4 Things Every Renter in NYC Needs

Washington Square NYC

Despite the current luxury condo boom, this is still a city of renters. In such a fast-paced city and market, sometimes it's good to take a step back and make sure you're covering all of the bases. From protecting your valuables to thinking ahead, this is what every renter in NYC needs:

1. Renters Insurance

You should really have renters insurance. It’s relatively inexpensive, costing about $300 a year for approximately $50,000 worth of protection. That $25 a month protects you from losses of theft, fire, and damage from routine weather events, such as rain, heavy snow, wind, and lightning—all of which happen in New York City. Not only does renters insurance protect you from these potential threats, but it also includes liability protection. If someone was injured in your apartment and sued, your legal costs and even a potential court reward (typical up to $100,000) would be covered. Keep in mind that while renters insurance would cover your valuables if your upstairs neighbor’s apartment flooded, but not in the case of a street level flood. For that you’d need separate flood insurance.

2. A Basic Tool Kit

Basic maintenance around your apartment can go a long way. Replace the loose screw in your kitchen cabinet. Fix that slow leak from your bathroom sink. Maintain your air conditioner. Taking care of your home on a regular basis one, adds to the longevity of your appliances, and two, keeps your landlord happy. No need to bother them over something minor. A little DIY never hurt anyone.

3. Knowledge of Renter’s Rights

With the above being said, know that you also have rights. Landlords have certain responsibilities, and by not pestering them over the small things, they’re more likely to help you with bigger problems, as well as supply you with a referral if you eventually move into another rental. Check out NYC.gov’s page on tenant rights and responsibilities.

4. A Plan

The most important thing that every renter needs is a plan. Do you plan on moving from your current apartment? Keep up to date with neighborhood trends to see where you might want to relocate to. Are you comfortable with the amount of money that you spend on rent? Rents in New York are increasing citywide, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a neighborhood that fits your needs. Do you eventually want to buy a home? In that case, you need to be saving for a down payment. There are a lot of variables involved with renting, and preparation is key to making it work.