rent to a roommate) has no grounds in either the intention or the content of the law.

New York Habitat would like to address Senator Krueger’s points regarding the sharing economy and inform you of what New York Habitat is doing to ensure that the listings we offer to our clients are in compliance with the law. In addition, we would like to provide some general tips for individuals who choose to rent apartments on their own or with other agencies. Of course, these steps will not be necessary when renting through nyhabitat.com, because all of the research to ensure compliance of our own listings is done internally.

In addition, we encourage you to check out the article on Senator Krueger’s press release, which can be accessed in its entirety from the New York State Senate website.

  • Senator Krueger clarified in her press release that a rental violates the “Vacation Rental Ban Law” when:

a) the rental is in a permanent residential apartment building;
b) the building has three or more units; AND
c) the residential unit is being rented for less than 30 days. Read the entire story here…»

 

Happy Holidays card, from New York Habitat Merry Christmas, and best wishes for the new year!

Last minute shopping at Paris’ Galeries Lafayette or New York’s Macy’s, grocery shopping at local markets in Provence or Harrods’ Food Hall in London… It is that time of the year again!

Our entire team at New York Habitat wishes you Happy Holidays! May your Christmas be filled with happiness , and the New Year bring you joy, health and success!

 

Social media has without any doubt revolutionized the way we communicate with each other over the last few years. At New York Habitat, we are embracing these new ways of communicating, and have launched our first social media account back in 2009. It all started with a Facebook account where we shared with our ever-growing community some tips about New York, Paris, London and the South of France as well as discounts on our apartments and villas. Since then, sharing tips, discounts and more with our online community has become an obsession to us, and we have expanded our presence on most of the world’s largest social media websites.

As of April 2013, New York Habitat is present on more than 8 social networks. Here is where you can find us!

Like us on Facebook

Screenshot of the Facebook Page of New York Habitat Like us on Facebook

Our Facebook account has been active since 2009. As of March 2013, we have received over 52,000 likes! If you haven’t joined our online community on Facebook yet, here is why you should:

  • Get exclusive “Facebook” discounts on our apartments and villas in New York, Paris, London and the South of France several times a week.
  • Get our latest travel tips
  • Discover our photo albums full of pictures of our latest furnished rentals, vacation rentals, roommate shares and Bed & Breakfast accommodations.
  • Join the conversation with our 52,000 fans (and counting!)
  • Let us help you find the perfect Vacation Rental, Furnished Apartment, B&B or Room For Rent for your next trip to New York, Paris, London or the South of France. We take care of everything!

So do not wait, like us on Facebook!

And don’t forget, we love hearing from you, so feel free to share with us your pictures of your latest trips as well as your travel tips or questions. See you on Facebook! Read the entire story here…»

 

Photo of a real estate agent handing the keys of an apartment rental Renting an apartment online is easy and safe if you avoid these 10 common mistakes

Renting an apartment online has become easier and easier over time. Different real estate agencies and companies are offering a database of apartments for rent on their websites. You can see pictures of the apartments, read reviews left by other people, and even book your apartment online.

While offering apartments online has made the process of renting an apartment easier and more enjoyable, it has also opened the door to new scams. To ensure you have a good and safe experience when you rent an apartment online, there are several things you can pay attention to while looking for an apartment.

In this article, we’ll highlight 10 things you should avoid when searching the Internet for accommodation. We’ll also give you tips on how to find safe agencies and apartments, so you can have an enjoyable experience renting an apartment online! Read the entire story here…»

 

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year - New York Habitat 2012 Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year

New York is filled with Santas, the Champs Elysées in Paris are looking more gorgeous than ever, London’s Covent Garden is full of shoppers looking for last-minute presents… it looks like it’s that time of the year again!

Our whole team here at New York Habitat wishes you Happy Holidays! May your Christmas be filled with joy, and the New Year bring you happiness, health and prosperity!

 

New York Habitat would like to wish all of the readers of the New York Habitat Blog plus our customers and apartment owners:

A Great New Year in 2012.

Central Park in The Winter Central Park in The Winter

We look forward to seeing you on your next trip to  New York, Paris, London or the South of France.

If you’re ready to start the search for a perfect apartment to rent in 2012 check out our:

 

As a follow-up to our article in 2008 about where to find reviews about New York Habitat, we wanted to share the latest and greatest sources where you can find reviews of New York Habitat and our apartment rentals in New York, Paris, London and the South of France.

Google Google

The 1st stop we recommend checking out is New York Habitat’s Google Place page. Here you can find an agglomeration of reviews from around the web including Insider Pages, Judy’s Book, Yahoo, Yelp and more. Currently our rating is 4.7 stars out of 5 based on 277 reviews and growing.

If you are looking for more detailed reviews, we would recommend checking out some of the more specific sites:

Facebook Facebook

One of our favorite places to receive reviews is Facebook because we can interact with our reviewers and respond to any questions or concerns. In addition, you will find tips, discounts and more on our Facebook page. So, please join us in the conversation on Facebook and if you have stayed in one of our apartments, share a review.

Insider Pages Insider Pages

One of the first and most trusted review sites is Insider Pages. Mentioned in the earlier article about reviews, New York Habitat has been receiving reviews here since 2005 and continues to receive positive feedback. More than 65 clients have reviewed our service and apartments on Insider Pages and to date we have a cumulative average rating of 5 stars! In addition to the basic rating, Insider Pages offers clients and owners the ability to add a written review as well. Be sure to check out what people have to say. Read the entire story here…»

 

Unfortunately, the Internet is still filled with scams, so we’re going to keep talking, tweeting, blogging and educating people about how not to fall victim to them. Many scams involve renting from afar, which is what we specialize in, so we figured who would be better to write on this topic than us at New York Habitat.

The Internet Age has become a time where trust is paramount in business transactions. It’s a global marketplace now, where renters and travelers are booking accommodations across borders and around the world. Which is why it’s more important than ever to investigate who you’re dealing with a world away via the Internet.

The proliferation of rental scams on the Internet hurts everyone; from potential renters who become victims of scams, to honest property owners, brokers and agencies who find it ever more difficult to gain people’s trust in legitimate rental transactions. The lack of policing of these rental scams hurts both the rental and tourism industries as a whole. Internet posting sites need to work on verifying the legitimacy of the posts on their site, if they don’t find a way to do this they will eventually lose all credibility.

Here at New York Habitat we recently encountered some rental scams of our own and we’re breaking down the details for you:

Example 1 –: They copy the apartment descriptions  and photos from our website but use their own email address not …@nyhabitat.com Read the entire story here…»