If you’re considering renting an apartment in New York City, you typically start with deciding how much rent you can afford on a monthly basis before dealing with all the paperwork. However, there are also various fees you need to bear in mind, like upfront costs you pay to a broker or landlord to guarantee the apartment and others that might come as a surprise during the process! Take a look at our all-inclusive list of the most common fees below:

Broker fee

A broker’s fee should not be confused with the security deposit that many rentals require, which is often capped to one month’s rent – this fee is a separate cost ranging anywhere from one month’s rent to 12-15% of a year’s total rent. For example, with Manhattan’s current average rental price of $3,500, you could potentially pay a broker fee of over $6,000.

This may sound like a lot of upfront money, but remember that a broker puts in a lot of work for you (and we should know!). For the standard broker fee, your agent helps with all the paperwork, shows multiple apartments per day that fit your requirements, negotiates on your behalf, and is present at the lease-signing. Keep in mind though that landlords sometimes pay the broker fee for particular units (also known as a “no-fee apartment”)  – something that’s generally more common in the winter months if you’re looking to save some cash and still need help navigating the market.

Application fee

The application fee is separate from the broker fee and refers to a fee tenants pay to cover the cost of a background or credit check. According to The Department of State, the application fee can’t exceed $20 and is the only fee a landlord can charge a tenant. Their guidelines also confirm this is the maximum a broker can charge for an application fee.

Co-op or condo board fees

Co-op or condo board fees usually consist of fees on an apartment owner for subletting their apartment, fees for the costs associated with moving (like the use of an elevator), and sometimes even renewal fees. A board imposes fees on an apartment owner because often the building isn’t a rental and rules concerning subletting exist. These fees are based either on the share allocation or the monthly maintenance costs of the apartment.

Guarantor fee

Apartment owners often insist on a guarantor for students, foreign nationals, and those without a U.S. credit history in order to secure a rental. A guarantor can be anyone, such as a relative, friend or employer who promises to pay the lease if a tenant can’t, but if you don’t have anyone available you can also engage with an institutional guarantor, like Insurent or The Guarantors. For U.S. renters their fees range from around 70 to 85% of the monthly rent and 90 to 110% of one month’s rent for international renters on a 12 to 14-month lease. 

Rental insurance fee

Not everyone ends up paying a rental insurance fee as not every building makes this mandatory – but for those that do, you’ll be asked to finish the paperwork as part of the lease signing. It may not be the highest fee (generally at around $100 to $150 a year) but you still need to budget for it. 

Amenity fee

In newer, luxury buildings tenants might be expected to pay for amenities such as a fitness center or a rooftop. Some management companies make tenants pay a separate amenity fee, while others roll it into the base rent. The amenity fee is paid monthly or annually and will either be offered on an opt-in basis or as mandatory costs whether you use any of the amenities or not.

Late rent fee

While all the fees so far need to be paid upfront, the late rent fees can only be charged once your tenancy is underway. Usually, you will be charged a fee if you are five days late with paying your rent, which will cost no more than $50 or 5% of one month’s rent, whichever is less.

Overwhelmed with all the potential surprises of the rental process? Click here or call 646.681.5272 with your questions to speak with an agent from Platinum Properties! We’re standing by to help you through every step of the process.