Old lease ends 7/31, new one begins 8/1 - help!
July 14, 2010 6:50 AM   Subscribe

Why is moving in NYC so hard?

I acknowledge this isn't the brightest question I've ever asked, but I'm seriously at a loss here: my SO and I signed a lease on an apt in NY. We both already live here. Both of our leases end 7/31, but the lease on the apartment begins 8/1. We were hoping to find a 7/15 move-in date, but both of us have temporarily-not-great employment situations now, so we were lucky to find the one we did, and we're really excited about the new place.

We're at a loss, however, with how people deal with the 7/31 to 8/1 situation - what can we do with our stuff? We were planning to use professional movers (we both live on top-floor walk-ups), but they would come pick up our stuff the morning of the move, obviously, and not the night before. None of our friends have apartments big enough to temporarily hold a 1br apt's worth of stuff. We both asked our landlords if we could keep things overnight in our old apartments, if we get out first thing in the morning, and were shot down. The only thing I can think of is putting things in storage for a night, but the cost of paying to move everything to and from storage, on top of storage itself, makes me nervous.

Has anyone else had to deal with the lease gap issue? What can I do with my stuff for a night? FWIW, I'm in Manhattan. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
posted by lxs to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (34 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Some movers will store your stuff for an indefinite period of time.

I've had luck with Big Apple Moving before.
posted by dfriedman at 6:52 AM on July 14, 2010


FlatRate will store your stuff for up to 30 days for no extra charge. Why not call them up and ask them about the situation?
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:56 AM on July 14, 2010


Or leave stuff in a U-Haul overnight, if you find somewhere safe enough to park it.
posted by thejoshu at 6:58 AM on July 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


I've never even heard of not being able to keep your stuff in the apartment until move out day. You probably won't have an issue with not hiring the UHaul until 8/1.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:59 AM on July 14, 2010


In 2005, my now-ex-boyfriend and two of my close friends who were all moving in to a three-bedroom together had a week and a half lease-gap.

Luckily, my roommates and I lived in a giant loft at the time, and the three lease-gappers moved all their stuff to our apartment and stayed with us for that week and a half. Yes, it required, in essence, all of them moving twice--once from their old places to our loft, and then again from our loft to their new place, a week later. It was a very weird time to live in a combination youth hostel/storage locker, and it was not the most convenient thing, but it was free, and five years later, it is funny.

So my recommendation is to be creative. Do you have any friends who can keep your stuff for one day?

Also, one day is not that big of a deal. I wonder if your new landlord would give you the keys a day early just to avoid this problem. It's worth asking.
posted by millipede at 7:01 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I bet the best people to ask would be the professional movers. They deal with this all the time. I don't know how stuff is in NYC, but here in AZ most of the big moving places have storage within the same businesses. Anyway, as long as there's a way to do so securely, you'll probably end up leaving your stuff in the truck overnight.

You might do well to call them ASAP so you can stop worrying about this.

On preview, this has all been said already.
posted by The Potate at 7:02 AM on July 14, 2010


I wonder if your new landlord would give you the keys a day early just to avoid this problem. It's worth asking.

From the question: "We both asked our landlords if we could keep things overnight in our old apartments, if we get out first thing in the morning, and were shot down."
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:08 AM on July 14, 2010


You should also double check with the new landlord to see if you can move in on 7/31—often, there is a little space between tenants that would give you some wiggle room. Each of the three times I have moved apartments in NYC, there was extra time either with the new apartment or the old one so we could move from one to the other on the same day.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:09 AM on July 14, 2010


Jaltcoh, that only addresses the old landlords, not the new one.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:10 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Every time I have moved, the new apartment was renovated in some way between the previous tenants moving out and me moving in. Because of this, they let me move my stuff say 7/30 just as long as I agree not to "live" there before 8/1.
posted by 2bucksplus at 7:11 AM on July 14, 2010


Jaltcoh, that only addresses the old landlords, not the new one.

