The Best Neighborhoods for NYC Renters this Winter
Renters face many difficult decisions when finding a place to live. Before beginning their apartment search, renters must decide on several neighborhoods where they can picture themselves living. From there, they can narrow their search criteria to find an apartment that fits their budget, has enough space, and maybe even an in-unit washer and dryer.
Released on a quarterly basis, the RentHop Neighborhood Index analyzed over 190 neighborhoods across New York City to find the most appealing options for renters. The team based the rankings on each neighborhood’s transportation, cleanliness, quietness, motor vehicle collisions, and renter friendliness.
- NoHo ranks as the most liveable NYC neighborhood. The neighborhood had few rodent complaints, vehicle collisions, heating complaints, and housing code violations in the last quarter.
- The most liveable neighborhood in Brooklyn is Downtown Brooklyn, which stands out for its convenience (17 Citibike stations and eight subway stations). The neighborhood has zero canine poop complaints along with few vehicle collisions and housing violation code complaints.
- Long Island City is the most liveable neighborhood in Queens. Out of all neighborhoods, it provides access to the most subway lines (15 entrances) and is the largest neighborhood on the list of the Top 10 Neighborhoods in New York City.
NYC Neighborhood Livability Map
Top 10 Neighborhoods in New York City
NoHo ranks the most livable neighborhood among all NYC neighborhoods. It is known for trendy restaurants, bars, and coffee shops, and has long been one of the most sought-after neighborhoods for renters. The neighborhood stands out for its convenience, few rodent complaints, zero dog waste complaints, and few housing maintenance code violations.
2. Financial District
Financial District comes in as the second most appealing option for renters this quarter. Residents can easily get around the rest of the city between fourteen subway lines and twenty-five Citi bike stations. There are also very few vehicle collisions, heating complaints, and housing maintenance code violations. FiDi features a fair amount of green space and is tied with Tribeca for the spot as the second quietest neighborhood on the top 10 list, with only 218 complaints per 10,000 households. Renters who are looking for a quiet space away from the bustle of other popular neighborhoods can remain well-connected to the city and live in high-quality units in the Financial District.
Here’s what renters are saying about this neighborhood:
“The Financial District has been a great neighborhood to live in during our late 20s to 30s. We love that there are a copious amount of transportation options for our own individual commuting needs and better yet, lots of fun places to check out, such as Seaport, Battery Park, Oculus Center, and Stone Street on the weekends. Our close location to other neighborhoods, such as Tribeca (for fancy dinners), Chinatown (for more affordable groceries), and the Lower East Side (for a fun night out), is also key. Having access to numerous luxury rental buildings makes it easy to find apartments that fit our needs, and having a partner to split the rent makes the Financial District affordable enough to manage.” – Anonymous Couple
3. Theater District
Coming in third place this quarter is the Theater District. This unlikely neighborhood has a negative connotation of being loud and full of tourists, but there are some benefits for renters who brave the crowds. The neighborhood receives very few rodent, poop, and noise complaints, earning it the highest cleanliness score on the Top 10 list. In fact, no renters complained about dog waste in Q4, 2022. Renters will have quick access to ten different subway lines and fifteen Citbike stations throughout the neighborhood; it has great subway line access. However, renters should also exercise caution while walking or driving, as there have been 131 recent collisions.
Here’s what renters are saying about the Theater District:
“I love living in Midtown for transportation purposes, there are so many options and getting anywhere in the city is relatively easy/smooth. However the holiday season is a headache, the neighborhood is insanely crowded. Safety-wise it’s a 50/50 split, some days are better than others and I live in a building with a doorman so I feel very safe inside but depends what time I’m walking around my neighborhood. Early mornings and past 11pm I am a little more wary any night of the week since the area is always bustling!” – Delaney
4. Civic Center
Civic Center is the smallest neighborhood out of all on the top 10 list, covering only 0.16 square miles and housing the smallest population. In Q4, 2022, the neighborhood received only one rodent complaint and no dog waste complaint. The center of NYC government during the day, Civic Center is relatively quiet at night. The neighborhood received only 42 noise complaints in the past quarter, which translates to 575.3 noise complaints per 10,000 households.
