NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A New York State ruling that said tenants cannot be forced to pay broker fees has been put on hold.
A judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday, blocking the new rent law interpretation after real estate groups filed suit.READ MORE: Driver Charged With DWI, Manslaughter In Crash That Killed Mother, Daughter On Rockaway Boulevard In Queens
Web Extra: Click here to read the lawsuit (pdf)
Last week, the state banned expensive broker fees, which can be as high as 15% of a first year lease.
Tenants previously had to pay the fees when renting apartments from landlord-hired brokers. Under the new interpretation, any landlords who hire brokers would have to pay instead.READ MORE: Citizen App Seeks 'Field Team Members' To Live Stream Breaking News Stories
Supporters of the ban say it would help New Yorkers in an increasingly unaffordable housing market. But real estate groups fired back, saying the ban puts an undue burden on the backs of landlords, who’d just end up raising monthly rent.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said he’s “not surprised they filed a lawsuit.”
“I think if it’s a way to put money back in people’s pocket, it’s a good thing. I’m sure there are legitimate issues that have to be thought through, because this kind of came out of nowhere. But we’ve got to be clear: If we don’t take these kind of aggressive actions quickly, the place is not going to be livable for working class and middle class people,” he said.MORE NEWS: NYC DOT Asks New Yorkers To Weigh In On Future Citi Bike Station Locations In Brooklyn, Queens
For now, real estate brokers can continue collecting fees from tenants until at least March 13, when the state will respond in court.