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Here’s how the real estate industry is reacting to the broker’s fee ban
New York’s real estate industry is reeling from unexpected guidance issued by state regulators this week, which effectively bans the practice of asking prospective tenants to pay a broker’s commission. The industry has vowed to fight the new reading of the law, saying it’ll cost thousands of agents their jobs and lead to rent increases.
The change will have far-reaching—and unknowable—implications for New York City’s 25,000 licensed real estate brokers who make a living off of the fees. A top official at the Real Estate Board of New York told The Real Deal that the new guidance is “a body blow to thousands of hard-working New Yorkers,” while a rental broker speaking to the New York Post dubbed it “unconscionable” and another strike in the so-called “war on real estate.”
Renters, meanwhile, lauded the new guidance, but are still scrambling to understand how it will affect the process of finding an apartment. Many questions linger on both sides of the spectrum. While landlords of market-rate apartments have the option to pass on those extra costs to tenants, the situation is more complicated for those who own rent-regulated units. It’s also unclear what precisely qualifies a broker as a “a landlord’s agent” when non-exclusive rentals are common.
Do you have questions about how this will impact the process of renting an apartment, or anything else about the 2019 rent laws? If so, we want to hear from you—email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And in other news...
- Macy’s is planning an office tower atop its flagship Midtown store, which would likely include public upgrades to the Herald Square area.
- Hudson Yards developer Related is adding an “upscale urban senior living community” to the west side city within a city.
- ProPublic and WNYC teamed up to take a closer look at the sometimes wildly inefficient world of Access-A-Ride, the MTA’s system for riders with disabilities.
- An Upper West Side apartment known for its walls adorned with art by Alexa Calder and Pablo Picasso is on the market for 5.25 million.
- Unions and progressive groups are pushing for pieds-à-terre taxes among other mechanism targeting the wallets of the state’s wealthiest residents.
- The MTA will reopen long-shuttered entrances at the Nostrand Avenue subway station in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
- We’re pretty envious of the jungle tiki bars on Metro North and Long Island Railroad trains in the days of yore.