5. Downtown Brooklyn
Downtown Brooklyn is known for modern high-rises and high concentration of transit options (17 Citibike stations and eight subway stations). It is not surprising that for those who value proximity to public transit may find Downtown Brooklyn one of the most livable neighborhoods in New York City. The neighborhood also received high score for cleanliness, with no dog waste complaints, and only 10.3 rat sightings per 10,000 households. However, renters living in Downtown Brooklyn should be wary of traffic accidents, as the neighborhood saw 135 collisions in the past quarter.
6. Fort Greene
Fort Greene is the second highest-ranking neighborhood in Brooklyn and one of two neighborhoods in the borough to make the top 10 Neighborhoods list. In this neighborhood, residents did not complain about poop but have a higher volume of rodent complaints (22 per 10k renters). Additionally, Fort Green has fewer housing maintenance code violations for rental units (366 per 10k renters) and fewer vehicle collisions than most neighborhoods on this list. While there is a higher population density, 83% of residents rent in this area, providing ample opportunities for new tenants to find housing. Overall, this is a clean and quiet neighborhood that is friendly for renters.
“Fort Greene is a quiet and stylish neighborhood that’s great for families. It’s a bit far from the subway, depending on which part you live in, but the restaurants and park easily make up for that slight downside. It’s close to BAM and the Barclays Center, so there are a ton of ways to entertain yourself there. The neighborhood just has a little bit of everything!” – Russell
As one of the most expensive neighborhoods in New York City, SoHo is known for renovated warehouses and artist lofts. The neighborhood ranks the seventh most livable place thanks to eight subway stations and 15 Citibike docks. Despite having some of the most luxury real estate in the city, SoHo residents do complain about rodents. The neighborhood received 21 rat sighting reports in Q4, 2022. Given how busy it is during the day, SoHo has also seen more collisions than most of the neighborhoods on the top 10 list.
Renters looking for a quiet spot can check out Tribeca. This neighborhood has the highest quiet score on our list, with the least noise complaints per 10k renters. The neighborhood also has the second-best rodent complaint score and third-fewest heat complaints. Renters looking for a quiet and serene living experience can find solace in this low-density neighborhood, an uncommon find in Manhattan. Residents in Tribeca are also easily able to get around the city between the high-concentration of Citi Bikes and six subway lines.
9. Fort Wadsworth
Fort Wadsworth is the only Staten Island neighborhood in the top 10. Residents in the neighborhood enjoy low population density, quietness, and cleanliness. The neighborhood overall is the second most renter-friendly out of all NYC neighborhoods – it received no housing maintenance code violations and only two heat complaints in the last quarter.
Bowery has the highest Citibike score, as the neighborhood boasts the highest density of Citibikes per area. In this neighborhood, renters do not have to venture far to acquire a bike from one of twelve docks. The neighborhood also has a fair amount of subway access, with three lines spanning just 0.16 square miles. 87% of residents rent apartments in Bowery, where units have a median price of $97/square foot. Those looking to rent in Bowery should note that it has the lowest quiet score of the top 10 neighborhoods, with 1,059 complaints per 10,000 households.
Best Neighborhoods in Manhattan
All of the best neighborhoods in Manhattan also rank on the top 10 neighborhoods in NYC. Read more about each neighborhood in the above section.
Best Neighborhoods in Brooklyn
Downtown Brooklyn and Fort Greene also rank on the top 10 neighborhoods in NYC. Continue reading to learn more about the remaining best neighborhoods in Brooklyn.
Red Hook has the most park coverage of the top 5 neighborhoods in Brooklyn, with greenery occupying 7% of the space. The neighborhood also has the lowest overall population and population density. Renters looking for a neighborhood with fewer people and more trees will find solace in this Brooklyn spot. Red Hook does not have any subway lines but does feature 17 Citi Bike stops, so renters can still navigate the city without a car. However, the neighborhood does have the highest number of vehicle collisions, with 545 crashes per 10k residents.
