NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s peak rental season in New York City, but lots of living options comes with lots of problems especially if you don’t do your homework.
Sabin Wizman thought her one bedroom with a view of the East River and modern finishing was a steal. With assurances from her realtor she negotiated the building down to $4,000 a month. When she moved in in May, she ran into a rude awakening.
“As you open your windows you have East Side Heliport that runs 12 hours a day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., at times up to four helicopters,” Wizman said. “I was told by the management here that they’re not required to let me know that there’s a helipad.”
She says the building told her it was her job to investigate before hand, and if she wanted to get out she’d have to pay for two months after she moved out. Real estate attorney Adam Leitman Bailey says the leasing company is well within their rights.
“Landlords aren’t required to tell you anything,” he told CBS2. “I recommend to clients before signing lease that they stand in front of the door for a half-hour, greeting other tenants and asking them how they like the building.”
Environment is only one of the many things to consider, and Leitman Bailey says legally it’s on you to do the homework. By law, a building does have to disclose whether there were bed bugs in the apartment but only in the last year.
The Department of Housing Preservation and Development has a free database that discloses complaints and violations like leaks, bed bugs, and heating problems. The Department of Buildings has a database that lets you know about construction planned in the area and elevator issues.
“Go during work hours, after work hours, morning, evening, and the weekends,” real estate broker Anthony Lolli said. “You really want to cover the full gamut.”
“There’s situations where people move into buildings they don’t know, there’s a homeless shelter down the block, and maybe a lot of people coming in and out,” real estate broker Carlos Angelucci said.
Otherwise, you could be out of luck. Experts say it’s currently a renter’s market, so take time before you sign. There’s always another apartment around the corner.