Why do tenants pay realtor fees in Hoboken?

By | October 25, 2021

I’ve been asked many questions about “cost of living” in Hoboken along with housing costs and increasing rents. I’ve also been asked about Rent Control and I have some issues with it in its present form: mostly because it is too complicated and in its present form hurts both landlords and tenants.

But one thing that nobody has mentioned is this phenomenon in Hoboken where realtor fees are commonly covered by tenants even when the realtor is hired by the landlord. I look at a landlord hiring a realtor as that landlords business decision and I don’t understand how any business can ask a customer to pay for its marketing costs. Further: placing the entire burden of realtor fees on the tenant means that there is an incentive for a landlord to look for a new tenant annually: It’s easier to raise rents on a new tenant than an existing tenant AND with no realtor fees to pay: it is very inexpensive for a landlord to replace a tenant.

This is something unique to the NYC area and two years ago, a ban was attempted in NY (see: https://gothamist.com/news/brokers-fees-are-officially-un-banned-now). Ultimately – this might be something that has to be changed at the NJ State level, but I don’t think brokers hired by landlords should have any right to charge tenants. Realtors hired by tenants should charge the tenants and realtors hired by landlords should charge the landlord.

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