Posted by Sam on February 27, 1999 at 16:59:08:
In Reply to: Broker fee charged by landlord? posted by Erica on February 26, 1999 at 10:55:47:
: Can a landlord legally charge a broker fee for renting you an apartment in his own building? It seems like it should be illegal, but I'd like to know for sure. If he is actually a licensed real estate broker does it matter?
I don't think an owner or his management company or any company he has an interest in can be his own broker even if he uses two different names.
Real Estate Brokers
A consumer may retain a real estate broker to find a suitable apartment. The state
licenses real estate brokers and salespersons. Brokers charge a commission for their
services which is usually a stated percentage of the first year's rent. The amount of
the commission is not set by law and should be negotiated between the parties. The
broker must assist the client in finding and obtaining an apartment before a
commission may be charged. The fee should not be paid until the client is offered a
lease signed by the landlord. Complaints against real estate brokers may be brought
to the attention of the New York Department of State. (Real Property Law, Article
Apartment Referral Agencies
Businesses that charge a fee for providing information about the location and
availability of rental housing must be licensed by the state. The fees charged by these
firms may not exceed one month's rent. When the information the firms provide does
not result in a rental, the entire amount of any prepaid fee, less $15.00, must be
returned to the tenant. Criminal prosecution for violations of this law may be brought
by the Attorney General. (Real Property Law, Article 12-C)
Real Property Law: the whole thing.
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