Apartable Website Helps Renters Find Out if a Building Has a Negligent Landlord
Looking to buy in NYC is a task, but finding the right place to rent can be a veritable nightmare. While apartments may look spic ‘n span on the surface, oftentimes tenants find out the hard way (e.g. after hastily throwing down thousands on a broker fee and signing a two-year lease for fear of losing out on the space) that their landlord is pretty terrible when it comes to maintenance and safety. Enter Apartable, a new website that helps potential tenants investigate whether or not a building they’re interested in is a slum they need to avoid, or if it’s up to snuff.
Image: Example of the results you’ll get in your search
Apartable provides a seamless and very intuitive platform for individuals to search aggregated data from across multiple city agencies like the Department of Buildings, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the Department of Finance. The resulting report is a clean and clear list that culls years of complaints, violations and building permits, as well as tax histories going back to 2009, for all of New York’s roughly 900,000 buildings. Tenants are also allowed to chime in with their own comments and reviews to back up the info; currently there are about 1,000 reviews available (the site launched a beta version two years ago and was officially released today).
Another handy tidbit is that Apartable also exposes who the individual owner of a building is if they’ve been hiding behind an LLC. Listing owners’ names are under “registered contacts” and the site shows any other buildings the person owns or operates so that individuals can see if violations and complaints have arisen in those as well.
“Having the data all in one place is important for prospective tenants,” said Katie Goldstein, executive director of Tenants & Neighbors to DNAInfo. “Tenants should know an owner’s track records to be able to make an informed decision on the type of owner or management company where they’d like to live.”
Your happy house hunt starts here.