The bait-and-switch is one of the most commonly used tactics to lure in unsuspecting renters. “This is when a broker will advertise an apartment, usually a high-quality apartment with great pictures, at a low price. Upon inquiring, the broker will say that this apartment is no longer available and will show lower-quality places,” says Shannon Eidman, a real estate agent at Compass. That listing you saw for a just-off-the-Bedford-stop two-bedroom with brand-new appliances, a 24/7 doorman, and a gym, all for $2,700? Yeah... that’s not happening.
How about that one listing you saw for a three-bedroom in the Financial District for just $2,000 a month? That sounds great, right?! Sure, until you get there and find out that the bedroom that would be yours is actually an alcove with a half-wall. “Advertising bedrooms that aren’t really bedrooms is another common rip-off,” says Eidman. “This includes spaces that are sub-grade recreational space and/or rooms without windows.”