Hi Edith. It's tough to get a month to month in Manhattan. That might be more easily achieved if you need a short term furnished rental rather that an up front option. What you ask depends on your situation and that of the landlord or management company. You don't mention your current living situation so, anything I say here may mean nothing.
If you are currently in a yearly lease situation, you might have options. If it's a small building, it might be owned by a smaller company or a private person. If you've been good on rent payments you could always just ask for what you want. Be up front and prepared to say why you want the month to month option. You never know.
If you rent in a large, managed building you might have no options. Management companies are generally completely removed from the personal aspects and have the primary need to rent and maintain.
Lastly, if you live at home, stay there for as long as you can and save your money so you can buy an apartment. Good luck.... more