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Old 01-29-2012, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Astoria, NY
3,053 posts, read 3,428,459 times
Reputation: 2475

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I've been looking for a room for rent on craigslist and I think I may have finally found one but I need advice seeing I've never rented before.

It is in Brooklyn (Bay Ridge) 700 a month utilities included. First month's rent + deposit. Meet him yesterday, the guy is Russian and says he lives there with his girlfriend. I didn't see the girlfriend, but I saw a shoe rack with a lot of women's shoes. The room is furnished and has a television. Guy says he travels a lot and is going back to Russia on the 25th but his girlfriend will remain in the apartment with me. I'm eager to land a place so I pretty much decide I'll take it then and there.

He calls me today and says I can move in tomorrow if interested. That he prefers payment in cash. Also mentions that his girlfriend might be leaving town very soon as well and they may rent out their bedroom to someone else, either a female or couple. Is this unusual?

What should I expect/demand from him when we meet tomorrow? Should I go with my dad? Does any of this sound sketchy?
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn,NY
10,328 posts, read 12,417,631 times
Reputation: 15395
Quote:
Originally Posted by xxbabeechick View Post
I've been looking for a room for rent on craigslist and I think I may have finally found one but I need advice seeing I've never rented before.

It is in Brooklyn (Bay Ridge) 700 a month utilities included. First month's rent + deposit. Meet him yesterday, the guy is Russian and says he lives there with his girlfriend. I didn't see the girlfriend, but I saw a shoe rack with a lot of women's shoes. The room is furnished and has a television. Guy says he travels a lot and is going back to Russia on the 25th but his girlfriend will remain in the apartment with me. I'm eager to land a place so I pretty much decide I'll take it then and there.

He calls me today and says I can move in tomorrow if interested. That he prefers payment in cash. Also mentions that his girlfriend might be leaving town very soon as well and they may rent out their bedroom to someone else, either a female or couple. Is this unusual?

What should I expect/demand from him when we meet tomorrow? Should I go with my dad? Does any of this sound sketchy?
Whoa! Hold on here!


Yes you should go with your dad! No, it's not unusual for people to rent rooms but meeting a strange guy asking for cash alone is ill-advised. The girlfriend should at least be there too. Who would not want to meet a person they were going to be living with? Whose name is the lease under? Are you going to be on it? What kind of lifestyle do they lead?His girlfriend is really comfortable with him living with a woman when she is not there? She "Might" be leaving? And why does he travel? Work? Play? LOTS of unanswered questions here. Any guy can get shoe rack and say a girl lives there.

You need to be careful here. Yes, Many people have met nice, normal folks this way. And many the exact opposite-Esp from Craigslist. Be safe and tread carefully.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:11 PM
 
10,610 posts, read 20,739,640 times
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Why would you take a place where you don't know who it is that you will actually be living with? Don't you have any other options? There must be plenty of rooms for rent at that price in Bay Ridge. I would find some other options if I were you.

I also don't like the whole cash thing. It may not be a scam -- it might just be because he doesn't like the hassle of going to the bank, but if it were me, I would prefer to pay rent with checks, as it gives you a built in receipt.
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,752 posts, read 25,531,740 times
Reputation: 6676
I would also look for something else, perhaps in an accessory apartment/basement that is occupied by a family, widow, etc., especially if they are property owners, not renters. For all you know the Russians could leave town, and you could be evicted if they don't pay the rent. Also, are you sure it's his apartment? Do they own it, or have you seen a copy of the lease? Ideally, you should be added to the lease, and/or meet the landlord/agent to do so, since that offers you more protections.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Astoria, NY
3,053 posts, read 3,428,459 times
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I can't be added to a lease. I don't have any credit.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Astoria, NY
3,053 posts, read 3,428,459 times
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He says he travels for work. He said a ton of things, but my memory's poor from exhaustion.
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn,NY
10,328 posts, read 12,417,631 times
Reputation: 15395
Quote:
Originally Posted by xxbabeechick View Post
He says he travels for work. He said a ton of things, but my memory's poor from exhaustion.
Back and forth internationally? Unless he's a diplomat. Or has an international business, In which case i don't think he would need to rent out a room. or he's James Bond.

Everyone has to start somewhere. If you have a stable job, It is indeed possible to find a share in a safe, reasonable situation. Be safe xxbabeechick.
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Manhattan
1,746 posts, read 3,422,071 times
Reputation: 2526
It's a good idea to meet all the people you will be living with before agreeing to move in. You have no idea what the girlfriend is like and certainly not the potential roommate that may replace her. I'm not saying its a scam(though it certainly could be), but it has a high possibility of not working out.

I'd keep looking. Find a place with roommates who plan to stay for awhile so you know who you are living with. When I was young I lived with 2 roommates and most of the time it worked out. Whenever someone left I made sure the remaining roommates participated and met the potential roommate. When roommates don't work out--its often due to the small annoyances like differences in cleanliness or lifestyle.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Long Island, NY
7,846 posts, read 10,254,773 times
Reputation: 9176
Whoa...I don't like where this is going. Ok, IMO, the cash part is probably extra cash going in his pocket and my guess is you're probably paying half the rent for just one room. And I don't like that they're charging you a deposit. You're not on the lease and who knows if they're even allowed to sublet a room. Why on Earth would you want to rent a room in an apartment with 2 complete strangers??? You know absolutely nothing about them. Have you done any background checks on them? I agree with all the other posters. Please be careful and if you can, please see if you can find a small studio or basement apartment on your own.
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:25 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
6,043 posts, read 6,081,092 times
Reputation: 4757
This is just how the kids do it in NY often times...No doubt some of you aren't accustomed to the process. It's not usual for someone subletting a room on Craigslist to ask a flat rent fee that includes the utilities, plus a security deposit equalling one months rent. Occasionally you'll come across somebody not asking for the deposit, but that's not the norm.

I agree though with some of the other posters. It's not a good idea to move in anywhere without meeting everybody you'd presumably be sharing space with. Even then they still could be nuts or closet slobs or any number of other problem personality types you won't suffer well, let alone be good buddies with. It's a total crapshoot. These are the things "roommate from hell" stories are made of. Almost everybody has had one at one point or another.
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