There are many managed buildings where you can go and rent without a broker, but try to find them without a broker and you'll probably not find anything. We are now at th height of the rental season (summer). As the vacancy rate is approximately 1.5%, that translates into not much out there and what is available will be scooped up fast.
Anyone looking to rent here should have all paperwork together so they can pounce if they see something they like. I strongly suggest working with a broker. Good luck.
Usually the tenant pays the agent, but there have been instances where the landlord pays the agent or both parties split the fee but generally the tenant pays in most instances
Robert Defalco Realty
In NYC, usually the agent fee is paid by the tenant equivalent to 1 month's rent. But there are also instances, where the agent is paid by the landlord or the landlord and tenant shares the costs 50/50. Each situation is unique.