Reprieve from real estate broker fees on hold for now

People looking for a place to live in New York may still have to pay a fee to a real estate broker, for now. 

A judge in Albany has temporarily blocked the New York Department of State's recent interpretation of a new state law that prohibits brokers from charging tenants a fee to rent them an apartment.

State officials had said that landlords need to pay that fee unless a prospective tenant hires a broker to find them a place to live.

The Legal Aid Society applauded the Department of State's decision.

"Tenants should not have to pay for their landlords to rent them apartments," Legal Aid's Judith Goldener said.

But the Real Estate Board of New York said the Department of State overstepped its authority and sued to stop it.

"For the landlord, this means increased costs, increased overhead costs, which could mean increased rents," said Carl Hum, the Real Estate Board's general counsel.

The board lawsuit is scheduled for further proceedings in March.


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