HotPads is a national real estate website, with both rental apartments as well as homes for sale, whose unique feature is its map-based listings. Here how it works: log on to, and pick the city in which you're interested in finding a rental apartment or home for sale. Once you get there—in our case, of course, we're looking for New York, NY, listings—you choose your neighborhood, and you'll find a HotPads interactive map littered with yellow buildings.

Each building on HotPads represents a NY apartment for rent, most available through a broker (and, so, you'll have to pay a broker's fee, usually the equivalent of one- to –two-month's rent), some directly from the building's owner, or landlord, and so no fee is involved.

Roll your mouse over any of the hundreds of yellow buildings on the map and up pops a NY rental apartment listing with the basics, such the apartment's size—studio, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, etc.-- plus the monthly rent. If the listing on HotPads meets your size specifications and budget, click on the building and lots more information fills the space to the right of the map: exterior and interior photographs of the apartment in question; a detailed description of the home—appliances, flooring, details, ceiling heights, general layout and square footage—as well as a look at the building's amenities and services.

Also included on are brief a neighborhood portrait and statistics about the community, including a (sometimes incorrect) look at which public schools fall within the building's catchment area. 


HotPads: Where Do They Get NY Apartment Listings?

The information on tends to come directly from the source of the listings, whether it be the broker or the owner, and there doesn't seem to be much vetting by the HotPads staff. So, as always when you're searching for NY apartments for rent, be on the lookout for outright scams as well as bait-and-switch ploys, whereby a broker will list a great-sounding NY rental apartment that is no longer available, and then try to show you much-less-satisfying places once you meet.

That said, the map-based interface on is a lot of fun to explore, especially if you're really familiar with a community, or with the New York City as a whole, because you can literally go neighborhood-by-neighborhood, and block-by-block, in your apartment hunt. has listings in all five boroughs of NYC—Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island—as well as information about apartments for rent in the towns and cities of New Jersey, Long Island, Connecticut, and Westchester that make up the Tri-state area.

Back to the top