This week, readers visited Brick Underground for clarification on a surprising change to rental broker fees. The Department of State issued guidance on a section of last year's rent reforms—and ended up creating even more confusion. The memo said when a landlord hires an agent to show an apartment, the landlord pays the broker fee. When a renter hires an agent to show them apartments and help with paperwork, then the renter pays the fee.
The real estate industry erupted (likely whipped up by other media coverage with headlines like "No more broker fees"). REBNY and several brokerage firms filed a lawsuit arguing the DOS had overstepped its role, and a judge granted a temporary restraining order suspending the guidance until a court date on March 13th.
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