Finding the right apartment in New York, the one that soothes all your needs and at the same time doesn’t cost a fortune to rent, can be a difficult task on its own. Having kids to think about doesn’t make it any easier.
By law, owners shouldn’t discriminate against potential renters with children. But, they often do. So, having children can be a deal-breaker. Some renters of co-ops, can even list it in an ad, as long as they don’t overtly discriminate. They can come up with their own selection criteria, preferring quiet tenants over potentially loud ones. A couple with toddlers or even teens, who look like they might be throwing loud parties, could find themselves looking for housing elsewhere.
Don’t be discouraged. New York is still home to more kids than any other city in the US, with more than 21 percent of its residents under the age of 18.
There are other things to consider. Not only renters but some buildings are not child-friendly. What’s more, until the mid-20th century, lead-based paints were commonplace. During the ’50s and the ’60s, a lot of buildings were painted with them. It’s a good thing to keep that in mind while searching for a place. Exposing young children to flaking lead-based paint can cause a wide range of developmental delays and other health-related issues. More than 70 percent of the city’s housing was built before 1950, so it is very important for you to inspect all new units for potential paint hazards before you move into a unit. You are obligated by law to investigate any potential lead-based paint problems yourself.
Another safety consideration: safeguards on windows. According to the NYC Health Code, owners of buildings of three or more apartments must provide and properly install approved window guards on all windows in any apartment where a child (or children) 10 years of age or younger resides.
A quick tip to all New York newcomers with kids: consider renting an apartment in a full-service building, the ones with a doorman. In fact, they are often referred to as “a doorman building.” Developers are going the extra mile to attract parents to this type of housing, offering to relieve them of many a daily task, as well as providing a lot of activities for the kids to engage in without even leaving the building. They most often have playrooms, gymnasiums, jam rooms, and bowling alleys. Having a doorman also means having another layer of safety for your kid.
Finally, before choosing an apartment, you should tell your broker early about your needs. Brokers may already have an established relationship with building owners who have a good reputation among families. Never hesitate to ask more questions.