Standard NYC Rental Agreement

How long is a standard NYC rental agreement for landlords looking to rent out their property?  How does the lease agreement language differ for “no fee” versus normal listings where the tenant pays the broker fee?

Who normally pays the broker fee for rentals in NYC?

The broker fee is paid by the tenant in the vast majority of rental transactions simply because of the supply and demand dynamics of the NYC rental market.

There is normally such a high demand for non-luxury rental housing stock that landlords can get away with never paying the broker fee.

Listing brokers thus are able to list the landlord’s property for free and charge the tenant typically 15% of annual rent in fees.

This fee is often split 50/50 between the tenant’s broker and the listing broker if the tenant is represented.

This situation may reverse itself if the property is very expensive, niche or otherwise hard to rent out.

In this case the landlord will pay the broker’s fee and advertise the listing as “no fee.”  This may be advantageous when the NYC market is experiencing a surplus of housing stock and new construction coming onto the market.

In this market situation, a landlord may be forced to offer further concessions such as one or two months of free rent in addition to “no fee.”

What does a standard NYC rental agreement look like?

As a landlord, you’ll notice that a standard NYC rental agreement is relatively short versus a standard Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement.

If a landlord wishes to advertise the property as “no fee,” the commission language in Part 6 of the sample NYC rental agreement below simply needs to be changed to “You agree that when and if a lease of the property is fully executed, we will seek and be paid our commission and compensation for services rendered only from the landlord, at a rate of [__]% of the first year’s rent.”

Landlords who have sold properties before will recognize that the listing broker will “co-broke” or offer to split the commission with any brokers representing tenants.

What does a standard NYC rental agreement look like? How does the language differ for no fee vs fee rentals? We include a sample rental lease form here!

We’ve included a sample standard NYC rental agreement below where the tenant will pay the broker’s fee.


City, State Zip Code:

Re: Exclusive Agency to Lease
[Unit#] at [Full Address]

Dear [Owner]:

This will confirm that you have engaged [Brokerage Name] (“Broker”) as your exclusive agent with the exclusive agency to lease (including sublease) the above Premises.

1. You represent (select one):
___ You are the owner of the Premises and authorized to rent the Premises without the consent of any other person.
___ You are the tenant of the Premises, have received approval from the Owner of the building to sublease or assign your lease and will cooperate with Broker and any prospective tenant in obtaining the con sent of the Owner.
___ The Premises is a condominium unit, you are the owner, and you will cooperate with Broker and any prospective tenant in obtaining the Waiver of Right of First Refusal of the Condominium.
___ The Premises is a cooperative unit, you are the holder of the proprietary lease for the Premises, and you will cooperate with Broker and any prospective tenant in obtaining the consent of the Cooperative.

Any rental or sale is subject to approval of the Landlord, Condominium, or Cooperative, as applicable, as well as your approval. You authorize Broker to contact the foregoing, or their managing agents, to verify the status of the Premises and all necessary approvals.

2. You authorize Broker to offer the Premises at a monthly rent of $[  ] for a term of [  ] years, commencing on or about [  ].

3. The Term of this Exclusive Agency shall be [  ] months from the date you sign this Agreement. Thereafter the Term may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties, in writing or it shall become an open listing.

4. You authorize Broker to advertise, photograph and show the Premises. Broker may host open houses for potential tenants and brokers. You authorize Broker to direct all marketing and agree that no other advertising or marketing, including listings on the Internet, shall be permitted unless Broker specifically authorizes them. Broker will advertise the Premises, including listing it on its web site, at its discretion. Broker’s agent [  ] will report activity to you on a regular basis and will accompany all potential tenants and co-brokers at the Premises.

5. You hereby authorize Broker, unless otherwise specified by you in this Agreement, to solicit, beginning 72 hours from the time we receive your acceptance of this Agreement, the cooperation of other licensed real estate brokers who are members of The Real Estate Board of New York who will act as agents for the prospective tenants.

6. An Exclusive Agency to Lease means that during the Term of this Agreement only you and the Broker can rent the Premises. During the Term of this Agreement you agree to refer to Broker all inquiries, proposals and offers received by you from other brokers, and you agree to conduct all such negotiations solely and exclusively through Broker. Nothing in this Agreement shall preclude you from leasing the Premises on your own. You agree that when and if a lease of the property is fully executed, we will seek and be paid our commission and compensation for services rendered only from the tenant, at a rate of [  ]% of the first year’s rent.

7. If the Premises is sold during the Term of this Agreement, or if a tenant procured by Broker, or such tenant’s affiliate, enters into a sales contract to purchase the Premises within 6 months after the expiration of the lease term or extension thereof you agree to pay Broker a commission of [  ]% of the sales price, payable in full at closing of title. If you retain a purchase deposit, you agree to pay Broker a commission of [  ]% of the amount retained. This provision shall survive termination of this Agreement.

