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Online Apartment Rental Advice

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, 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…»


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…»


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 … Read the entire story here…»


Hi, I’m David Hill with New York Habitat. Welcome to another edition of New York Habitat’s apartment rental tips videos. This is our opportunity to share information and answer commonly asked questions that we receive from our clients. Today’s question is “How far in advance should I reserve a vacation rental?

First off, if you are in New York City today, or traveling to London or Paris tomorrow, please give us a call. Last minute bookings are OK!

Today we will be discussing the ideal time to reserve an apartment. In this video, we are talking about vacation rentals, which means a rental of an apartment that lasts between 2 days and 1 month.

How Far in Advance Should I Reserve a Vacation Rental? (4:11)

If you are looking for a vacation rental in any one of our destination cities including New York, Paris, London or the South of France the best times to contact us to reserve your apartment is typically the same, but varies during different times of the year especially during holidays or special events. Read the entire story here…»


New York Apartment: 2-bedroom vacation rental in Greenwich Village (NY-9572) photo New York Apartment: 2-bedroom Bed & Breakfast in Greenwich Village (NY-9572) photo

After sharing with you some tips on how to avoid rental scams and determine if you are dealing with a legitimate company or agent before choosing an apartment,  this week we wanted to show you how to spot clues that the apartment you are looking to rent may be a fake.

Rental scams are on the rise, so it is more important than ever to look into the person or company that you are dealing with and make sure they are legitimate. Here are a few things to look out for:

1)    Is there a legitimate company name on the contract that you can investigate further? : We have seen many fake contracts with “company names” like “Charming and Cozy Apartment in Time Square” or “1br-Beautiful Option for Hotels”. Those are not business names; they are lifted straight out of a rental ad! Read the entire story here…»


New York: Vaction Rental 1-bedroom in the East Village (NY-11155 Photo New York: Vaction Rental 1-bedroom in the East Village (NY-11155 Photo

So, you’ve read all your travel guides on how to survive on $40 a day, packed your entire vanity into 3oz bottles and a quart sized Ziploc bag, found an apartment rental on the Internet and even managed to survive the cross-Atlantic flight existing solely on the one complimentary bag of airline peanuts. Magnifique! However, when you arrive at the location of that très chic, too-good-to-be-true vacation rental you found on the Internet, you find out the address you were given to your dream apartment is actually a Starbucks cafe. Mon ami, you have found a rental scam!

It pains us to see our fellow globetrotting travelers end up in this predicament. So, as you ponder how this could possibly have happened to a très savvy travel aficionado like yourself, let us pass along some advice on how to spot various apartment rental scams so you don’t end up sleepless in Seattle (New York, London, Paris, or anywhere else in the world). Read the entire story here…»


New York Habitat has been offering furnished apartment rentals for 18 years and prides itself on offering the best selection of thoroughly screened apartments in New York, Paris, London and the South of France. Today we will talk about some things to consider when shopping for a vacation rental apartment to avoid common rental scams in the market place.

New York Habitat’s president and founder Marie Reine Jezequel was featured on WCBS 2, the local New York CBS affiliate, talking about ways to avoid vacation rental scams. For more information

Read the entire story here…»