Oh yeah. Well, then, in addition to asking the movers about the situation, ask the new landlord about the situation. Those are the preliminary steps before there's even any advice we need to give you.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:16 AM on July 14, 2010


Thanks for all the advice...I'll definitely look into moving/storage companies. For some reason, I hadn't thought they existed. It seems like a relatively low-stress option.

I did check with both landlords and there's no flexibility either way - people are moving into my old apartment first thing on 8/1, and the tenant at the new apartment says she needs until midnight on the 31st. I wouldn't at all mind doing something sort of bootleg, like leaving a couch at one friend's place and a bed at another, but I'm in grad school and am supposed to be studying for a qualifying exam and so I really want to get things in a livable state ASAP.

Again, I appreciate the suggestions!
posted by lxs at 7:19 AM on July 14, 2010


It is incredibly common to be moving at midnight in NYC.

Do not leave your stuff overnight in a Uhaul unless you're also going to sleep in the truck.

In this case you might be better off hiring movers, instead of getting people off of Craigslist, because you need them to hold your stuff overnight. Trust me that you are not the only person that day, week, month or year who has this dilemma. I nth the suggestion for Flat Rate Movers. I cannot stress how - ethical - I found them to be when I moved, and was all by myself.

People cut corners on moving and then get freaked/upset/run to AskMe when they have an unhappy ending. There are 30 million charlatans passing themselves off as 'movers' on Craigslist NYC. You will be tempted to use them because they will seem cheaper. And then it will end up costing twice as much as they told you because of stairs/extra person/extra time/etc. BE CAREFUL. You haven't done this before and it shows.
posted by micawber at 7:30 AM on July 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


This happens in Boston, too, and it's really frustrating. Last time I had to do it, I rented a truck (long story in and of itself - reservation got lost), moved everything into the truck on the last day of the month, and then parked the truck in a metered spot overnight. There were several complicating factors, mostly a) I had to wake up early enough to move the truck before the meters started working again and b) I didn't have a lock for the truck. I think I got incredible lucky that nothing got stolen. I ended up staying with a friend for that one night.

As others have said, since it's so common to have situations like this I'm sure any professional movers worth their salt should know what to do. And be glad you don't have to deal with "Boston Musical Chairs Day", annually held on September 1, where the entire city uproots itself and everyone relocates. Coincidentally, it's also "Get Your U-Haul Stuck Under an Overpass on Storrow Drive" day.
posted by backseatpilot at 7:39 AM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


I did check with both landlords and there's no flexibility either way - people are moving into my old apartment first thing on 8/1

What could your landlord possibly do about it if you tell them too bad, your stuff is staying until the first and will just have to share space for a couple hours with the new tenant's stuff? Evict you?
posted by enn at 7:39 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


people are moving into my old apartment first thing on 8/1

This seems absurd to me because doesn't the landlord usually want to do an inspection after you move out? They also often want to repaint or do upgrades/repairs, too. Your current landlord should want to confirm that your old unit is in "broom clean" condition before a new tenant moves in.

Your new landlord should also want to confirm that the new unit is in "broom clean" condition. How will your new landlord do that if the current tenant doesn't move out until midnight?

(I've always been able to straddle the two leases by a few days and pro-rate the rent.)
posted by kathryn at 7:40 AM on July 14, 2010


I'm curious about what enn said. Does anyone know if you could just do that? Arrange to move out at 9 pm and move in at 12:01 am?
posted by alternateuniverse at 8:02 AM on July 14, 2010


What could your landlord possibly do about it if you tell them too bad, your stuff is staying until the first and will just have to share space for a couple hours with the new tenant's stuff? Evict you?

It seems that the person is trying to avoid bad blood with either the old or the new landlords. Putting your foot down and saying too bad, we're staying in contravention of the landlord's demand to vacate would not achieve that goal.
posted by blucevalo at 8:02 AM on July 14, 2010


Huh. Guess you're loading the truck and moving at midnight!

