Photo Brian Hester
New York has banned broker fees that renters have been forced to fork over for the privilege of leasing an apartment. New York City is one of the few cities where renters have to pay middlemen a fee before signing a lease, with the typical fee amounting to 12 to 15 percent of annual rent — on top of the security deposit and last month’s rent that most landlords demand. 6-8 months if your credit is not stellar.
The law was quietly published late Tuesday in a Department of State regulatory guidance document intended to clarify new state laws that were passed last year. The new regulatory guidance was issued to clarify a state law that was passed in June, and included a number of tenant protections but did not explicitly mention broker fees.
The document reads: “a landlord’s agent that collects a fee for bringing about the meeting of the minds between the landlord and tenant (i.e., the broker fee) from the tenant can be subject to discipline.”
Landlords are on the hook for any brokers fees, and landlord groups are vowing to fight it.
The Real Estate Board of New York, the influential trade group representing landlords and brokers, immediately threatened to challenge the rule in court.