The 6 Best Apartment Rental Websites In NYC (Tip #23) | Frēlē: NYC Apartments for Rent (2024)

The 6 Best Apartment Rental Websites in NYC (Pros & Cons)

Updated 7/9/2021

Are you looking for apartment rentals in New York? Rental websites are the perfect place to look, and you’ve got plenty to choose from. Unfortunately, the amount of apartment listings have plummeted on Zillow’s StreetEasy – a once free and popular website for finding apartments – once they started charging huge fees to list on their website. Since then, competitors have seen an increase in traffic and listings. In response to these changes, we compiled a new and updated list of the best rental websites in NYC. Note that any brokerage websites are excluded from this list.

#1 Leasebreak (

Pros: Hands-down the #1 place to go to if you’re looking for a short-term lease in NYC between 1 to 12 months. These short term rentals also include “lease take-overs”, where you could take over someone else’s lease. This is still where some of the best deals in the NYC can be found. Since 2013, thousands of landlords, tenants, and agents regularly post (for free) on Leasebreak, and have been posting since 2013. Because they have very unique inventory (leasebreaks, short term rentals, sublets), and because it is free to post, you will surely find apartments listed here and nowhere else. Whether you want a standard short term rental, leasebreak, sublet, or lease assignment, there’s always something available. The Leasebreak rental website also has one-year rentals and a lot of “rooms for rent” as well. They value transparency and accuracy. Exact street addresses are publicly displayed for all of their listings. It is also free to use!

Cons: The website design is a bit outdated and isn’t yet entirely mobile-friendly. However, they’re working to fix all of these issues by early 2022. But if don’t mind the “look/feel” being out of date, then it’s easily one of the best rental websites out there, especially for short term rentals and leasebreaks.

#2 Frēlē (

Pros: Frēlē (pronounced “Freely”) is a comprehensive free marketplace for NYC rentals. Because it is “free” to post listings here (most websites charge money), you will see apartments listed here that are not listed anywhere else. Their focus is on showing videos of apartments for rent which is great for saving your time. The have everything: standard lease apartments (1-2 years), short-term rentals (1 to 12 months), and “takeovers” (motivated tenants who are breaking their leases).

Launched with a 4-point pledge to ensure that principles comes before profits, the Frēlē rental website promises to keep their platform free while placing great value in transparency. They have thousands of videos of the actual apartments you would be renting which is a great way to showcase the transparency. Also, each listing displays the exact address, and you can get in touch with listers directly. Plus, they offer excellent tips (blogs + videos) for renting in NYC at

Cons: Frēlē is a relatively new player in the market, but it is growing fast with thousands of rental listings. Because they are new, they don’t yet have all of the bells and whistles of some other sites but the accuracy and transparency of the site shines through.

#3 Craigslist (

Pros: Everyone has heard of Craigslist, and has probably used it before. It used to be the go-to place for searching affordable apartments in NYC. Today, it still is one of the most trafficked rental websites in NYC. And believe it or not, you can also sometimes snag a good deal on the site.

Cons: The user interface hasn’t really been updated in the last 20 years, leaving much to be desired. It is also no longer “free”. Posts cost $5. You also have to be very careful. It’s seems like everyone knows someone who was either scammed on Craigslist, or has some shady story to tell about it. This is probably the biggest risk you’ll take if you use this platform.

#4 Linecity (

Pros: There is no consumer facing website we can think of with deeper ties to the NYC real estate industry. While the brand “Linecity” is a relatively new one, their listing and building data come from their parent company OLR which has been serving the real estate community in NYC for over 25 years. The website is slick with some cool features, like the ability to compare up to 3 apartments side by side. Also, you likely won’t find any other consumer website with so much historical and accurate rental and building data.

Cons: Like Frēlē, Linecity is a newer consumer marketplace for NYC listings but is slowly gaining traction. Also, unlike the other websites on this list, Linecity does not allow manual postings of listings on its website. They only show listings from their current clients or from their network (both of which are pretty vast). So while this will minimize your chances of getting scammed, it also means you may not have access to some of the DIY landlords, agents and tenants who manually post their own listings on a one-off basis.

#5 RentHop (

Pros: RentHop has this unique scoring system (called the HopScore) which claims to rank rental apartments based on their quality. RentHop’s rental website is also a nationwide platform should you need to move out of NYC.

Cons: RentHop is not free. It costs money to post here ($40 for renters) so this will prevent a lot of listings from getting on the website. There will also be many duplicate apartments and many apartments without addresses on this rental website. Here’s why: RentHop makes money by charging brokers to list apartments. An unintended consequence of this means that many brokers aren’t really interested in renting the listed apartment. Rather, they want to attract you as a client so they can rent you other apartments.

#6 StreetEasy (

Pros: While StreetEasy is half the website is was just a year ago (see “cons” below), this rental website is still one of the most trafficked rental websites in NYC, getting a lot of eyeballs. They also have some of the best “historical” data on rentals. Finally, they are very easy to use and are “feature rich”.

Cons: Almost half of all rental listings were pulled off of StreetEasy’s website in 2017 and most of those listings remain off the site. This happened because they went from a “free” model to a “paid” model, requiring agents and landlords to pay a lot of money to post listings on their website. (Also, for renters, it costs $185 to post a listing!). Like Naked Apartments, Zillow bought StreetEasy years ago leading to dramatic changes such as this one.

