Who Should Pay the Broker Fee? 


Hundreds of tenants and brokers descended on City Hall Wednesday to debate legislation that would stop landlords from passing broker fees on to tenants.

Adi Talwar

Tenants rally in City Hall Park on June 12, for the FARE Act.

Friends Vlad Prikhodko and Jessica Johnson came to City Hall Park Wednesday morning after seeing an Instagram post from Brooklyn Councilmember Chi Ossé. They wanted to rally for legislation that would save them from paying rental brokers they do not hire. 

Prikhodko, a full-time student and restaurant server from Ridgewood, has moved five times in New York City. He’s no stranger to brokers, who he often encounters after responding to a listing that he finds online.

“There was one big apartment building and I contacted the broker and was like, ‘So, can I come see the apartment?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah the door is open,’” he recalled. “I’m like ‘Oh, you’re not going to be there?’ ‘No.’”

The fee associated with that unit was 12 percent of one year’s rent. Prikhodko decided it wasn’t worth it to even visit. But his current apartment came with a $2,300 broker fee, part of the $7,000 he owed up front—a “big, big, big cost.” 





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