June 23, 2023

NYC Council bill would require broker fees be paid by ‘hiring party’

The New York City Council will once again take up the issue of broker fees, a unique-to-New York system that allows real estate brokers to charge prospective tenants a one-time fee, usually between one month's rent and 15 percent of the total annual rent. Council Member Chi Ossé on Thursday introduced legislation that would shift the payment of broker fees to the party who hired them, which is often the landlord or building management company. The bill is similar to guidance issued by the state in 2019 that briefly banned broker fees, which was ultimately struck down by the court.
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May 27, 2021

New York officially gives real estate agents the go-ahead to collect broker fees

The state of New York this week walked back the broker fee ban that was never really a ban. Last year, the Department of State issued guidance related to the sweeping rent reform laws from 2019 that said brokers hired by landlords would not be allowed to charge prospective tenants a fee. Following several legal challenges, a judge ruled last month that a ban on broker fees was an "error of law" and struck down the law. The state on Tuesday officially updated the guidance to fall in line with the court ruling.
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March 9, 2020

With court decision delayed, broker fees live on (for now)

Real estate agents can continue to charge New York renters broker fees until at least June, Crain's reported. Last month, the state department updated a set of guidelines for last year's rent reform laws to prevent brokers who are hired by landlords from charging tenants a fee as part of the application process. Industry groups, including the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) and a number of brokerages, filed a petition last month to stop the new rule, which resulted in a temporary restraining order. The office of  State Attorney General Letitia James on Friday asked for a three-month extension to respond to the lawsuit, pushing the court date from this week to June 12.
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February 11, 2020

Temporary restraining order rolls back broker fee ban

In an update made last week to the state's recent rent reform laws, the Department of State said real estate brokers hired by landlords could no longer charge tenants a fee. The ruling sparked a widespread backlash from the real estate industry, particularly rental brokers. In response, a group of industry representatives filed an Article 78 petition in Albany, which resulted in a temporary restraining order on Monday, The Real Deal reported. The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) and a number of high-profile brokerages have filed a lawsuit claiming the new guidance was an “unlawful, erroneous, and arbitrary” interpretation of the rent reform law passed in June and wreaked “havoc and confusion” on the industry. The restraining order means agents acting on behalf of landlords can collect a commission from tenants until further notice without fear of discipline by the DOS.
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February 6, 2020

New York renters no longer have to pay broker fees

Renters in New York will no longer have to pay a broker fee when they lease an apartment, the state ordered Tuesday. In an updated set of guidelines for last year's rent reform laws, the state department said real estate brokers hired by landlords "cannot be compensated by the prospective tenant." While brokers can still charge a fee, landlords are now responsible for paying it, according to the revised rules. However, if a renter hires a broker to find apartments on their behalf, a fee can be collected.
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September 16, 2019

Application fee for New York rentals officially capped at $20

New York officially capped the cost of applying for an apartment at $20, clearing up confusion over a key part of rent reform legislation passed earlier this summer. The Department of State announced on Friday that licensed real estate brokers and salespeople cannot charge more than $20 for a rental application, as Gothamist first reported. The DOS released a set of guidelines to help real estate professionals understand the new rent laws.
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September 3, 2019

New rent laws leave ambiguity over application fee cap

Some real estate brokers in New York City continue to charge prospective renters more than $20 for application fees despite a new state law that prohibits landlords from doing so. The new measure, passed in June by state lawmakers as part of a major rent reform package, says a "landlord, sub-lessor or grantor" cannot charge applicants more than $20 for background and credit checks. But, as the New York Times reported on Monday, the language of the law does not specifically include brokers.
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October 21, 2014

Before They Were Brokers: Robin Lyon-Gardiner, Singing the Star Spangled Banner for Over a Decade

Some follow in their successful family’s footsteps, be it the Trumps, the Zeckendorfs or perhaps, the Rudins or Dursts — but others grow up with thoughts of following a career path that lands them in the field of medicine, education, and quite often — show business. Of course there are the “naturally destined” individuals who spent a good part of their childhood prodigiously playing Monopoly and considered flipping their backyard playhouse at a profit. Take Robin Lyon-Gardiner, who at the age of 16, saw her first musical and immediately decided to prepare herself for stardom on Broadway. Armed with a B.F.A. in Musical Theater from Syracuse University that included a semester in London to enhance her musical endeavors, it wasn’t long before Robin began snagging roles in some The Great White Way’s most famous musicals on the planet, including the Tony Award-winning “A Chorus Line”.
More on Robin's fascinating past here
August 26, 2014

From Broadway to Brokerage: Tom Postilio & Mickey Conlon of CORE on the Similarities of Show Biz and Real Estate

No need to rub your eyes, if Tom Postilio and Mickey Conlon look familiar, it's probably because you've spent a season watching them run around Manhattan showing multi-million dollar properties to some of the world's richest. The pair, who also share a Broadway past, were one of the first to bring real estate reality television to the masses with HGTV's hugely popular Selling New York. But there's more to Tom and Mickey than their stage sheen. To date, the "Dream Team" has brought in over a $1.5 billion dollars in sales at CORE, securing the firm's spot as the #1 brokerage in town, and earning themselves CORE's 2013 Top Producer Award while at it. Charismatic and capable, it comes as no surprise that Tom and Mickey are a prime pick amongst developers and celebs looking for record-breaking results (David Sanborn, Lady Gaga, Jim Carey and Joan Collins are just a few of the names that make up their roster). We recently chatted with the powerhouse pair who gave us the scoop on everything from their first sales, to bringing what they learned on Broadway to the real estate business, to one of their most memorable closings involving a 7-foot fiberglass replica of the Statue of Liberty!
Read our interview with the dynamic duo here
July 7, 2014

Two for the Price of One: Our Interview with Father/Son Broker Team Siim and Rudi Hanja

It’s hard not to become a jaded New Yorker when it comes to real estate. We’ve been duped by phony listing pictures, stood up at a random addresses by our brokers, and probably watched a little too much of the soap opera-like Million Dollar Listing. But it’s not all Photoshopped specs and inter-agency drama — something I quickly learned during my interview with Siim and Rudi Hanja, a father/son broker team at Brown Harris Stevens who are passionate about their careers, connection to downtown, and their relationship with each other. Siim Hanja has been a SoHo and Tribeca resident for the past 40 years. He’s considered an expert on the downtown residential market, and much of his client base includes people involved with the arts. He raised his daughter and son Rudi in SoHo, a neighborhood he is still proud to call home. Rudi was first introduced to real estate when he was around ten years old, filing papers at a small, boutique brokerage that Siim owned. After graduating from Boston University, Rudi took a summer job with the sales and marketing team at 120 Greenwich Street, where he worked with the exclusive broker and closed the final 30% of sales in the condo building. He then went on to work at another major real estate firm in the city until he and Siim decided to begin working together at Brown Harris Stevens.
Find out what team Hanja has to say