Windsor Terrace is the cleanest neighborhood in Brooklyn, receiving zero poop complaints and only 3.1 rodent complaints per every 10,000 households. The neighborhood is relatively quiet, and is very safe with a safety score of 99.8.
Gowanus has become one of the most popular neighborhoods in Brooklyn in recent days. Over the past few years, it has transformed from an industrial area to a vibrant neighborhood with young professionals and new developments. The neighborhood ranks the fifth most livable neighborhood in Brooklyn, and the 19th across all NYC neighborhooods. Gowanus has good Citi Bike coverage and is overall a clean neighborhood, with only 13.9 rodent complaints per 10,000 households.
Best Neighborhoods in Queens
Long Island City
Long Island City is the 15th most livable neighborhood in NYC and the most livable in Queens. This neighborhood features the most subway stations of any neighborhood in New York City, and has good access to parks. However, renters living in the neighborhood do complain about housing maintenance code violations, noise, and heat. In Q4, 2022, Long Island City saw 1,153 noise complaints, or 325.6 per 10,000 households. Meanwhile, renters filed in total 973 heat complaints.
Woodside has the second best Citi Bike coverage of the top 5 Queens neighborhood. It has in total 39 Citi Bike stations (28.7 per sq mi), and five subway stations. However, given that Woodside has some of the busiest intersections in Queens, renters choosing to live there should be mindful of collisions. The neighborhood reported 139 collisions in Q4, 2022.
Astoria is the third-highest ranked neighborhood in Queens. This large neighborhood spans over four square miles and has good access to parks. Getting around the city is easy for renters in this area, as they can access six subway stations. Astoria has the most Citi Bikes of all NYC neighborhoods, with 97 docks. 79% of residents rent apartments in this neighborhood, and apartments do not have many housing maintenance code violations.
Ridgewood ranks the fourth most livable neighborhood in Queens and the 35th in NYC.It has good subway coverage, with five subway stations, or 3.83 per sq mi. Of the top 5 neighborhoods in Queens, however, Ridgewood does have the lowest cleanliness score, with 1.8 poop complaints per 10,000 households, and 35.7 rat sightings per 10,000 households.
Flushing, Queen’s largest neighborhood, measures nearly six square miles and hosts the highest population in Queens. The neighborhood has the most park space of any Queens neighborhood, where 37% of the area consists of green space. Of the best neighborhoods in Queens, Flushing has the highest safety score, with only 60 vehicle collisions per 10,000 residents. Flushing also receives few rodent and poop complaints, helping it maintain a high cleanliness score.
Best Neighborhoods in the Bronx
The Best Neighborhoods in the Bronx include the following:
Mott Haven is the highest-ranking neighborhood in the Bronx, receiving high scores across cleanliness and safety categories. The neighborhood has the most subway lines and Citk Bikes in the Bronx, with eight subway lines and 32 bike docks spanning 1.3 square miles. Mott Haven has the highest amount of vehicle collisions in the Best list, with 284 recent collisions. 96% of residents in Mott Haven rent apartments, and those buildings do not receive a high volume of housing maintenance code violations.
Melrose is the second most livable neighborhood in the Bronx for renters. While the neighborhood has relatively low base score due to lack of subway stops, residents have reported fewer rodent and poop complaints. Melrose is also quieter than Mott Haven – in the past quarter, 287 noise complaints were filed (298.1 per 10,000 households), compared to 617.3 noise complaints per 10,000 households in Mott Haven.
Foxhurst enjoys the highest base score compared to other top 5 Bronx neighborhoods. It has higher subway coverage than Mott Haven, and has in total 11 Citi Bike docks. The neighborhood has a relatively high cleanliness score, but is not as renter-friendly. Foxhurst has the most housing maintenance complaints than any other top 5 neighborhoods.
