Leasing Facts

When leasing, there are many factors you may not be aware of. Here are a few basics when entering into a leasing agreement.

Renter’s Insurance

Most agents stipulate mandatory renter’s insurance when you sign a lease. It’s not a huge expense and honestly it’s good to have – especially if you live in sketchier areas. Even if you don’t, you’re living in close quarters with others and anything can happen. We had a rooftop tank explode on the neighboring property and it flooded down our chimney, spreading blackened, sooty water across our rugs and furnishings.

Window Guards

Apartment living has its challenges that we wouldn’t have even thought about as people without kids. But kids are curious and with high rise living comes dangers. Each year, young children die falling from windows. To prevent this, the City of New York make it compulsory for landlords to install window guards in apartments of people with kids below ten years of age. When signing all your lease paperwork, this what it means when you have to sign waivers for window guards.

Lead Paint Waivers

If the building you rent in was built before 1960, it was probably painted using lead based paint.
The City’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act (Local Law 1 of 2004) requires landlords to identify and remediate lead-based paint hazards in the apartments of young children, using trained workers and safe work practices. Lead-based paint  is presumed to exist in a multiple dwelling unit if:

The 80% Floor Cover Rule

It may sound ludicrously dictatorial but most landlords mandate that 80% of your floor be covered by rugs or carpets. Not an issue if your apartment is carpeted but a pain if it’s not. There are practical reasons. Yes it protects the flooring from scratches, but it also deadens your footsteps for the tenants living below. Sites like Wayfair and overstock have decent rugs for affordable prices but if you want to really penny pinch, Kmart has some cheap and nasty ones that will get you by.


You may find that your apartment doesn’t come with ceiling lights. Weird? Floor lamps are your answer. The cheapest are around $10 from Amazon, Kmart or Target, with IKEA the next price point.

Painting your apartment

Craving a colorful feature wall? Bored with whites, off whites and I think it was once whites? Many landlords will allow you to paint your apartment conditional to returning it to its original color.

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