Who Can Help With Unwanted Pest Infestation

When you find signs of pest infestation, it feels totally helpless. It’s hard to imagine being much of a match for bugs and rodents that can burrow through the walls while you sleep, but there comes a time when you have to take control. Here’s some info that should aid your process of figuring out what you are responsible for, and what your landlord is responsible for, in the case of an infestation.


There are a number of pests that may come to find a home in the nooks and crannies of your apartment, but the most common are mice, rats, and cockroaches. The NYC Department of Health released a booklet on controlling pests safely which you can access online here. It can be confusing to decide what exactly to do first in the case of an infestation, but the book offers clear and concise directions for dealing with pests. From how to spot pests, to when to know you’ve successfully cleared your space of them, this booklet is incredibly helpful when you’re dealing with an infestation.


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Introducing Rhino Return

It’s January and vacancy leasing activity is low. But all those peak-season lease expirations are just around the corner ─ which means renewal leases are going out the door for May, June and July.


It’s now more important than ever to do everything you can to retain good renters, minimize turn cost and keep your vacancy rate down.


Today, we’re officially rolling out our existing tenant platform. Incentivize renewals by offering existing tenants the option to switch to Rhino mid-lease or at lease renewal and get their security deposit back early.


Build trust and deepen relationships with your tenants while still protecting your bottom line with Rhino. It’s really simple:


Happier tenants  More lease renewals = Happier landlords


Not yet offering Rhino to your existing tenants? Give us a buzz. You know where to find us

How To Approach Your Noisy Neighbors

Noisy neighbors are bound to become an annoyance at some point in a lifetime of renting. It’s a hard problem to solve––on one hand, you deserve peace and quiet in your apartment if you so desire, but on the other hand, your neighbor technically deserves the same freedom in choosing whether they want to chill out in a quietly or loudly. What makes it worse is that usually we don’t necessarily know what our upstairs or downstairs neighbors look like, and they’re just as likely to be causing the problem as our next door neighbors, so it’s hard to approach them organically, like in the elevator. We’ve assembled a foolproof guide to deciding when to talk to noisy neighbors, when to lay low, and how to approach them if you choose the former.


Take Note of When You’re Experiencing A Noise Disturbance


The most important part of making sure you have a case when addressing a noise complaint is taking note of when the disturbance is occuring. For many buildings, there is a specified cut off time for situations just like the one you’re in. Many places set it at midnight, though it may be earlier depending on the space you’re in. You can likely find information about this in your lease agreement. If the noises were made before the time cut off, you’re unfortunately out of luck if you’re looking to issue a complaint with a landlord. You can still try talking to your neighbour directly, though.

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4 Affordable DIYs To Maximize Space In Your New Rental

Space can be tight in rentals, and it’s easy feel like you need to just back down and pare your possessions, but there are a lot of simple ways to make a room more welcoming to all of your stuff, both big and small. Below are a few of our favorites.


Bed Risers

If you have  a bed frame you love, yet it doesn’t allow for under bed storage space, bed risers are the perfect thing to create a ton of more space in your apartment. We all have stuff we keep but don’t need to use everyday: clothing not suited for the season, mementos, DVDs or books. Under the bed storage is the perfect solution for storing things that you’re comfortable with being less accessible than they would be in a drawer. The best part of bed risers is their quick installation –– all you have to do is put them under the legs of your bed and you’re good to go!


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Why you need renters insurance

Are you currently signed up for renters insurance? Odds are, you aren’t—only 37% of renters have insurance, while 95% of homeowners do. There’s a myriad of reasons for this discrepancy. People assume they don’t need insurance, or that it’s already covered through their landlord, or that it’s too expensive. None of these things are wholly accurate—insurance is an important part of protecting your belongings, it’s not covered through your landlord’s property insurance, and perhaps most importantly, it’s much less expensive than people think.


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How to plan for the L train shutdown

The shutdown of the L train has been looming over the heads of North Brooklyn residents for over two years. Though the dates have continued to be pushed back and moved around, the city claims that the construction will begin in April 2019 and last for fifteen months. The impact this will have on those who use the L train as part of their regular commute is hard to overstate—over 400,000 people take the L every day. If you’re one of them, the prospect can seem abysmal when it comes to thinking about your commute and disruptions to daily life. Here’s some things you can think about to prepare.



