I don't mind paying someone for their efforts, everyone has to make a living or else we might as well turn to socialism. I told them they should've just been upfront with me, I would've gladly paid the fee for the place. It hurts a bit less after you've seen so many other apts and I wouldn't have had access to the sub landlord without the broker. In the end am i a little pissed still? Yes. Am I going to pay the fee? Yes. Did I get a place thats exactly what I wanted and a 1 min commute to school? Yep.
When a broker lists an apartment there is always a fee. Either landlord owner pays or tenant or both pay. Unfortunately Craiglist is filled with "bait and switch" no fee ads, spam and scams and unethical rental brokers.
It has been an ongoing problem for years. In fact NYC rental ads from brokers is the only category that Craigslist charges for. The reasoning was to prevent unethical brokers, false ads, spam and scams.
If you have an ad that clearly states no fee and you are required to pay a fee that is good old "bait and switch" It is a DOS violation and a violation of Craigslist TOS and REBNY.
Several years ago, I wrote a blog about this and Craig from Craigslist commented that he personally was working on these cases.
Mitchell Hall, Associate Broker
The Corcoran Group
That being said, there are two things wrong here....
1:Was the ad posted by said broker or the owner?
2:How did you find it? Through the owner or the broker?
Therein lies the big problem.
If the broker mislead and posted in the owner section because the owner is paying him one month's rent, then he should "ETHICALLY" accept that one month rent "OP" (owner paid ) and move on as he was not the owner to begin with and found a way around the $3-$6 per ad on cl.
However, the standard fee downtown is 15%. When you do the math, one month is not really that amount.
It sounds shaaaaaaaaaaaaady all around no matter which way you slice it. If you are looking in prime areas, you kind of have to expect to pay a fee either way unless you have a lot of shoe leather to invest.
You have a valid argument, but you're coming at it from the wrong direction. Who found the apartment is irrelevant. If you engage any broker to perform a service for you, the fee has to be disclosed, and then you must pay it. Now and advertising IS a disclosure. In this case the broker you've engaged has STATED i.e. DISCLOSED that there is not fee to be paid by the TENANT (You) for this apartment.
You have all the recourse you care to leverage in this case. And since the unit is in Gramercy Park, near my office, I am happy be able to offer you more help. Feel free to call me - 917-848-6928
Barry M Salottolo
Licensed Real Estate Broker
Owner All Points Realty LLC
Manhattan, Westchester, Connecticut
5 Willow Place #2
Mount Vernon, New York 10550
Cell: 914-310-2930 FAX: 914-764-7420
"Whatever you're thinking and feeling today
is creating your future"