8. Within three (3) business days after the expiration or termination of this Agreement, Broker will give you a list of no more than 6 people who were introduced to the Premises by Broker during the Term. If a lease or contract of sale for the Premises is entered into with anyone on that list within 90 days of the Term, you will owe us a commission as provided in this Agreement.

9. You acknowledge that Broker has informed you of your obligations under the Federal Lead Paint Disclosure Law and that you are aware of your responsibility to ensure compliance therewith.

10. This Agreement represents and embodies the entire agreement between the parties and supersedes any previous oral or written agreements, discussions or understandings. This Agreement may only be amended or modified by a written document signed by the parties. This Agreement is binding upon both parties’ successors and assigns.

Please sign below as confirmation of your agreement, retain a copy, and return a signed copy to Broker.

[Brokerage Name]


Owner’s Signature

Owner’s Name (please print)


Broker’s Signature

Broker’s Name (please print)


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Disclosure: Hauseit® and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal, financial or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, financial or accounting advice. No representation, guarantee or warranty of any kind is made regarding the completeness or accuracy of information provided.

1 thought on “Standard NYC Rental Agreement”

  1. Hey guys, is the below normal to sign for a NYC rental? I just got the below and was asked to sign it, and the seller’s broker says it’s a standard Bloomberg lease. I still plan on getting my lawyer to review it, but at first glance it seems quite favorable to the landlord. I’m especially concerned about the part where it says any repairs by the landlord will be treated as additional rent, i.e. I better pay it or else my credit gets damaged for being a holdover tenant. Seems really unequal, any thoughts welcome from those who have done it before. Thank you.


    The Landlord and Tenant agree to lease the Apartment at the Rent and for the Term stated on these terms:

    Lease date: Term:
    Yearly Rent: Monthly Rent: Security:

    Rider Additional terms on page(s) initialed at the end by the parties is attached and made a part of this Lease.

    1. Use
    The Apartment must be used only as a private Apartment to live in and for no other reason. Only a party signing this Lease and the spouse and children of that party may use the Apartment.

    2. Failure to give possession

    Landlord shall not be liable for failure to give Tenant possession of the Apartment on the beginning date of the Term. Rent shall be payable as of the beginning of the Term unless Landlord is unable to give possession. Rent shall then be payable as of the date possession is available. Landlord will notify Tenant as to the date possession is available. The ending date of the Term will not change.

    3. Rent, added rent
    The rent payment for each month must be paid on the first day of that month at Landlord’s address. Landlord need not give notice to pay the rent. Rent must be paid in full and no amount subtracted from it. The first month’s rent is to be paid when Tenant signs this Lease. Tenant may be required to pay other charges to Landlord under the terms of this Lease. They are to be called “added rent.” This added rent is payable as rent, together with the next monthly rent due. If Tenant fails to pay the added rent on time, Landlord shall have the same rights against Tenant as if Tenant failed to pay rent. Payment of rent in installments is for Tenant’s convenience only. If Tenant defaults, Landlord may give notice to Tenant that Tenant may no longer pay rent in installments. The entire rent for the remaining part of the Term will then be due and payable.

    4. Security
    Tenant has given Security to Landlord in the amount stated above. If Tenant fully complies with all of the terms of this Lease, Landlord will return the Security after the Term ends. If Tenant does not fully comply with the terms of this Lease, Landlord may use the Security to pay amounts owed by Tenant, including damages. If Landlord sells or leases the Building, Landlord may give the Security to the buyer or lessee. Tenant will look only to the buyer or lessee for the return of the Security.

    5. Services
    Landlord will supply: (a) heat as required by law, and (b) hot and cold water for bathroom and kitchen sink. Stopping or reducing of service(s) will not be reason for Tenant to stop paying rent, to make a money claim or to claim eviction. Damage to the equipment or appliances supplied by Landlord caused by Tenant’s act or neglect, may be repaired by Landlord at Tenant’s expense. The repair cost will be added rent. Tenant must pay for all electric, gas, telephone and other utility services used in the Apartment and arrange for them with the public utility company. Landlord may stop service of the plumbing, heating, elevator, air cooling or electrical systems, because of accident, emergency, repairs, or changes until the work is complete. If unable to supply any service because of labor trouble, Government order, lack of fuel supply or other cause not controlled by Landlord, Landlord is excused from supplying that service. Service shall resume when Landlord is able to supply it.

    6. Repairs
    Tenant must take good care of the Apartment and all equipment and fixtures in it. Tenant must, at Tenant’s cost, make all repairs and replacements whenever the need results from Tenant’s act or neglect. If Tenant fails to make a needed repair or replacement, Landlord may do it. Landlord’s expense will be added rent.

