Im off to Columbus Circle to submit paperwork for an apartment. I also have to swing by the post office to get a money order for the application processing fee. Freaking 100 dollars. Damn thats a lot of money. Same amount I allocate each month to feed the cats back home. To some that's nothing but breadcrumbs, but in my case I value ever penny I worked hard for. I think that amount could go to some shelter and feed many cats..So hopefully this fee goes toward something worth it! Every housing application form entails some form of effort (Look up the location, find out whether its safe, also if there are nearby grocery stores and if the subway is easily accessible) and unfortunately fees from the applicant/s. Whether or not you pass the screening, that deposit is theirs to keep. In short, even if they scan your paperwork and think you dont qualify (even without doing a background check) they can toss your documents to the nearest bin (or shredder) and they can just tell you oh sorry you did not qualify. And still keep your hard earned cash. That thought is somehow disturbing. Shit.
Anyway, thats part and parcel of dealing with brokers. There is no getting around it. Another important aspect of apartment hunting is doing one's homework. Research on the going rate of apartments the same size and within the vicinity of the one you have applied for. That way you know whether you are being ripped off.