Living alone in New York can take a lot into your budget. Many people choose to share living costs with a roommate, which can help a lot. But we are also in a pandemic, which means more people are spending more time at home. If you work far away, like many other New Yorkers, you might spend all day and all night with this person! Now more than ever, it’s important to know how to find a roommate you can live with – contentedly. Read on for expert advice on creating a happy living situation in New York City.
How To Find The Right Roommate
In our vast city, figuring out how to find a roommate can seem overwhelming. (Especially if you’re new to the city and still don’t know too many people.) There are many online services that can help with your search in addition to the default Craigslist. One suggestion is the Listing Project – an organization rooted in community building, as well as collective self-care.
However, no matter what service you use, Rany Burstein, CEO and founder of the roommate search engine program in New York City Diggz, offers important tips on finding a roommate. “You want to make sure you and your roommate are fit for lifestyle and preferences,” he says. “The pandemic is forcing people to spend more time at home during work hours, so you want to make sure your work schedules match well. And you need enough space and a good layout to accommodate both working at home.”
There are other options as well. Try contacting your network of college alumni to see if any like-minded people are looking. Some real estate brokers and rental companies will also help with a roommate combination. And the New York Foundation for the Elderly even offers home-sharing program, which helps connect “hosts” with space to save with “guests,” who rent a room.
Memorable thing: It is imperative to make sure that your roommate can pay the rent for the rental conditions. A landlord usually asks for a hiring letter and recent pay tubes. It is not a bad idea for you to ask for these as well.
Can you add a roommate to an existing lease?
After finding a roommate, setting up a roommate can have many legal implications that you must consider carefully before signing a lease, says David Reischer, a lawyer with the law firm. Reischer & Reischer. This includes adding a roommate to an existing lease.
Whatever, you have to keep your master in the loop. “Carefully review the lease and make sure you understand the landlord’s expectations,” Reischer says. “Specifically, look at whether the lease agreement says you agree to cover the cost of renting the entire apartment, based on the assumption that none of your roommates will default. This is a significant financial and legal gamble.”
If you are joining an existing lease, check to see if there are any unpaid rents from your roommate that you may be responsible for later. Before signing the dotted line, ask your landlord or management company for an account statement so that you can check for any outstanding balance.
Adding a roommate to rent-stabilized rental requires extra care, adds Andrea Shapiro, Director of Program and Advertising for the Met Housing Council. “If you add a roommate to a lease, it might be considered a new lease,” she says. “For rent-stabilized tenants, this could add new clauses to the tenancy or affect preferred rent.”
Can You Benefit From A Roommate?
It’s a question a lot of people think about when they find a roommate. The answer? Not exactly. But interestingly, if your name is rented, you do have some advantages.
For example, say your monthly rent is $ 2,000. You can’t charge a roommate more than that, he says Bill Kovalchuk, associate broker at Warburg Realty. “The idea is that you don’t do more than what the landlord pays each month,” Kowalczuk says. “In dollar terms, this means you can’t charge a roommate $ 2,200 and pocket $ 200 a month.” But you can save yourself money by charging $ 1,500. However, charging a roommate a disproportionate share of the total rent is not exactly ethical and would disturb the household if your roommate found out.
Lu stabilization has stricter guidelines. “In a rent-stabilized apartment, if you have two people living in the apartment, you can’t charge more than half of the rent,” Shapiro says. “And then if there’s three people in the apartment, you can’t charge more than a third.”
After Finding a Roommate, Will You Sign a Roommate?
In short: yes.
“Most often you invite a stranger into your apartment,” says Kowalczuk. “So it’s important that you sign an agreement. You can find a document online, or even better, hire a lawyer to work out one.”
Shapiro agrees that they are a good idea. “Written peer agreements are considered a contract and are legally binding,” she says. “If you write one yourself, include everything you agree with, and write it in plain language for everyone to understand.”
How Many Roommates Are Too Many?
This is difficult! It may depend on whose name is rented, whether the roommates are family members, and how large the apartment is, among other things.
Based on NYC’s “Roommate Act.” each tenant under a lease may have an additional resident as long as there is at least 80 square feet of living space (not including corridors, bathrooms, etc.) for each person.
“This means that after finding a roommate, that person can add another roommate if the apartment is big enough,” Burstein says.