Finding a no-fee apartment often requires more legwork (or more than a few concessions). But for renters with a particularly tight budget, it can be a way to save a couple thousand dollars on your New York apartment. Here's what you need to know.
Most no-fee apartments can be found online, without a broker
Turning to your social network is a great way to find an apartment without using a real estate agent. Let your Facebook friends, Instagram followers, and Twitter-verse know you're hunting for a new place, and you may be able to go straight to a landlord without much effort.
Most online real estate-listing sites, including StreetEasy and CityRealty, offer a no-fee apartment filter. But there are some sites that actually specialize in no-fee apartments. NYBits.com, for example, primarily lists no-fee units across New York City (according to Brick Underground, about 75% of the rentals on NYBits don't require a broker's fee). The highlight of this site, though, is the directory of buildings and property managers. Oftentimes, the hardest part is figuring out who the hell to contact when you finally discover a no-fee apartment you'd like to see. NYBits tells you where to look (apartment buildings, co-ops, and condominiums) and who specifically to contact to avoid involving a brokerage firm or agent.