Legislation that is backed by a majority of the New York City Council would require apartment landlords who hire brokers to find tenants to pay their fees, a move heralded by the city's renters and opposed by the real estate industry.

The one-time fees can cost tenants thousands of dollars and at a hearing yesterday, many New Yorkers detailed just how high the costs can go, according to The Associated Press. Agustina Velez, for example, who is a house cleaner from Queens, said she recently paid $6,000 to switch apartments.

More than a dozen members of The Real Estate Board of New York also testified before the City Council hearing on the bill, called the FARE Act, outlining a wide range of flaws with the legislation and negative outcomes it would produce for renters, agents, owners and New York City's broader economy. For instance, landlords would almost certainly increase rents to offset broker fee costs, making a previously one-time fee now amortized each time a renter re-signs a lease. The bill would also worsen housing access as the rent increases will make meeting income requirements of 40 times the monthly rent harder for many apartment applicants.

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Erika Morphy

Erika Morphy has been writing about commercial real estate at GlobeSt.com for more than ten years, covering the capital markets, the Mid-Atlantic region and national topics. She's a nerd so favorite examples of the former include accounting standards, Basel III and what Congress is brewing.