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Avoid Surprises When Signing A Blind Lease

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With the rental market as hot as it is, some hopeful tenants are taking a chance and signing on the dotted line before seeing their new pad in person. NY1's Jill Urban filed the following report.

We all know the rental market is hotter and more competitive than ever. So now some renters are going to extreme measures to get the home they want.

"People are so desperate to find an apartment that they are willing to sign a lease without entering the apartment they will be renting and, in some cases, without ever having visited the building," says LCOR Director of Marketing Kirsten Risko.

In this market it’s not uncommon to see people rent a home site unseen. At 25 Broad Street, for example, several residents have made the commitment without ever having set foot in the building. Some are relocation tenants who had leases signed before ever coming to New York, but others are local renters who were willing to take a leap of faith to get an edge in a competitive market.

Risko credits this trend with more transparency thanks to the Internet.

"We are finding people are becoming a lot more trustworthy of what they find online. They are finding if the website has floorplans, pricing, availability and professional photos that most likely they can make the decision right then and there," she says.

If you’re willing to do it, there are a few things to keep in mind before you pull the trigger. She says first, do your homework.

"Definitely get some background information on the management company and the landlord, making sure that it is a reputable company with a good reputation so you know the information you find online will be accurate and you won’t have some sort of swap when you get to the building," suggests Risko.

Another tip: If there is a building you like, find out if you can submit a general application. This way you can be pre-approved so when a unit becomes available, you can sign a lease immediately.

And if possible go to the building and ask to see any available unit. This will give you an idea of the general size and finishes in the apartments. You can also see the amenities and determine if it’s a building you’d like to live in so if you do sign a lease you’ll at least have some piece of mind that what you see is pretty much what you'll get.

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