Elevators were a luxury at the time, and they came with licensed elevator operators. There were roof gardens where refreshments were served during the warmer months. It is interesting to see that there are some similar amenities offered today. What is old becomes new.
It seems luxury, full-service amenities have made a resurgence recently. Most people are working longer hours these days. With all the technology available, many people have their work day continue long after they arrive home. As work days are stretching beyond 9 to 5, having some extra services, social outlets and other amenities when you get home can be a nice bonus.
But if you opt for one of those buildings with a dog-washing station, yoga studio or sommelier-in-residence, make sure you know how much they’ll cost you before you sign the lease.
Amenity fees cost an average of $400 to $500 upfront upon move-in.
There are many properties that are charging an amenity fee annually. These fees are charged even if you decline to use the amenities.
In some cases these fees can be negotiated with a longer-term lease. Some properties will offer specials, waiving the amenity fees. It is more likely that a property will offer a special waiving the amenity fees if it has a lot of vacancies to fill, which happens more frequently when a property is brand new.
Make sure that you know, when you are considering submitting an application to a property, whether the amenity fee should be paid one time only or annually.
If it is an annual fee, make sure to note the date your lease is up for renewal. Before your lease renewal, go to the leasing office and ask whether they can waive the amenity fee if you renew the lease for a term longer than one year.
If you want to avoid an amenity fee altogether, rent a home from an independent owner. Condos, co-ops, town houses and single-family houses typically do not have amenity fees.
Nancy Simmons Starrs is founder and president of Apartment Detectives, a D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia apartment search service.