The new/old tenants are probably doing the same thing you are. It sucks to move at midnight but better than paying for storage.

The two times I had to do this I moved all of my stuff but stayed with a friend the next day so that I could sleep without worrying about unpacking. I just put all the boxes in the new apartment, closed and locked the door, and went to a friend's house to nap.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 8:03 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm curious about what enn said. Does anyone know if you could just do that? Arrange to move out at 9 pm and move in at 12:01 am?

Well, I don't think that's what enn is saying. You're talking about strictly following both leases. Enn is talking about violating the OP's current lease and hoping there are no serious consequences for doing so.
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:20 AM on July 14, 2010


What could your landlord possibly do about it if you tell them too bad, your stuff is staying until the first and will just have to share space for a couple hours with the new tenant's stuff? Evict you?

Does OP have his security deposit back yet?
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:45 AM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do you have any way of contacting either of the new tenants taking your apartment? It seems extraordinary to me that they want to also be in this predicament. You could just say - I'll be out by 11 AM and you can move in anytime after. Offer them 50 bucks or something...
posted by xammerboy at 9:28 AM on July 14, 2010


Another option would be to cop a New York attitude and simply move the next morning. Your landlord wouldn't be able to throw you and your stuff out on the street even if he called the cops (I don't think). You could keep your door deadbolted. I can't imagine they would really come there at midnight and try and to toss you out...
posted by xammerboy at 9:31 AM on July 14, 2010


One other thing. I've moved over a dozen times in New York and always moved the next morning no problems. In one case there was an overlap (oops!), but it wasn't the end of the world or anything. I find this as almost as disturbing as if a hotel told me I had only booked for the night so I would have to leave at midnight....
posted by xammerboy at 9:35 AM on July 14, 2010


Are you people crazy? Don't you realize the most probable reason why the OP has to move out on 7/31 is because someone else is moving in on 8/1? You know, someone who took the day off from work, hired movers, bribed some friends to help, and is expecting an empty, ready to move in condition apartment.

I can't wait for the inevitable ask.me question: The old tenant was supposed to be out on 7/31, I hired movers and paid a non-refundable deposit but he was still there! What's my recourse?
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:36 AM on July 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Don't you realize the most probable reason why the OP has to move out on 7/31 is because someone else is moving in on 8/1?

So his stuff has to cohabit with the new tenant's stuff for a couple hours. They'll both live.

Anyway, what was the landlord or the new tenant planning to do if the asker had left the place trashed and it needed to be cleaned before the new tenant arrived? How is the landlord planning to assess the condition to determine whether the asker gets his security deposit back if the apartment is only going to be vacant for a few hours in the early morning? Reasonable people anticipate a certain amount of leeway in these situations.
posted by enn at 9:42 AM on July 14, 2010


Another option would be to cop a New York attitude and simply move the next morning.

Clearly written by someone NOT from New York. This is not a New York attitude. This is what someone from Ohio or Idaho thinks is a New York attitude. You know what will happen? When the people who are moving in the next morning arrive, and they can't move in because you copped a "New York Attitude" and didn't move out, you will never see your security deposit again. Good luck fighting that in small claims court.

I've moved over a dozen times in New York and always moved the next morning no problems.

That was because you were lucky enough to not have someone moving in after you immediately, because they didn't have to get out immediately, because the new tenant's landlord didn't require them to be out immediately - see what I mean?

A lease is a lease. You're almost never going to get mid-month tenancy. So either you assume the lease a month before you really need it, which I realize is expensive, or you do this kind of move.

It is irresponsible in the extreme to just tell the OP to stay in the apartment and "so what". It has nothing to do with hotel tenancy at all whatsoever, the two situations are not comparable.

