City Council bill looks to put the onus of broker fees on landlords

A City Council member is sponsoring a bill that takes on the ever-present role of broker fees in the New York City apartment hunt.
Council Member Chi Ossé is fronting the Fairness in Apartment Rental Expenses Act, which would require the broker fee be paid by the party who hired the broker — whether that be the landlord or tenant.
Currently, city tenants have to pay broker fees when moving into a new rental whether or not their landlord hired the broker.
Officials say high broker fees deter potential renters and price many out.
“In every other transaction, the party who hires a service pays for the service. New York is unique among major cities in America in having tenants often paying the fee for a broker’s services. This bill is simple and fair in assigning that cost to whoever sought the service,” says Ossé.
Ossé, who represents Bed-Stuy and part of Crown Heights in District 36, is among a dozen sponsors on the bill, including District 38’s Alexa Avilés and District 42’s Charles Barron.
According to the legislation, this “would not impact the collection of fees by a landlord or property owner.”