I am going to sign a lease on a no fee apartment in NYC and my broker is charging me 15%. Can he do this?

I thought no fee means the landlord/management company pays the broker?

Please advise.

  • 1
    It is not possible to answer your question without knowing the details of the contract you signed. "Yes" is the most likely answer, but it depends on the contract. Jul 28, 2018 at 13:51
  • I did not sign any informed contract with the broker. I did initial the apartments we saw on his list. I do not recall any conversation with him regarding his fee.
    – Naive
    Jul 28, 2018 at 14:05
  • i should have asked but I allowed my presumption of no fee that I would not be charged by him.
    – Naive
    Jul 28, 2018 at 14:06
  • 3
    add your comments to the question. It makes the question better and avoids the risk of losing the comments Jul 28, 2018 at 14:07
  • 2
    Is it common in NYC to use a broker to find a rental? Never experienced that around here.
    – Hart CO
    Jul 28, 2018 at 16:09

1 Answer 1


If you used an outside broker to find the apartment, meaning a broker not affiliated with the landlord/management company, then they are allowed to list it as a No Fee apartment with a Collect Your Own Fee option (CYOF). So it will be "No Fee" if you use their broker, but using an outside broker means the broker has to collect their fee from you rather than the landlord. The landlord, in this case, is covering the fees of the listing broker (their broker). But, if you chose to use your own broker, they aren't covering that.

You need to review the listing for that apartment. Is it truly a No Fee listing, or is it a No Fee / CYOF listing? If it's a true No Fee listing, then you should challenge your broker on this attempt to collect from you.


Collect Your Own Fee (COYF): This means the landlord or property manager of a no-fee property will allow outside brokers to bring prospective tenants to see the apartment (see listing below). Even though it might be listed as no-fee, you could still get stuck paying a fee. Again, this is the research and sleuthing you need to do to make sure you are not being shown no-fee listings by a broker.

Sample CYOF and No Fee listing


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