Why is Finding a Short Term Rental in Manhattan so Difficult?

Finding a short term rental in Manhattan is very difficult.  Why is this? Well, for starters finding any kind of rental in Manhattan is not easy let alone finding a short term one.  The vacancy rate for rentals in Manhattan is very low, usually at 3% or less.  As anyone who has tried to rent in Manhattan can tell you finding an apartment to rent can be a daunting experience.  Usually if you use a good real estate agent the process can be much easier although keep in mind that in Manhattan the tenant usually pays the brokerage fee.  But if finding a normal rental in Manhattan is daunting, finding a short term rental can be even more unnerving.

So why is it so difficult to find a short term rental in Manhattan? There are two main reasons.  First, a lot of buildings in Manhattan do not allow short term rentals.  While you can find shorter term leases in rental buildings and townhouses, virtually all coops and condos do not allow leases to be shorter than one year in length (fyi: some allow six month rentals).  This is because coops and condos are mostly owner occupied and while they allow owners to rent out their units, they don’t want their buildings to feel like “hotels”, with different tenants taking possession of individual units every few weeks or months.

Second, generally speaking a landlord would prefer to have a longer term tenant than a shorter term tenant because with longer term tenants there is less risk that the apartment will be vacant between tenants.  Also, less money and time needs to be spent on the landlord’s part to try to re-rent the unit with longer term tenants  So, even if the landlord is allowed to sign a lease with a shorter term tenant, he or she will usually only be interested in lease terms of at least one year.  Because the rental market is Manhattan is generally very strong, a landlord can afford to be choosier with tenants and does not need to consider shorter term tenants.

So, in sum, when you take into account building restrictions, landlord preferences, and the strong rental market in Manhattan where a landlord can afford to be selective with tenants, you can see why finding a short term rental in Manhattan is so difficult.

In order to make finding a short term rental easier, we created www.leasebreak.com , a new resource where you can find short term rentals by taking over leases.  Often when someone wants to get out of their lease, the landlord will allow this person to let someone else take over the remaining months left on the lease which would create a short term lease opportunity!  We are hoping to increase the inventory of short term leases available in the city by connecting those looking to get out of longer term leases with those looking for short term leases.

Interested in Short Term Rentals