Art by Stephanie C. Ramirez
Brokers fees are OUT. In a huge win for renters, New York State has basically put an end to broker fees. That means no more forking over what can often amount to a fee of 15% of your annual lease. This week, we’re diving into your rights as a renter and how you can help hold landlords accountable.
P.S. Ever dreamed of working on a political campaign? At our next Broad Room training on 2/27, we’ll be hearing from Tiffany Cabán’s communications director, Cynthia Nixon’s fundraising director, and other campaign managers, field directors, & more from across NYC to teach you how to make that dream a reality. RSVP now.
Gamechanger. In 2019, New York renter’s rights got an upgrade thanks to the tireless work of tenant rights advocates, who passed landmark legislation to strengthen NY’s rent laws and tenant protections. They went one step further last week with a new addendum to the agreement that effectively eliminates broker fees. But wait, t here’s more: Landlords now can’t charge more than one month’s rent for your security deposit and must return it to you within 14 days of moving out. Your landlord has to give you at least 30 days to notify you of rent increase over 5%. And application fees are limited to $20!
In 2018, Democrats took back the State Senate after 8 years of GOP control and opened the door to progressive reform - as we saw across the board with DREAM act, codifying Roe, and more. The scale of this win was unprecedented for New York and a product of years of advocacy and coalition building in addition to electoral wins. The advances to tenant rights over the last two years are a testament to the power of organizing and to electing people who really want to make NYC a place that works for everyone. With the elimination of extraneous, bank-breaking brokers fees, we’ve taken one big step closer to housing equality.
This is battle is far from over. A NY judge has temporarily blocked the law. This is not unusual in these types of cases and allows both sides to state their case. A broker fee free NY can still be just over the horizon.
- Donate to Housing Justice For All, a group at the forefront of the fight to protect tenant’s rights in New York City.
- Join or start a tenant association in your building so you can organize with your community.