Castle Hill receives the least heating complaints in the Bronx, with only 81 complaints per 10,000 renters. The neighborhood, like Mount Eden, has also not received any recent poop complaints. Castle Hill also has the second-highest rodent complaint score, where residents only complained about rats three times. Only 62% of residents in the neighborhood rent apartments, but very few of those apartment buildings receive housing maintenance code violations. The neighborhood also has the lowest amount of vehicle collisions in the Bronx, but there are also no direct subway lines or Citibike docks.
Edenwald is the quietest neighborhood of the best five in the Bronx, receiving only 265 complaints per 10,000 residents. It also has the lowest population density of the best neighborhood, where renters will not stack on top of each other. Those looking to move to a quiet and non-congested area can find comfort in this neighborhood. However, renters should know that no direct subway lines stop in the neighborhood, meaning they will have to get to Wakefield to access public transportation. There are also no Citibike docks in the neighborhood.
Best Neighborhoods in Staten Island
Castleton Corners is the smallest neighborhood of Staten Island’s best neighborhoods, measuring only half a square mile in space. It’s the quietest neighborhood of the top five, receiving only five recent noise complaints. With a small population and a decent amount of park coverage, this neighborhood makes an appealing option for renters seeking a small community. Over a quarter of Castleton Corners residents rent housing units, and the neighborhood has not received any recent housing maintenance code violations.
Huguenot is one of the only four neighborhoods in Staten Island to have a perfect vehicle collisions score. The neighborhood ties with Castleton Corners for the quietest of the Best. Huguenot has not received any recent poop complaints and only two recent rodent complaints; it has the lowest concentration of rodent complaints per resident of the Best Neighborhoods. The neighborhood also receives the fewest heat complaints from renters, and there are no reported housing maintenance code violations for buildings in the area.
has the highest concentration of park space in all neighborhoods on Staten Island. So far, the neighborhood has not received any poop complaints and has only received two rodent complaints. Arden Heights rarely witnesses vehicle collisions, and renters do not often complain about poop, rats, or noise. This neighborhood has the fewest amount of renters of the Best Neighborhoods. Like Castleton Corners and Huguenot, Arden Heights rental units have no records of recent housing maintenance code violations.
Annadale ranks the fifth most livable neighborhood in Staten Island. It enjoy good park coverage, around 27%, and is generally very clean, with no dog waste complaint and only one rat sighting reported in the last quarter. However, the neighborhood had seen 24 motor vehicle collisions in Q4 2022, making it the least safe neighborhood of the top 5 Staten Island neighborhoods.
Other Notable NYC Studies
Want to learn more about renter-friendly neighborhoods? Check out the following recent RentHop studies:
To determine the most renter-friendly and best neighborhoods in New York City, we compared over 190 Neighborhood Tabulation Areas (NTAs) across five key categories, including (1) Neighborhood Base Score, (2) Noise Level, (3) Cleanliness, (4) Renter Friendliness, and (5) Safety, using in total 11 relevant metrics.
The following metrics were used for this neighborhood livability index:
- Base Score [10 points]
- Population Density — Neighborhood Population / Land Size (sq mi) [2.5 points]
- Transportation — MTA Subway Stops / Land Size (sq mi) [4 points]
- Neighborhood Greenness: Park Coverage — Park Area / Land Size (sq mi) [2.5 points]
- Citi Bike Stations — Stops / Land Size (sq mi) [1 point]
- Cleanliness [20 points]
- Poop Complaints — 311 Canine Violations / 10k Households [10 points]
- Rodent — 311 Rat Sightings / 10k Households [10 points]
- Quietness [30 points]
- Noise Complaints — 311 Residential Noise Complaints / 10k Households [30 points]
- Renter Friendliness [20 points]
- Landlord Level of Responsibility: Heat Season — 311 Heat Complaints / Renter-Occupied Units [12 points]
- Landlord Level of Responsibility: HMC — Housing Maintenance Code Violations / Renter-Occupied Units [12 points]
- Percentage of Renter-Occupied Units — Renter-Occupied Units / Total Occupied Units [6 points]
- Safety [20 points]
- Motor Vehicle Collisions — Collisions / 10k Population [20 points]