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Tips To Navigate The Spring Rental Season

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The super hot rental market has its own set of challenges this spring, meaning apartment hunters may have to sacrifice more than just a hefty deposit. NY1's Jill Urban filed the following report.

The spring rental season is here and with inventory so tight many renters are certainly feeling squeezed. Those hitting the market now are in for a competitive search.

"May through August time frame is the busiest it's ever gonna be, it's what we call our busy season. It's people who are graduating from college, grad school. People's leases are coming up from a year or two earlier so there is an increased demand during these four months," says Citi Habitats President Gary Malin.

Malin recently offered up some tips to help renters land the home they want. First, he says don’t even look if you are not prepared to sign a lease immediately. There is just too much competition and there is no time to wait. Rentals are even seeing bidding wars these days.

With that in mind, he says if you find something you love that you can afford it may help to come in big from the start.

"I think it's important to realize that if you find an apartment that you love and you know it’s right for you, don’t be afraid to pay more than is being asked for. That will put you at the front of the line and most likely secure you that apartment," says Malin.

Malin also suggests offering to pay some of the rent up front. It could help you stand out from other applicants.

If you are set on a particular area, but the rental buildings are too pricey, he suggests you consider renting in a condo or even a coop.

"If you are looking to save some money a great opportunity might be to rent in a coop. They traditionally trade at less value because you can only live there for a year or two," notes Malin. "Their costs of getting into that building is more than a typical rental building and it's just a matter of going through a board process which most people don’t love to do."

Also, with the intense demand, he says if your lease is coming up now, you may want to try and extend it to come out at a less busy time if year. You may find that prices are more in your favor and there could be more inventory then.

If it has to be now then he says make a list of your wants versus your must haves because in this market you might have to make some sacrifices. But opening your mind to something new could open more windows of opportunity.

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