For more NYC rental tips, please go to

This article was written by:

Phil Horigan, NYC Real Estate Veteran
Founder, Frēlē, the free and honest NYC rental marketplace
Producer, Phil’s NYC Rental Tips [YouTube Channel]
Instagram: @philiphorigan

Phil has been a licensed NYC real estate agent since 2004 working for some of the top real estate brokerage firms in the industry. He founded in 2013, and Frēlē in 2017. Frēlē and Leasebreak are free and transparent rental marketplaces to search for or post apartments for rent in NYC

Go to to search for NYC apartments (free service).

The 6 Best Apartment Rental Websites In NYC (Tip #23) | Frēlē: NYC Apartments for Rent (2024)


What is the best website to find rental apartments in NYC? ›

Several trusted websites offer comprehensive listings to help you navigate this journey, including Zillow,, June Homes, uhomes, and StreetEasy.

Where is rent cheapest in NYC? ›

Top Cheapest Neighborhoods in NYC
  1. Inwood, Manhattan. Inwood is easily one of the most affordable options if you want to live in a Manhattan neighborhood. ...
  2. Washington Heights, Manhattan. ...
  3. Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. ...
  4. Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. ...
  5. Briarwood, Queens. ...
  6. Flushing, Queens. ...
  7. Country Club, The Bronx. ...
  8. Morris Park, The Bronx.
Nov 29, 2023

How to get an affordable apartment in NYC? ›

Visit the NYC Housing Connect website to view and apply to housing lotteries. Call 311 or 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675) for help. You can also can get information about NYC Housing Development Corporation-financed developments that are accepting applications for apartments.

Who are the biggest landlords in NYC? ›

Columbia University is the largest private landowner in New York City. The school's 320 properties are valued at almost $4 billion, and it pays very little in property taxes thanks to an exemption written into the state constitution 200 years ago.

How to get a nice apartment in NYC? ›

If you find a great apartment on the private market, fend off likely competitors by being prepared: check your own credit history and bring along a current credit agency report; if possible, ask your previous landlord to write a favorable letter of reference; and also ask your employer, co-workers, and friends if you ...

How do I find good tenants in NYC? ›

Running a background check on your tenants
  1. Verify if tenants' monthly income equals at least three times the monthly rent;
  2. Ask for copies of their pay stubs;
  3. Get in touch with their employers for further information;
  4. Verify if they pay bills on time;
  5. Check for potential criminal records;

What income qualifies for affordable housing in NYC? ›

Eligibility for Public Housing
Person(s) in FamilyIncome Limits
11 more rows

How to get reduced rent in NYC? ›

HUD helps apartment owners offer reduced rents to low-income tenants. To apply, contact or visit the management office of each apartment building that interests you. There are also several subsidized rental programs administered by New York State and New York City listed below.

Where is the cheapest place to live close to NYC? ›

With a beautiful waterfront, you get the best of both worlds in New Rochelle: urban living and popular beach clubs.
  1. New Rochelle, NY. Average rent (one-bedroom): $2,450. ...
  2. Jersey City, NJ. Average rent (one-bedroom): $3,575. ...
  3. Hoboken, NJ. ...
  4. White Plains, NY. ...
  5. Ossining, NY. ...
  6. Yonkers, NY. ...
  7. Stamford, CT. ...
  8. Montclair, NJ.
5 days ago

Who owns most expensive apt in NYC? ›

At the beginning of 2019, Ken Griffin's purchase at 220 Central Park South set a new record for the highest-priced home ever sold in the United States.

Who owns most of Manhattan? ›

To the surprise of nobody, the City of New York is the biggest property owner in the five boroughs — with a massive 362.1 million square feet to its name, according to TRD's analysis. Think 1 Police Plaza, Stuyvesant High School and the New York Public Library building on Fifth Avenue.

What's the highest rent in NYC? ›

But the developer of the Jardim, the condo at 527 West 27th Street where the penthouse is located, was apparently willing to make a deal. For $150,000 a month. While there are always a handful of Manhattan apartments in the $100,000-a-month-and-up range, few actually rent out for that much.

Is StreetEasy only for NYC? ›

Agents and Brokerages Enter Listings

Because StreetEasy is a NYC-only platform, there are unique fields we have that might not appear on other sites.

How do landlords pick tenants NYC? ›

Learn more about the protected classes. Screening may include credit checks, work and landlord references, personal references, questions about the number of people who will live in the unit, criminal background checks, including the sex offender registry, home visits, and interviews.

How is the rental market in New York city? ›

In the ACS, median gross rent in NYC rose from $1,500 in 2019 to $1,680 in 2022, a gain of 12%. This is a smaller increase than in the StreetEasy data—which showed a 17% rise from 2019 to 2022—and also a much lower level of rent than the $3,300 reported by StreetEasy for on-line available listings in 2022.

What apartments are rent stabilized in NYC? ›

Rent Stabilization in NYC

Rent stabilized apartments are most often located in buildings containing 6 or more units, which were built before 1974. If you live in a rent stabilized unit, you are entitled to additional protections and rights, so it is important to know your status.

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