Skip to main content

Unlock the secrets of NYC brokers fee laws with our comprehensive guide – essential reading for all renters in the city.

Introduction to NYC Broker Fees

In this section, we will delve into the world of broker fees in New York City, exploring what they are and why they are essential to understand.

What Are Broker Fees?

Broker fees are charges that you may have to pay when renting an apartment with the help of a real estate broker. These fees are meant to compensate the broker for their services in finding you a suitable place to live.

Why NYC’s Broker Fees Matter

Understanding broker fees in New York City is crucial because they can significantly impact the cost of renting an apartment. Knowing how these fees work can help you make informed decisions when searching for a place to live in the Big Apple.

When it comes to renting an apartment in New York City, you may have heard about broker fees. But, is it legal to be charged a broker fee in NYC? Let’s dive into the legal side of things to understand more about these fees and their legality.

Is It Legal to Charge Broker Fees?

Broker fees have been a common practice in NYC for a long time. In the past, it was legal for landlords to pass on the cost of using a real estate broker to the tenant in the form of a broker fee. However, in recent years, there have been some changes to the law regarding broker fees.

Changes in the Law

As of 2019, the New York Department of State issued guidance that shifted the responsibility of paying the broker fee from the tenant to the landlord. This means that in many cases, it is no longer legal for landlords to charge tenants a broker fee when renting an apartment in NYC. It’s important to stay informed about these laws to ensure you are not being charged illegally.

How Broker Fees Work

When you decide to rent an apartment in New York City with the help of a real estate broker, you might come across something called a broker fee. So, what exactly is a broker fee? A broker fee is a payment you make to the real estate broker for helping you find and secure an apartment. It’s like a thank you for their hard work in helping you find your new home.

Image result for Guide to NYC Brokers Fee Laws infographics

Image courtesy of via Google Images

So, how does the process of paying a broker fee work? First, after the broker has helped you find an apartment you like, they will let you know about the broker fee. The fee is usually a percentage of the annual rent, but it can vary. Once you agree to pay the fee, you will need to give the broker the money before you sign the lease for the apartment. The broker fee is typically due at the same time as your security deposit and first month’s rent.

Average Costs for Broker Fees

Now, you might be wondering how much a broker fee usually costs. Well, the amount of a broker fee can vary depending on the rent of the apartment and the specific real estate agency you are working with. As a general idea, broker fees in NYC can range from one month’s rent to 15% of the annual rent. For example, if the monthly rent for an apartment is $2,000, the broker fee could be anywhere from $2,000 to $3,600.

Finding No-Fee Apartments

When you hear the term ‘no-fee’ in relation to apartments, it simply means that you won’t have to pay a broker fee to rent that apartment. Instead of having to give extra money to a broker, you can save that money for other things like decorating your new space or treating yourself to something special.

Tips for Finding No-Fee Apartments

If you’re looking for an apartment in New York City and want to avoid paying a broker fee, here are some tips to help you find those no-fee gems:

Rent RegulationNew York City has rent regulation laws that limit how much landlords can charge in rent and fees. Brokers are legally allowed to charge a broker fee, but it must be disclosed to the tenant in writing before any binding agreement is signed.
No Fee ListingsIt is illegal for brokers to advertise a property as “no fee” if they plan on charging a broker fee. Brokers must clearly disclose their fees upfront to potential tenants.
Fee DisclosureBrokers must provide tenants with a written disclosure of any fees that will be charged. This disclosure must be signed by the tenant before any fee is collected.
Fee LimitsBroker fees are typically 15-20% of the first year’s rent in New York City. However, there is currently no official cap on broker fees, so it is important for tenants to negotiate with brokers to find a fair fee.

1. Look for ‘no-fee’ listings: Some landlords or property management companies advertise their apartments as ‘no-fee’ to attract more renters. Keep an eye out for these listings.

2. Use online resources: Websites like StreetEasy, Zillow, and allow you to filter your search for apartments that don’t require a broker fee. This can save you time and effort.

3. Consider working with a ‘no-fee’ broker: Some real estate agents specialize in no-fee apartments and can help you find a place without charging you a broker fee. They get paid by the landlord instead.

4. Explore different neighborhoods: Some areas in NYC have more ‘no-fee’ apartments available than others. If you’re flexible with location, you might have better luck finding a no-fee option.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of finding a great apartment in New York City without having to pay a broker fee.

What to Do If Charged Illegally

Being charged a broker fee illegally can be frustrating, but there are steps you can take to address the situation. Here’s what you should do if you believe you’ve been charged an illegal broker fee in New York City.

Image result for Guide to NYC Brokers Fee Laws infographics

Image courtesy of via Google Images

Identifying Illegal Fees

Firstly, it’s essential to understand what constitutes an illegal broker fee. In New York City, certain laws govern the charging of broker fees, and if a fee is being charged in violation of these laws, it may be considered illegal. Some common examples of illegal broker fees include being charged a fee when renting a no-fee apartment or being charged an excessive fee beyond the usual market rate.

Reporting Illegal Charges

If you believe you have been illegally charged a broker fee, there are steps you can take to address the issue. You can start by contacting organizations like the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) or the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to report the illegal charge. Provide any evidence you have, such as receipts or communication with the broker, to support your claim.


In conclusion, understanding NYC broker fee laws is essential for anyone looking to rent an apartment in the city. Knowing what broker fees are, whether they are legal, how they work, and how to find no-fee apartments can save you time, money, and potential legal issues. By being informed about your rights and options, you can make more informed decisions when navigating the rental market in New York City.

Remember, always be aware of the laws surrounding broker fees, stay informed about any changes in regulations, and know what to do if you are charged illegally. By following these guidelines and being vigilant, you can protect yourself and ensure a smooth rental experience in the Big Apple.


Can I rent an apartment without paying a broker fee?

In New York City, it is possible to find apartments without having to pay a broker fee. These are often referred to as “no-fee” apartments, which means you won’t have to pay a fee to a broker for helping you find a place to rent. It’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these types of listings if you want to avoid paying a broker fee.

Who usually pays the broker fee in NYC?

Typically, in New York City, the person renting the apartment is responsible for paying the broker fee. This means that if you use a broker to help you find a rental, you will most likely be the one expected to pay the fee. It’s important to be aware of this cost when budgeting for your move.

What should I do if I think my broker fee was too high?

If you believe that the broker fee you were charged is excessive or unfair, you can take steps to address the issue. One option is to try to negotiate with the broker to see if they are willing to lower the fee. You can also research typical broker fees in NYC to see if the amount you were charged is in line with industry standards. If you still feel that the fee is too high, you may want to consider reporting the issue to the appropriate authorities.

Begin your search and start earning cash back!

Contact us

Generated by Blog Automation

Leave a Reply