Posted by Anna on December 27, 1999 at 23:37:09:
In Reply to: brokerage fees & rent hike on new lease posted by Dougal on December 20, 1999 at 19:07:42:
: I have been sharing an apartment with friend/leaseholder.
: He has left and wishes for me to take on new lease.
: Broker wants 15% of new annual rent plus a minimum 18% rent increase
: (more subject to apartment inspection/necessary repairs).
: 2 questions:
: 1. Can a broker charge such a fee when they haven't 'found' the apartment for the new tenant,
: even though I'm in it?(albeilt illegal sublet)
: i.e. is its payable purely for securing a lease?
: 2. What, if any, are the legal rent increases for a new lease?
: 18%+ sounds steep. I do not know for sure whether the apartment is rent-stabilized
: - there are about 30 units, the last lease was signed about six years ago.
: Thank you,
1. The 'broker's fee' is probably not kosher: landlords and their agents are not allowed to charge any fee, even if they have a broker's license. Or did you mean an independent broker? There's a good explanation on this on the RGB site www.housingnyc.com and also on the NYC site http://www.ci.nyc.ny.us/
2. 18% is the vacancy allowance on rent stabilized apartments, and he IS allowed to charge a new leaseholder a 'vacancy' increase even if you live there already unless you can claim 'succession' rights. Read about Tenant Rights on TenantNet Home and read the DHCR fact sheets on TN, on the DHCR site, on the RGB site. Call DHCR to confirm that the apt is stabilized and request a Rent History: this will show what rent the landlord has registered with them since 1984.
ps: you were a legal roommate until the leaseholder left; if his lease has not expired, you're saving the landlord legal fees (he would have to use the court to evict you): this, and the 'broker' info you will read, should help you convince him not to charge the fee.
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