familiarize yourself with the NYC real estate market


Alcove: Typically this is a type of studio with a space that can be sectioned off for a separate sleeping area. Picture a studio with an “L” shape.

Assignment:  When one roommate moves out and transfers the lease to a new tenant. Lease assignment cannot be refused by the landlord, but the landlord typically must approve of the new tenant.

Broker: This term typically describes a licensed real estate salesperson, an “agent”. However, broker can also refer to the “Brokerage” or the individual real estate broker.

Broker Fee: This is the fee paid to the broker or agent who shows you an apartment. You only will pay a fee in the event you rent an apartment in a building located for you by that broker/agent. Expect to pay 15% of the annual rent in Manhattan and other hot neighborhoods and one month to 12% in areas of lesser demand. By NYS law, this amount must be negotiable. If an agreement isn’t made between a client and broker/agent, the client can walk away.

Classic Six: An apartment with a generous layout commonly found in prewar buildings featuring two bedrooms and a third smaller room. The third room is better described as an office, maid’s room, dining room or other extra room.

Co-Broke: A scenario when two agents share a listing and split commission 50/50. Usually one agent represents the buyer/renter and the other the seller/landlord.

Condo: This is the most common ownership structure for single owner apartments. Condos will require renters to submit a board package application to be reviewed by the condo board prior to application approval.

Convertible: An apartment with either a living room or additional space that can be divided by either a temporary wall, bookshelf wall or room divider. A large one bedroom with a separate living room will often be advertised as a “Convertible 2 Bed”.

Co-Op: With this ownership structure owners are shareholders that own share to represent physical space in a building. Renters are required to submit a board package application to be reviewed by the co-op board prior to application approval. Co-Op boards are almost always more strict and critical than condo boards.

CYOF: Stands for “Collect Your Own Fee”. An apartment that a landlord or management company distributes throughout the brokerage community, but retains the right to advertise and rent through the landlord or management company direct as “No Fee”.

Duplex: Any apartment spanning two floors..

Junior 1 Bedroom: Usually a functioning one bedroom apartment where the bedroom is not fully private.

Junior 4: This is often passed as a two bedroom apartment, but more appropriately described as a one bedroom apartment with an office or separate dining space.

Limited Listing:  An apartment that a landlord or management company distributes to select or few agents or brokerages. Commission is usually paid for by the tenant.

Loft: A large open room. Typical of buildings converted to residential from commercial or industrial. More often “Loft” is used in place of “studio”.

OP: Stands for “Owner Paid”. This is a listing that will be advertised as “No-Fee”, because the other has agreed to the broker fee. (OP listings are rare in NYC, especially during the busier season, April – September.

Open Listing: An apartment that a landlord or management company distributes throughout the brokerage community. Commission is usually paid for by the tenant.

Pied-A-Terre: French for “Foot on the Ground”, New York for an apartment occupied only on a part-time basis. Not a primary residence.

Pre War: A building built before WWII. Commonly a walkup, but can be doorman/elevator with unique architecture.

Post War: A building built shortly after WWII. Often these buildings have large layouts and large lobbies.

Railroad: An apartment with any number of rooms connected without doors. Expect to walk through one bedroom to get to the next or both bedrooms to get to the bathroom.

Spacious: Remember that everything is relative. If you are not from NYC, this term will probably just mean: not spacious.

Studio: A one room apartment. Studio apartments will usually have their own kitchen and bathroom, but in cases of very low rent sometimes have a shared bathroom or a “kitchenette”.

Sublet: When one roommate is moving out, but the other remains in the apartment and sub-leases the vacant room.

Super: Short for “Superintendent” is the building go-to maintenance person. Often living on-site, this is the person who will handle leaks and other minor repairs.

Three-Room: An apartment with only three rooms. Typically expect a one bedroom, but can also be a two bed railroad

Triplex: Any apartment spanning three floors.

True Two Bedroom: A two bedroom apartment that also includes a living room. While that might seem like a given, often times “2 Bedroom” means only that.

Winged”: A two bedroom apartment with a small common space connecting two opposite bedrooms. An open kitchen layout is usually contained in the common area.

Kitchenette: A very small kitchen space. Often with minimal storage and a mini-fridge. Commonly lacking a full stovetop or range.


NYU Student Rentals