Is 2024 the year New York City curbs broker fees?

GOSSIP & RUMORS: Is 2024 the year New York City curbs broker fees?


Although recent years’ attempts to ban NYC’s pesky broker fees have fizzled, there’s a new bill that’s showing promise. 

Brought by Brooklyn lawmaker and the New York City Council’s youngest member, 26-year-old Chi Ossé, the new bill would not wholly ban broker fees, as past efforts have sought to do, but instead require the entity that hired the broker — generally, a building’s landlord — to pay them, Crain’s reported.

“This bill would basically make our broker-fee system replicate how the broker industry works in every other city in this country,” Ossé told the outlet. 

He introduced the bill last year but, despite it receiving a majority of the 51-member council’s support, it was never allowed to get a committee hearing, meaning it was never able to go up for vote. (Ossé and fellow supporters blame that situation on the Real Estate Board of New York and its opposition to the bill, which REBNY believes would imperil many of its brokers’ incomes.) 


Similar bills have faced serious opposition from the Real Estate Board of New York in recent years. deberarr – stock.adobe.com

broker fee bill 2024
It is relatively unique to New York that individuals pay broker fees. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Last week, Ossé reintroduced the bill and has again seen a majority of members give support, and across party lines no less. 

When Crain’s asked Mayor Eric Adams about the bill at a recent press conference, he responded by revealing that he had apparently once worked in the industry.

“I was a former real estate agent, and so I know how important it is to get paid,” he said. “A lot of time is spent showing people apartments or houses, so we need to make sure we get it right.”

As for the specific legislation at hand, he said he’d “look into the bill.” 

So far, the bill has faced less pushback this year than it did in 2023 or in 2019, when Manhattan council member Keith Powers introduced one proposing a one-month rent cap on broker fees, Powers told Crain’s. 

“People have gotten more acquainted and educated with this issue since I first raised it,” Powers said. “The current version of the bill in the council is pretty simple for the public to understand that the person who’s bringing the broker into the transaction should be the person to pay for it.”



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