Finding an apartment with no brokers’ fee in New York City? It’s absolutely possible.

When has the process of renting an apartment not felt like throwing money — at literally everything? New York is one of the few cities where renters are expected to pay a hefty fee to the broker. A broker is a person that helps people find houses, just in case you were in the unknown.

In 2020, the renter’s market changed drastically, but especially in the case of New York City’s renters’ market. According to CNBC, young renters are returning to Manhattan apartments, after some 12 years!

But, at the same time, Market Realist reports that low rent prices in New York have translated into high broker fees.

Here’s everything you need to know about ‘No Fee Apartments’ in New York, what ‘Broker’s Fee’ is, and where you can find yourself an apartment in New York that doesn’t require a brokers’ fee!

Related : How To Find Cheap Apartments in New York? Manhattan Edition!

The fees you pay someone to help you find a house is Broker’s Fee.

Think of the broker as a middleman between your landlord, the house that you’re renting, and you. Brokers are consulted because they know the areas they represent and can help match both parties at the best price.

However, they shouldn’t be confused for real estate agents, as they work in partnership with real estate agencies as well.

Broker’s fee is illegal in New York City!

In the year 2020, amid the pandemic and the housing crisis, renters share of brokers’ fee was declared illegal in New York City. This and a number of other laws were passed in order to protect individuals looking for housing across the state.

“These reforms give New Yorkers the strongest tenant protections in history,” the Senate majority leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and the Assembly speaker, Carl E. Heastie, said in a joint statement.

However, before these laws were passed it was reported that brokers would charge anything from 12-15 percent from renters. And since the rent in NYC is so expensive, a few hundred dollars could easily get added to an already high rent price.

Where can I find the kind of assistance a broker would bring me?

Brokers are still hired for their service because they also help smoothen the process of renting an apartment in New York City.

While there are tons of websites that can help you find a no fee apartment in New York, you still need to be mindful of the entire process. This is to ensure that you do not miss out on any of the important paperwork that is required for an individual to rent an apartment in New York. When we say mindful, we mean:

  • Have your W2s and tax returns handy.
  • Investigate a potential landlord and the apartment building thoroughly.
  • Never hand over cash before you’ve met the landlord, visited the apartment in person, and done enough research to feel comfortable!

Websites that will find you a no fee apartment in New York:


Joinery was founded by two New Yorkers who were sick of “paying a broker thousands of dollars to do little more than open a door,” as the website puts it.

According to their website, “Outgoing tenants, with their landlord’s permission, are able to post information about their apartment—at no charge. As well as, schedule viewings and field questions directly through its messaging service.”

Listings include photos, credit or income requirements, rent, and security deposit amounts, and any apartment amenities.” Easy peasy, right?

The only catch is once you find an apartment, there’s a small fee involved that you’re asked to pay — but it’s not as high a broker’s fee.

The Listings Project

This one’s very straightforward. What started as a mailer list by Stephanie Diamond for artists looking for cheap places to crash at — today covers all five boroughs of New York. But that’s not all! They’re currently servicing 70 countries around the world, including all of the US.

How does it work? Well, anyone can sign up to receive their emails, which arrive on Wednesdays. You can then contact individuals through the Listings Project email to inquire about spaces and opportunities.

Naked Apartments

Naked Apartments isn’t solely dedicated to No Fee Apartments In New York. However, a substantial share of listings offered through Naked Apartments are either no fee or low fee. The website provides clusters that help users find results based on their specific needs.

Pretty simple if you ask us.


Sure, you’re run into a few all-caps listing, some shady ones and others that are complete scams but don’t rule it out completely, says NYCurbed. Craigslist allows you to search for “all no-fee apartments” and “by-owner apartments” only, eliminating any listings requiring a broker’s fee.

If you have the time to spend a week sifting though Craigslist, then by all means!

StreetEasy, Zumper, RentHop, Igluu

While all of these sites are the mainstay for renters looking for apartments — they all come with no fee apartments. You can search for no fee listings on any of these websites.

You just need to be wary of these no fee listings, as often they are also posted by brokers themselves.

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