Not necessarily. Many landlords offer incentives such as no-fees to get their properties rented. They either market the property themselves or pay the broker. Buildings that were built for rentals often offer no-fees. In general, Higher-end properties (condos) are owned by individual investors and they hire brokers to handle the marketing and screen potential tenants, so these units usually have brokerage fees.
If there is a fee, try to negotiate. Brokerage fees are negotiable like any commission. Brokerage fees generally range from 10-15% of the first year's rent in NYC.
An experienced Broker will be able to steer you towards listings that offer incentives if you're trying to save a few bucks.
Visit: http://www.elliman.com/gjm The most comprehensive list of rentals/sales listings in the NYC metro area. Our firm handles more than 50% of the rental transactions that occur in the city each year.
Hope this helps!
Senior Vice President
Top 1% Producer Nationwide
Prudential Douglas Elliman