Photo via Pixabay
January is a busy month for renters across the U.S., described by one broker as the “oasis month” in an otherwise dead stretch between October and the spring. People make big life-changing decisions at the New Year, which often means moving – plus there’s the backlog of renters who put off sorting their living situation over the holiday season who are all entering the market at once in the first week of January.
New York’s rental market is estimated to be worth over $700 million in rent and over $44 million in deposits in January alone. With so much money changing hands, it means renters are an attractive target for scammers and fraudsters. Thankfully, rental fraud is rare, but a little knowledge goes a long way. So if you’re entering the rental market after the holidays, here are three things you can do to keep yourself (and your money) safe.
Over the past few years, New York City’s homeless crisis has gotten worse. A recent study reported a 39 percent increase in homelessness over 2016, making last year the highest homeless population since the survey began in 2005. While the city scrambles to address the rising population, a roommate company and nonprofit housing organization recently teamed up to help lessen the burden of New Yorkers who find themselves unable to afford housing.
Despite operating on opposite ends of the housing market, roommate matching site SpareRoom partnered with Breaking Ground, the largest provider of supportive housing in NYC, this November. The partnership was suggested by the public after SpareRoom launched Live Rent Free, a contest where the company pays one roommate’s monthly rent and one person’s entire rent for a whole year. (It was inspired by founder Rupert Hunt’s New York roommate search, in which he found two roomies to share his West Village loft for $1 a month.) The resulting partnership–which is running in tandem with the Live Rent Free contest–matches the monthly prize amount dollar-for-dollar with an in-kind donation to Breaking Ground to fund their Transitional Housing program. So far, SpareRoom has donated $3,314.
With 6sqft, Matt Hutchinson, Director at SpareRoom, explained why the company felt motivated to address homelessness and its future plans to engage with Breaking Ground. Brenda Rosen, President and CEO of Breaking Ground, also explains how the organization’s Transition Housing program works, and why the homelessness crisis is something all New Yorkers–regardless of what they pay in rent–should be aware of.
Continue reading for the Q&A
When SpareRoom CEO and founder Rupert Hunt announced earlier this month that he was looking for two roommates to share his $8 million West Village apartment–both of whom would be paying just $1 a month–we knew the interest would be high. And after a “SpeedRoommating” session on the 19th, the room share service’s version of speed dating, we’ve learned that a whopping 8,795 people applied for a chance to live in the triplex loft. According to a press release, Hunt is narrowing it down to 10 lucky finalists, and he’ll be hosting them next week at house party, where he can learn more about them and see who gets along best.
More on the deal of a lifetime
They say you have seven seconds to make a first impression, so a few minutes is enough to find a roommate, right? SpareRoom CEO and founder Rupert Hunt announced earlier this month that he is looking for two roommates to share his luxury West Village apartment. Part of the process includes “SpeedRoommating” as he searches for flat mates. SpeedRoomating is SpareRoom’s version of speed dating, except instead of a sloppy good night kiss, you could end up with a roommate or a room. Tonight, from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Winslow, Hunt will sit down and get to know people who are interested in paying just $1 a month to live in his Bleecker Street apartment.
FIND OUT MORE AT METRO NEW YORK…
Yes, you read that correctly–you can move into a luxury 3,400-square-foot West Village loft that cost $8 million and pay only $1 month. Metro brings us the deal of the century, which was posted by Rupert Hunt, Founder and CEO of SpareRoom.com, a platform that helps people find roommates and spare rooms. Hunt recently moved to NYC and is looking for two roommates to share the loft, which is located on Bleecker Street just off 7th Avenue South. Unbelievably, each of the available bedrooms has its own walk-in closet, private bathroom, and office area, as well as access to the massive, open-plan lounge/dining room/kitchen and the 1,500-square-foot roof terrace with 360-degree views and a 17-seat barbecue area. Why, you ask, is Hunt charging just a $1 in a neighborhood where rooms rent for around $1,800 (and probably much more for a giant, tricked-out apartment like this)? For starters, he doesn’t need the money, and he’s also really excited about living with roommates.
More on this insane deal and a look around the apartment