🤔💰🏡 What Does ‘No-Fee’ Mean When You Rent an Apartment? O Que Significa "sem taxa," na hora de alugar?


🤔💰🏡 What Does ‘No-Fee’ Mean When You Rent an Apartment?

🏡 💵 Of the many real estate terms you’ll come across while browsing rentals online, “no-fee” is one of the most puzzling. It’s common in New York City, where apartment brokers and rental agents commonly manage listings. Most properties will be advertised in one of two categories: those that come with a broker’s fee and those that are “no-fee.” But what does “no-fee” mean, exactly?

What does ‘no-fee’ mean when you’re renting an apartment?

In most parts of the country, the fee is covered by the landlord, and you rarely see the term “no-fee” in a listing.

In the Big Apple, if the apartment is advertised as no-fee, the landlord or property owner will pay that extra expense associated with renting the apartment. But if you do not see the term in the property listing, it generally means that the tenant will have to shoulder the burden.

How much is a fee?

The fee generally ranges from around 8% to 15% of the annual rent. So for a $2,500 per month rental, where the annual rent is $30,000, you’re looking at forking over an additional $2,400 to $4,500 when you sign your lease.

Why does this fee exist? Because many NYC landlords simply don’t have the time to show apartments and collect application paperwork from each and every interested renter. So they hire brokers to do the work for them. And someone has to pay for that work. It’s a cost that often falls to the tenant.

What renters should know about no-fee apartments

If an apartment is no-fee, it either means that the landlord has agreed to pay the broker fee directly, or there is no broker involved. This is most common when the rental market is slow or in newly developed or high-rise rental buildings that have lots of inventory.

A no-fee apartment could also be a property listed by the management company of the building, which has someone on staff to deal with showings and applications. Or in smaller buildings, like brownstones in Brooklyn, where the owner wants to personally interview the renters who will become their neighbors.

Is the term ‘no-fee’ deceiving renters?

Renters often believe that they’re getting a deal with no-fee apartments, since they avoid paying broker charges. But sometimes the term “no-fee” is used as a marketing tactic or even a bait and switch to get a renter in the door.

There may be a broker’s fee for the tenant’s agent, even if the listing is listed as no-fee. The hidden fees are often reduced.

Landlords may also waive the fee—giving them the ability to list the apartment as “no-fee”—but then charge higher rent. So over time, you may end up paying more than if you paid a fee for an apartment with a lower rent.

Bottom line: It all comes down to how much energy and time you have to find an apartment. Paying a fee makes the hunt a bit easier, because you’ll have a rental agent guiding you through the process. Searching for a solid no-fee apartment can be more of a challenge, but it can be done.

By Margaret Heidenry, From RealtorDotCom


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