As indicated below, if you signed a fee agreement then yes, you owe the broker fee. Now, did you ask the agent to negotiate the rent (won't dramatically hurt the commission to the agent)? Your agent should be able to get the same rent that the landlord offered if not better. You also have put yourself in a difficult position if you go forward with the landlord for 3 reasons: 1) Most agencies will go after the tenant if they see apartments and then attempt go behind their backs. 2) Landlords know that they get their bread and butter from agents providing tenants and don't have to pay for staffs to do so. They will not want to hurt their relationship with either the firms that rent most of their properties or the agents that do a lot of business in the building. Most importantly for you 3) Landlords would consider this behaviour to be unethical and question your integrity as one of their tenants (How will you behave with them? Are you honest? Ethical? Do the right thing as a tenant? Or are you one that will play the NYS landlord tenant code and ultimately cost them a ton of money?) Then, of course, there is the ethical question that you should ask yourself - is this honorable to do this to an agent who makes 100% of their income from commission and that is the one who originally showed you the apartment?