    7. Alterations
    Tenant must obtain Landlord’s prior written consent to install any panelling, flooring, “built in” decorations, partitions, railings or make alterations or to paint or wallpaper the apartment. Tenant must not change the plumbing, ventilating, air conditioning, electric or heating systems. If consent is given, the alterations and installations shall become the property of Landlord when completed and paid for, and shall remain with and as part of the Apartment at the end of the Term. Landlord has the right to demand that Tenant remove the alterations and installations before the end of the Term. The demand shall be by notice, given at least 15 days before the end of the Term. Landlord is not required to do or pay for any work unless stated
    in this Lease.

    8. Fire, accident, defects, damage
    Tenant must give Landlord prompt notice of fire, accident, damage or dangerous or defective condition. If the Apartment can not be used because of fire or other casualty, Tenant is not required to pay rent for the time the Apartment is unusable. If part of the Apartment can not be used, Tenant must pay rent for the usable part. Landlord shall have the right to decide which part of the Apartment is usable. Landlord need only repair the damaged structural parts of the Apartment. Landlord is not required to repair or replace any equipment, fixtures, furnishings or decorations unless originally installed by Landlord. Landlord is not responsible for delays due to settling insurance claims, obtaining estimates, labor and supply problems or any other cause not fully under Landlord’s control. If the fire or other casualty is caused by an act or neglect of Tenant or guest of Tenant, or at the time of the fire or casualty Tenant is in default in any term of this Lease, then all repairs will be made at Tenant’s expense and Tenant must pay the full rent with no adjustment. The cost of the repairs will be added rent. Landlord has the right to demolish or rebuild the Building if there is substantial damage by fire or other casualty. Even if the Apartment is not damaged, Landlord may cancel this Lease within 30 days after the fire or casualty by giving Tenant notice of Landlord’s intention to demolish or rebuild. The Lease will end 30 days after Landlord’s cancellation notice to Tenant. Tenant must deliver the Apartment to Landlord on or before the cancellation date in the notice and pay all rent due to the date of the fire or casualty. If the Lease is cancelled Landlord is not required to repair the Apartment or Building.

    9. Liability
    Landlord is not liable for loss, expense, or damage to any person or property, unless due to Landlord’s negligence. Tenant must pay for damages suffered and money spent by Landlord relating to any claim arising from any act or neglect of Tenant. Tenant is responsible for all acts of Tenant’s family, employees, guests or invitees.

    10. Landlord may enter
    Landlord may at reasonable times, enter the Apartment to examine, to make repairs or alterations, and to show it to possible buyers, lenders or tenants.

    11. Assignment and sublease
    Tenant must not assign this Lease or sublet all or part of the Apartment or permit any other person to use the Apartment. If Tenant does, Landlord has the right to cancel the Lease as stated in the Default section.

    12. Subordination
    This Lease and Tenant’s rights, are subject and subordinate to all present and future: (a) leases for the Building or
    the land on which it stands, (b) mortgages on the leases or the Building or land, (c) agreements securing money paid or to be paid by a lender, and (d) terms, conditions, renewals, changes of any kind and extensions of the mortgages or leases or Lender agreements. Tenant must promptly execute any certificate(s) that Landlord requests to show that this Lease is so subject and subordinate. Tenant authorizes Landlord to sign these certificate(s) for Tenant.

    13. Condemnation
    If all of the Apartment or Building is taken or condemned by a legal authority, the Term, and Tenant’s rights shall end as of the date the authority takes title to the Apartment or Building. If any part of the Apartment or Building is taken, Landlord may cancel this Lease on notice to Tenant. The notice shall set a cancellation date not less than 30 days from the date of the notice. If the Lease is cancelled, Tenant must deliver the Apartment to Landlord on the cancellation date together with all rent due to that date. The entire award for any taking belongs to Landlord. Tenant gives Landlord any interest Tenant may have to any part of the award. Tenant shall make no claim for the value of the remaining part of the Term.

    14. Tenant’s duty to obey laws and regulations
    Tenant must, at Tenant’s expense, promptly comply with all laws, orders, rules, requests, and directions, of all governmental authorities, Landlord’s insurers, Board of Fire Underwriters, or similar groups. Tenant may not do anything which may increase Landlord’s insurance premiums. If Tenant does, Tenant must pay the increase as added rent.