This is New York City, not Cincinnati. Please stop applying your small town attitudes towards moving to this situation. It is bad advice.
posted by micawber at 10:05 AM on July 14, 2010 [7 favorites]


So his stuff has to cohabit with the new tenant's stuff for a couple hours. They'll both live.

This is not a good suggestion. 90% of the apartments I have been to in Manhattan could barely accommodate the existing tenant's belongings, much less two sets of furniture and boxes.
posted by lalex at 10:52 AM on July 14, 2010


[few comments removed - please direct answers to the OP and take snarking and grar to email please, thank you.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:28 PM on July 14, 2010


If both landlords won't budge on the move date, you'll most likely have to store your stuff with your movers for a night. When I moved out of my first apartment and asked if I could push the move date to the first of the month, I was told by the management company that if I continued to inhabit the apartment after my lease ended, I was agreeing to a month-to-month tenancy with the landlord and would be liable for a full month's rent. Of course, they were a scummy management company, but I wouldn't be surprised if you get threatened with something similar if you stay until 8/1. This was a cheap Queens apartment managed by a large company that owned many properties.
posted by blueskiesinside at 3:00 PM on July 14, 2010


Move at midnight if possible. Just think about it this way, they'll be less traffic and more parking.
posted by Raichle at 3:35 PM on July 14, 2010


Here's my personal experience: I've lived in the West Village, East Village, Lower East Side, China Town, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, SOHO. When living in SOHO, I had an experience exactly similar to yours. I was 20. My mother told me to just wait it out in the room until the next morning. Everything went fine. Another time there was some overlap, but everything was cool. I moved over a dozen times in New York and waited until the morning of the next day and everything was fine. There are a lot of reasons your landlord can't say that's okay. There are a lot of reasons it will work out. Just come up with a good excuse in case the worst happens.

I've lived (and moved around) in New York a lot longer than the above poster I'll guarantee you. I lived there over 15 years and moved almost every year.
posted by xammerboy at 7:07 PM on July 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


xammerboy, I suggest you check NYC tenant law, as what my landlord told me is actually true under the law.
OP: Here's my advice again, hope for the best, prepare for the worst. If you can find a moving company to store your stuff overnight, why wouldn't you do that and save yourself the hassle of moving at midnight or possibly getting into a fight with your landlord and losing your security deposit?
-signed,
A 27 year old native New Yorker who grew up living in a rent controlled apartment in Brooklyn
posted by blueskiesinside at 5:36 AM on July 15, 2010


As to movers, my friends used College Educated Movers with good results. I'm moving monday w/ NYCityVAN and will hopefully have good results as well. Both have awesome Yelp ratings. You could see if they can arrange a move at midnight (may cost extra) -- if the old tenant in the new place needs to be there until midnight, then you have every right to say you need to be there at 12:01am. If the landlord doesn't agree to that, then ask for a pro-rated rent for august, as you were not able to take possession of the apartment on the 1st.

We were lucky enough to have the previous tenants in the new place vacate on the 15th, so we could take possession as of the 17th -- they needed a day to inspect and repaint. I, like other commenters, am curious as to when both landlords plan to inspect the apartment for damage and repaint (for rent-controlled apartments they are required to repaint every 2-3yrs, not sure of rule for non-controlled apts). If the landlord doesn't inspect your old place before the new tenants move in, I don't see how they can hold you liable for damage, as they can't prove it was you that caused it.

My suggestions: (1) move at midnight (2) store stuff in a truck overnight, but be aware that there are limits on when commercial vehicles can be parked on the street in nyc (3) store stuff at a friend's place - most storage units require a minimum of 1 month, and for an apartment full of stuff, the storage unit will be quite pricey (4) best option -- try to renegotiate with both landlords/tenants. when are the new tenants coming into your old place? 9am? agree to be out by 7am. ask the old landlord when he plans to inspect the place and make him aware him that if the place is not inspected before the new tenant takes possession, you expect to not be held liable for any damage.
posted by melissasaurus at 6:59 AM on July 15, 2010


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