Searching for an apartment can sometimes feel like a struggle before you’ve even started. In a sprawling metropolis like NYC, what’s the first step?

Well, once you’ve discussed your relocation plans with an immigration lawyer, you’re ready to start your official house hunt. Fortunately, these days there are some great apartment portals for NYC housing. Their online resources and expertise will make searching for your next place to live much easier.


Rental realities in NYC

Here in the Big Apple, people live in smaller sized accommodation compared to rentals typically offered in other cities. Also, in-unit washer-dryers and extra storage space are seen as sought-after luxuries. Th most common types of apartments in NYC range from studios and lofts to one or two bedrooms. There is a chance that you may encounter a problem with pests but don’t panic or start packing your bags. The city has many professional pest control services who can come to the rescue. Blueground offers fully-furnished, equipped and serviced apartments in some of the world's most sought after cities. In the competitive rental market, many people find a property through a broker which of course incurs additional fees. Due to the expensive rental prices and the required security deposit, it’s important to be realistic with a budget tailored to the real cost of living in NYC. To qualify financially for a rental, most landlords in the city require proof that your annual income is at least the equivalent of 40 times the monthly rent.

You can avoid paying a lot upfront by renting a ‘no-fee’ apartment directly from a property management company. If you opt to rent with a company like Blueground, for example, no fees other than the security deposit are required upfront. You can stay in a beautifully furnished and completely equipped apartment in the best neighborhoods that New York City has to offer. For no extra cost, you’ll benefit from supported stays with the mobile app, where you can request services such as cleaning or maintenance and you can speak to someone from the support team at any time. 


Pick a neighborhood

Each neighborhood and every borough in New York has something interesting and unique to offer. It’s worth doing some research online and in person to get a feel for which place is best matched to your lifestyle and interests.

A view of a bridge in New York City with the sun coming up through the lower left corner with a blue sky above

Here are some factors to consider when weighing up the pros and cons of an area:

  • Access to public transit and a convenient commute
  • Crime rates
  • Noise levels
  • Good schools nearby
  • Proximity to parks and outdoor spaces
  • Nearby amenities like grocery stores, gyms, and libraries
  • Cultural options such as museums and galleries
  • Entertainment scene


Apartment portals

Once you’ve found a neighborhood that ticks all the boxes, you can start searching for a rental on the best apartment portals for NYC housing. 


If you’re looking for a website that provides an abundance of no-fee apartment listings, look no further. With NYBit there’s a ‘no-fee rental’ search tool with which you can browse apartments in NYC by neighborhood, layout or amenities. If there is a specific rental building you are interested in, you can search their ‘New York rental apartment building directory’ for direct contact info. They also offer free access to the database of rental property managers in New York, making it a great site for boosting your leads as well as your network. 


Renthop’s USP is an apartment ranking system feature named ‘HopScore’. It’s based on factors such as accuracy of the listing, number of views and response time from the person who posted it. They only post listings with photos from responsive landlords so you won’t be left hanging when you express interest in an apartment. The Renthop search results appear in list or map formats, with details including photos and information on amenities. You can also read up on neighborhood guides to help you make a more informed decision on your next place to live.


You can find both fee and no-fee apartment listings on UrbanEdge. The brokers and property managers featured are selected for their quality rentals and transparency. All listings are vetted and verified before publication to avoid any scams on the site. Any apartment listings that are not updated for 30 days are automatically deleted to keep things up-to-date. If you’re short on time, you don’t have to set up an account to start searching or give away any personal data.


Search within the five boroughs of New York City from trusted real estate brokers on StreetEasy. You can filter listings by city-specific rental requirements like a doorman, storage, or private outdoor space.

a blueground studio apartment in nyc with a dark green accent wall and a view outside of the city The advanced search options enable you to select rentals close to transit lines. Or search by additional criteria including proximity to school zones and pet-friendly rentals. Take a deeper dive into all things rent related by reading through their ‘Tips & Advice’ section. 


It’s worth spending some time searching for your NYC housing on Craigslist. It’s not as streamlined or reliable as some of the other apartment portals, but people can find some great bargain rentals here. Using common sense, dismiss any rentals that raise red flags such as cloned listings or requests for advanced payments prior to a viewing. You may not find as much in-depth neighborhood data on here compared to the other apartment portals. However, that’s not a deal breaker since you can certainly make your own investigations to uncover need-to-know neighborhood data.

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