NYC’s TikTok influencers are struggling to make rent in the city

Kelsey Kotzur moved to New York City in 2015 and has been ever since created a tiktok after over 144,000 With illustrations of her luxurious life in the Big Apple. Some of her popular videos include strutting down crosswalks and peeking out from behind the Empire State Building, strolling through Central Park in a new outfit, and having brunch in Brooklyn.

“This video inspires me to pack up and get dressed up and go to New York to visit Central Park,” A User replied to a clip of his,

Problem? After seven years, Kotzur — who has been a full-time content creator for the past year and a half — no longer lives in NYC. In July, the 29-year-old fashion influencer’s rent for her two-bedroom in Greenpoint jumped from $3,900 to $5,485 — forcing her to move back to her small hometown of Plattsburgh, NY.

“I am currently trying to get approved for an apartment [in NYC] But it is almost impossible because no one really understands my income and what I do. So it’s been tough,” Kotzur told The Post.

Kelsey Kotzur strolling down the street in NYC
Kelsey Kotzur, 29, has made her 144K TikTok following completely showcasing her fashionable life in NYC.
kelsey_kotzur/Tik Tok

Influencers, creatives and other gig economy workers are struggling to sign leases in the highly competitive NYC rental market, while the city remains a major focus of their lines of work. More than a third of apartments available for rent in the second quarter of this year came as rising rents forced people out of their homes, Received a report from StreetEasy, earlier this year, The Post reported that a landlord vacated an entire building of longtime Manhattan artists.

Without proving a guaranteed salary backed by a third-party company, he said he would have to go to great lengths to keep his Empire State of Mind a reality—even, in some cases, a six-figure with income.

Kelsey Kotzur in Central Park

Kotzur is now making more money than ever with brand deals with companies including Skims and Delta Airlines.


Kelsey Kotzur on a rooftop in NYC

The fashion influencer quit her corporate job last year to become a full-time content creator.


Kelsey Kotzur's Last Apartment

Millennial was booted from her lovely Greenpoint apartment when the rent was raised by $1,500.


Kelsey Kotzur's Greenpoint Apartment

Kotzur struggled to find another Brooklyn apartment for months before being pushed out of town.


Struggling on a Six-Figure Income

Kotjur told The Post that he anticipates earning an astonishing $250,000 this year with an “excellent” credit score. His main source of income came from deals with brands like Skims and Delta Airlines. Still, they can be sporadic, and these days, landlords have their pick of tenants.

“It is difficult for these landlords, who are from an older generation, to understand what I am doing. It is a full-time job,” she said about using social-media influencers as work.

Many of the landlords Kotzur has spoken to insist that she find a guarantor and that they pay for two years’ worth of payments, despite the fact that she makes 40 times the rent.

kelsey kotzur's tiktok

Kotzur was forced to leave New York City after seven years when his rent was raised.


The influencer moved back to her hometown of Plattsburgh, NY and takes a six-hour commute to Manhattan to shoot content.


Kelsey Kotzur's Upstate Apartment

The 29-year-old is renting a 350-square-foot apartment in her hometown while she struggles to get landlords and rental companies to accept her freelance work as a full-time job.


“I am missing a lot of opportunities while I am away from the city,” she said. “Career-wise, I’m definitely taking some losses.”

And so he’s decided to travel six hours into the city for several days to get as many meetings and content creation opportunities as possible.

Kotzur said, “I’m an influencer, it’s my job and being in New York brings in all my jobs.”

Marissa Meizz sitting on boxes in her new apartment
Marissa Meese, 25, is a full-time content creator sharing snippets of the “creative chaos” of her life in NYC.
Stefano Giovannini

Growing Gig Economy

About 36%, or 57.3 million, of workers in the US are currently participating in the gig economy, with more than 50% expected to participate by 2027. According to the 2022 report by project management software company TeamStage, But the unreliability of their income can be a red flag for landlords.

Marisa Meise, 25, said she recently struggled to rent an apartment in the city, putting her 471.7K at risk TIC Toc The following – and his livelihood.

Meizz first went viral in May 2021, when a TikToker overheard a group of friends in a park talking about intentionally excluding their friend Marisa from their party. It turns out she was the Marissa in question, and so she used her newfound social-media fame to start no more lonely friends Movement – Organizing meetups in Central Park to make new friends and sharing clips of the creative chaos of her life in the city that never sleeps.

Marisa Meese filming material in her loft

Meese was forced out of NYC when landlords and rental companies questioned the stability of her income as a content creator.


marissa meese working out at home

“I literally had to beg my landlord,” Meese told The Post about all the hoops she had to go through to secure an apartment in Brooklyn.


“If I wasn’t living in New York… I don’t think any of my material would have become what it is today,” she told the Post.

Meizz has been living in NYC for about three years now – paying about $1,000 in monthly rent for apartment shares in the East Village and Brooklyn. But, as her social-media career took off — she said she expected to make $100,000 this year — she tried to strike out on her own.

But despite earning more than before, the full-time content creator found no one to believe in him. “It was so difficult to trust someone,” she said.

“I really had to beg my landlord,” Meese said. “I wrote a cover letter, I gave every invoice I made in the last year, I gave them proof of my income and everything and they still said I didn’t make enough and I still didn’t have enough proof so they took a Guarantor wanted.

Meese finally gave in and paid an additional $1,500 to secure a third-party guarantor and signed the lease on his $2,500-a-month Greenpoint apartment in November after nearly two months of obsessive hunting.

“People don’t really recognize that the little things that keep the city going are the artists,” Meese said. “A city like New York is where my stuff thrives.”

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