MANHATTAN RENTAL APARTMENT CATEGORIES
RENTAL BUILDINGS - These are buildings totally owned by landlords and
devoted strictly to rental apartments. You can expect to fill out an application, pay for
a credit check, and your approval should come through as quickly as the same day, or no
later than a week. One month's rent is usually all that is needed for a security deposit,
CONDOMINIUMS - In condominium buildings, the apartments are owned
by individuals, not a single landlord. Apartments are occupied by residents who either
live there full-time or part-time or apartments that have been purchased as investment
properties, which are rented out for as long as the owner wishes. The owner has the right
to decide the amount of rent and security, as well as the length of the lease. Expect that
the security deposit could be more and that you may have to pay "move-in/move-out
fees," which cover costs relative to your physical move in and out of the building.
COOPERATIVES (CO-OPS) - In cooperative buildings, individuals own shares
in an overall corporation, the number of shares being based on the size and worth of their
apartments. Since the building is technically owned by the corporation, there are likely
to be many restrictions governing the usage of the apartments by the individual residents.
It is unusual to find a cooperative that will allow rentals, (called "sublets")
and if it does, then it requires a prospective tenant to apply to the co-op board agreeing
to provide detailed financial information and a personal interview, before the sublet is
approved. Obviously, the approval process will take longer than the normal condo or
apartment, "move-in/move-out" fees still stand and the security deposit could be
higher as well. It is extremely difficult for a new-hire or an expatriate to rent a co-op
without some credit history.
FURNISHED APARTMENTS (SHORT
AND LONG TERM) - Manhattan has
furnished apartments available for as little as a few months up to a year. The shorter the
lease period, the fewer to choose from. They are usually furnished very tastefully, but
will be priced in the middle to luxury range. These apartments come with televisions,
phones, linens and kitchen equipment, and are designed especially for corporate clients. If
you need a furnished apartment for a year and your budget does not allow a furnished
apartment, consider an unfurnished apartment and rent furniture yourself.
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ALCOVE - An area adjoining the living room space which can
be used for a dining area or be separated or closed off to make a bedroom, den or office.
CONVERTIBLE OR FLEX - An apartment with a larger alcove off the living
room which can be converted to another bedroom or which can be used as a dining area. A
"convertible two-bedroom" or "flex two" is a one bedroom with a large
alcove and 1 or 2 bathrooms.
FURNISHED - Apartments which are fully equipped with furniture
and amenities. Available for long and short term use.
JUNIOR - An apartment with a small alcove off the living
room which can be converted to a small bedroom or used as a dining area. A "junior
4" would be a potential 4-room apartment: living room, bedroom, kitchen, and alcove
area (bathroom is not counted as a room.)
LOFT AREA - Sometimes found in apartments with high ceilings.
An upper area which has been built for storage or as an extra sleeping area or living
STUDIO - A studio is a two-room apartment (the kitchen is
considered one room). An "alcove studio" is a studio with an alcove for dining
or sleeping. A studio with a windowed alcove large enough to be a bedroom can be referred
to as a "junior one-bedroom" or "junior 3" (three rooms).
ONE-BEDROOM - A one-bedroom is a three-room apartment (kitchen,
living room, bedroom). A one-bedroom with a windowed alcove large enough to be a bedroom
is called a "junior 4" (4 rooms), "flex 2" or "convertible
2" (convertible to two bedrooms).
TWO-BEDROOMS - A two-bedroom is a four-room apartment (kitchen,
living room, two bedrooms). A "flex 3" or "convertible 3" is a
two-bedroom apartment with space for an additional room (third bedroom, dining room, den,
maid's room, etc.).
CLASSIC - A classic is an apartment in a pre-war building
which has a formal dining room, 1 or 2 baths and in a larger apartment, 1 or 2 maid's
rooms. A "classic 6" for example, is a 6-room apartment in a pre-war building
that has a living room, formal dining room, two bedrooms, kitchen, maid's room and 1 or 2
bathrooms. In the larger classics, it is common to find the smaller maids rooms combined
into one larger room. Frequently, pre-war buildings have been gutted and renovated, but
room counts and layouts will usually be listed according to their original configuration.
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BROWNSTONE - One to six floors. No doorman. Built in the early
1900s as single family homes and many were converted during World War II to create
multiple apartments (3-10 units per building.) Brownstones have "charm." Square
footage is generally less than a similar room count would provide in a doorman building.
ELEVATOR BUILDING - Located mostly in the mid blocks. Six to twenty
stories: many are found on side streets and are nine stories tall and have a laundry. Some
pre-wars have an elevator attendant.
LOFT APARTMENT - Four to eleven or twelve story buildings. Former
commercial buildings converted to apartments. Large open space. Usually elevator but no
doorman service. Most are found in lower Manhattan in Soho, Tribeca or Chelsea. Most lofts
are coo-ops. Some have restrictions regarding tenancy such as status as a certified
LUXURY DOORMAN - Twenty to forty or more floors. Full or part-time
doorman. The more luxurious buildings also have a concierge that provides services such as
receiving laundry and packages. Some of these buildings have a health club and/or swimming
PREWAR BUILDING - Ten to thirty floors. Doorman or non-doorman.
Built in the late 1800s to 1940s. Exterior and interior architectural detailing. Common
features include high-ceilings, hardwood floors, arched doorways or fireplaces. Most are
POSTWAR BUILDING - Built from 1946 through today. Exteriors are
usually white, red or brown brick. Most are cheaper than prewar. Laundry facilities are
usually in the basement.
WALK-UP BUILDING - Up to five floors. No elevator or doorman.
Originally built as multi-family housing. There are usually more apartments in this type
of housing than in a brownstone. This is one of the cheapest apartment options. Originally
built as tenements.
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