Leave Bushwick! Leave New York! Leave the Tri-State area! Okay, that’s a joke. The shutdown is daunting, but not worth disrupting your life. On the other hand, if you’re already making plans to move within the next year or so, it might be worth it to look at the disruption maps and move to an area where your commute won’t be affected.


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How to rent when your credit score is low

Speaking of outdated institutions, it’s absurd that your ability to rent an apartment is partially dictated by an arbitrary algorithm about your financial history, but alas that is the current state of affairs. Despite the complications though, you don’t need to despair if you have a mediocre credit score—there are ways around this roadblock to help you when you’re finding a place to rent.


Odds are, if you have an acceptable guarantor you’ve already asked them, but that’s the first option. It’s hard to find a guarantor, though—they have to make eighty times the rent in a year, and many companies require guarantors to live in the tri-state area.

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Get the most out of negotiating your lease renewal

Even if you’re staying in your same apartment instead of going through the arduous search and moving process, renewing your lease can still inspire stress, mostly related to the possibility of rent hikes. But there are ways to make the process beneficial rather than anxiety inducing.


The first thing to remember is that it’s called negotiating for a reason—you’re trying to find a deal that works beneficially for you and your landlord. Assuming you’re a quality tenant, your landlord would rather have you stay in the apartment than go through the process of showing the place, sifting through applications, and assisting with a new move in. Don’t think of them raising the rent as a personal or malicious move, rather a necessary reaction to the ever changing markets of New York.


If your renewal has a rent increase that you either aren’t comfortable with paying or truly can’t afford, approach the conversation calmly and rationally. Being straightforward helps. You can start with something along the lines of, “I love living here and want to renew the lease, but I can’t afford the rent increase at this juncture. Can we meet to discuss options?”

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Neighborhood Bar

Residents favorite ‘neighborhood’ bar in 6 different areas

One of the perks of living in the city is that it’s easy to explore the myriad of options for dining and imbibing no matter what hood you live in. But at the end of the night, nothing beats your local neighborhood go-to bar. These are the places that stay open in a snowstorm, where, maybe not everyone, but at least the bartender, knows your name. If you’re new to one of these neighborhoods, make one of these spots your haunt and settle in with the neighbors.


Tribeca — Nancy Whiskey Pub 

A haven of affordability in pricey Tribeca, Nancy Whiskey Pub is a beloved local spot for cheap drinks and shuffleboard. Consistently ranked one of the best dive bars in the city, it’s a great spot to become a regular.


East Village — The Scratcher 

Luckily, the East Village has retained tons of local favorite bars even as other parts of the city suffer from quick turnover and trendy spots overtaking old timers. There’s a few old reliables around here, but The Scratcher, tucked away down a set of stairs on East 5th, maintains a dedicated neighborhood vibe in a classic Irish bar setting.


Prospect Heights — Sharlene’s 

Anytime a bar closes in New York, no matter the neighborhood, you hear someone say: “Don’t let Sharlene’s be next!” It’s a mark that this bar has wormed it’s way into the hearts of the many New Yorkers that live or have lived in Prospect Heights.


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How to tip building staff over the holidays

Between travel, boozy holiday parties, navigating the weather, and corralling friends and relatives visiting the city, late December is a time when New Yorkers have a lot on their plates. Everyone ends up letting some things fall through the cracks, but this year, don’t let it be the tips to the staff in your building.

An apartment that works like a well oiled machine may seem natural, but the building staff are doing a crazy amount of behind the scenes work to make sure that your living situation is anxiety-free.

While there isn’t an exact dollar amount that you need to tip building staff, we’ve researched a few trusted sources for options that you can adjust depending on the size of your building, your personal circumstances, and the amenities of your apartment.

Over at Brick Underground, they developed a framework based on several years of polling:

  • Super, resident manager:  $75-$175 on average (broad range: $50-$500)
  • Doorman and/or concierge (the latter handles more personal requests, like lining up an emergency dog-walker):  $25-$150 on average (broad range: $10-$1,000)
  • Porter, handyman, and maintenance staff: $20-$30 on average (broad range: $10-$75)
  • Garage attendant: $25-$75 on average (broad range $15-$100)

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