How to Rent an Apartment in NYC Without a Broker Fee

Most apartments in New York are represented by real estate agents who will charge you a hefty fee if you rent their apartment. This fee, also known as a broker’s fee, can range anywhere from one month’s rent to as much as 15% of a year’s rent. In one of the most expensive rental markets in the world, that extra cost can hurt.

If you are looking to avoid these additional costs when finding an apartment, there are “no fee” apartments where you have the ability to rent directly from a landlord or management company. You may even be able to find an apartment where the broker’s fee is covered by the landlord.

While it may be necessary to use a broker, here are some ways you may be able to find a “no fee” apartment:

Use Your Personal Networks

If you are comfortable doing so, it is recommended that you use your social media platforms, alumni networks, company bulletin boards, and any other media source at your disposal. Here, you are able to let others know what kind of apartment you are looking for, your ideal neighborhoods, your budget, etc. You may find that people are willing to help you in your search.

The more you are willing to put yourself out there and ask questions, the more likely you are to find a no fee apartment.

Use Reliable Apartment Search Websites

Websites such as craigslist, frele, and gobii often post no fee listings that they receive directly from landlords and management companies. However, because these websites are open to all, it is important to act fast upon finding an apartment. Especially in today’s rent market, it is likely that the apartment will be taken quickly.

Walk Through Your Desired Neighborhoods

Take a visit to your desired neighborhoods. While you are there, search for “for rent” signs and speak to locals and doormen. Regardless of whether you believe they may be able to assist, there is no harm in trying and seeing who may be able to help.

When Should You Work With A Rental Agent Or Broker?

You should consider working with a rental agent or broker if any of the following applies:

  • You do not believe you have the time and energy to do what it takes to find an apartment on your own

  • You are new to New York City

  • You have tried looking on your own and have failed

  • Your employer has agreed to pay your broker’s fee

  • You are interested in renting a co-op or condo

  • You plan to live in your apartment for over a year

Before working with a broker, be sure to discuss what their fees will be and get it in writing. This way, you are able to adjust your budget accordingly.

Lastly, you may be able to find a landlord who is willing to pay a portion or the entirety of your broker’s fee. If you are looking for an apartment during a slow rental season, the building is new and looking to be filled as soon as possible, the unit is undesirable, or the rent is ambitious, it may be worth a shot to discuss with your landlord who will have the responsibility of paying the broker’s fee.

Outerbridge Law Protects Tenants In Nyc

If you believe that a landlord or broker has violated the terms established in any contracts relating to broker fees, don’t let them get away with it. Turn to the trusted landlord-tenant lawyers at Outerbridge Law, P.C. for a team that will fight for your rights.

To see if you have a case, contact Outerbridge Law today.