NYC landlords were caught renting out ‘micro rooms’ for $600 a month. Here are 7 places in the US where you can legally rent an apartment for that much — or less.

Three of the areas that made the list are in Pennsylvania, including Johnstown (pictured above).

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Three of the areas that made the list are in Pennsylvania, including Johnstown (pictured above).
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Shutterstock

In August, two Manhattan landlords were caught renting out illegal sub-units with no windows, sprinklers, or fire-safety systems. In one of the illegal apartments, the ceilings were reported to be just 4.5 to 6 feet tall.

Gothamist reports that the tiny spaces were being rented out for $600 a month.

Read more: A Manhattan landlord is facing nearly $145,000 in fines for splitting up a condo horizontally to build 9 illegal micro-units that resemble a scene in ‘Being John Malkovich’

Given that New York City is home to one of America’s most expensive rental markets, it’s no surprise that even illegal micro-apartments will cost renters a pretty penny. In fact, one year’s worth of the average legal rent in Manhattan ($2,980 for a one-bedroom, as of June 2019) is more than three-quarters of the country’s average annual salary, which is $47,060.

But not every American city is this outrageously expensive.

With the help of Zillow, Business Insider compiled a list of cities where you can legally rent a real apartment – windows included! – for less than $600 a month. Of the 36 cities Zillow provided, Business Insider has listed the seven largest in terms of population. Population data for each city was collected from Niche, a ranking and review site.

Keep reading for a list of places in the US where the median monthly rent is less than $600, ranked from the most to the least expensive.


Tarboro, North Carolina: The median rent in Tarboro is $598.

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View of main street in Tarboro.
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Indy Beetle/Wikimedia Commons

Population: 11,038


Coal Township, Pennsylvania: The median rent in Coal is $593.

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Susquehanna River from the Shikellamy State Park, about 30 minutes from Coal Township.
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Jakec/Wikimedia Commons

Population: 10,432


Sharon, Pennsylvania: The median rent in Sharon is $590.

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An image from inside Buhl Park, which is located right outside of Sharon, Pennsylvania.
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Google Maps

Population: 13,505


Danville, Illinois: The median rent in Danville is $574.

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A lake in Danville.
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Shutterstock

Population: 31,765


Johnstown, Pennsylvania: The median rent in Johnstown is $569.

Three of the areas that made the list are in Pennsylvania, including Johnstown (pictured above).

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Shutterstock

Population: 19,967


Bluefield, West Virginia: The median rent in Bluefield is $553.

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Shutterstock

Population: 10,144


Charleston, Illinois: The median rent in Charleston is $546.

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Getty Images

Population: 21,202