Photo: Flickr / deepinswim
A new app could make apartment hunting in the Big Apple a lot less hellish. RentHackr uses crowd sourcing to bypass landlords and brokers to show exactly what tenants are paying for any given pad.
Using the service is easy. Just sign in with your Facebook account, punch in some info about where you live and what you’re paying, then click “Let’s do this” to spread the word and view apartments around the city.
Like Pad Mapper, RentHackr plots apartments on a big map of New York’s five boroughs. You can click any of the green flags to see the price of an apartment or room and the tenant’s situation (how long he plans to stay there).
However, unlike Pad Mapper, there’s no filter to find what you want, and anyone new to the city might have trouble deciphering where Queens ends and Brooklyn begins.
Additionally, there’s no way to contact whoever posted the pad, so if you happen to find a place that meets your criteria, you’re bound to be frustrated.
That said, RentHackr could disrupt the way tenants and landlords do business. Both prospective and current renters will get the upper hand in lease negotiations by virtue of knowing how much a place actually goes for.
Even better, a shady landlord sizing prospective tenants for higher rent won’t get away with it if he can argue the place isn’t being advertised fairly.