    15. Tenant’s defaults and Landlord’s remedies
    A. Landlord may give 5 days written notice to Tenant to correct any of the following defaults:
    1. Failure to pay rent or added rent on time.
    2. Improper assignment of the Lease, improper subletting all or part of the Apartment.
    3. Improper conduct by Tenant or other occupant of the Apartment.
    4. Failure to fully perform any other term in the Lease.
    B. If Tenant fails to correct the defaults in section A. within the 5 days, Landlord may cancel the Lease by giving
    Tenant a written 3 day notice stating the date the Term will end. On that date the Term and Tenant’s rights in this Lease automatically end and Tenant must leave the Apartment and give Landlord the keys. Tenant continues to be responsible for rent, expenses, damages and losses.
    C. If the Lease is cancelled, or rent or added rent is not paid on time, or Tenant vacates the Apartment, Landlord may in addition to other remedies take any of the following steps:
    1. Enter the Apartment and remove Tenant and any person or property;
    2. Use dispossess, eviction or other lawsuit method to take back the Apartment.
    D. If the Lease is ended or Landlord takes back the Apartment, rent and added rent for the unexpired Term becomes due and payable. Landlord may re-rent the Apartment and any thing in it for any Term. Landlord may re-rent for a lower rent and give allowances to the new Tenant. Tenant shall be responsible for Landlord’s cost of re-renting. Landlord’s cost shall include the cost of repairs, decorations, broker’s fees, attorney’s fees, advertising and preparation for renting. Tenant shall continue to be responsible for rent, expenses, damages and losses. Any rent received from the re-renting shall be applied to the reduction of money Tenant owes. Tenant waives all rights to return to the Apartment after possession is given to the Landlord by a Court.

    16. Waiver of jury, counterclaim, set off
    Landlord and Tenant waive trial by a jury in any matter which comes up between the parties under or because of
    this Lease (except for a personal injury or property damage claim). In a proceeding to get possession of the Apartment, Tenant shall not have the right to make a counterclaim or set off.

    17. Notices
    Any bill, statement or notice must be in writing. If to Tenant, it must be delivered or mailed to the Tenant at the
    Apartment. If to Landlord it must be mailed to Landlord’s address. It will be considered delivered on the day mailed or if not mailed, when left at the proper address. A notice must be sent by certified mail. Landlord must send a written notice to Tenant if Landlord’s address is changed.

    18. No waiver, illegality
    Landlord’s acceptance of rent or failure to enforce any term in this Lease is not a waiver of any of Landlord’s rights.
    If a term in this Lease is illegal, the rest of this lease remains in full force.

    19. Bankruptcy, insolvency
    If (1) Tenant assigns property for the benefit of creditors, (2) Tenant files a voluntary petition or an involuntary
    petition is filed against Tenant under any bankruptcy or insolvency law, or (3) a trustee or receiver of Tenant or Tenant’s property is appointed, Landlord may give Tenant 30 days notice of cancellation of the Term of this Lease. If any of the above is not fully dismissed within the 30 days, the Term shall end as of the date stated in the notice. Tenant must continue to pay rent, damages, losses and expenses without offset.

    20. Rules
    Tenant must comply with Landlord’s Rules. Notice of Rules will be posted or given to Tenant. Landlord need not
    enforce Rules against other Tenants. Landlord is not liable to Tenant if another tenant violates the Rules. Tenant receives no rights under the Rules.

    21. Representations
    Tenant has read this Lease. All promises made by the Landlord are in this Lease. There are no others.

    22. Landlord unable to perform
    If due to labor trouble, government order, lack of supply, Tenant’s act or neglect, or any other cause not fully within
    Landlord’s reasonable control Landlord is delayed or unable to (a) carry out any of the Landlord’s promises or agreements, (b) supply any service to be supplied, (c) make any required repair or change in the Apartment or Building, or (d) supply any equipment or appliances, this Lease shall not be ended or Tenant’s obligations affected.

    23. End of term
    At the end of the Term, Tenant must: leave the Apartment clean and in good condition, subject to ordinary wear and tear; remove all of Tenant’s property and all Tenant’s installations and decorations; repair all damages to the Apartment and Building caused by moving; and restore the Apartment to its condition at the beginning of the Term.

    24. Space “as is”
    Tenant has inspected the Apartment and Building. Tenant states they are in good order and repair and takes the Apartment “as is.”

    25. Quiet enjoyment and habitability
    Subject to the terms of this Lease, as long as Tenant is not in default Tenant may peaceably and quietly have, hold,
    and enjoy the Apartment for the Term. Landlord states that the Apartment and Building are fit for human living and there is no condition dangerous to health, life or safety.

    26. Landlord’s consent
    If Tenant requires Landlord’s consent to any act and such consent is not given, Tenant’s only right is to ask the Court to force Landlord to give consent. Tenant agrees not to make any claim against Landlord for money or subtract any sum from the rent because such consent was not given.

    27. Legal Fees
    The successful party in a legal action or proceeding between Landlord and Tenant for non-payment of rent or recovery of possession of the Apartment may recover reasonable legal fees and costs from the other party.

    28. Lease binding on
    This Lease is binding on Landlord and Tenant and those that lawfully succeed to their rights or take their place.

    29. Landlord
    Landlord means the owner, or the lessee of the Building, or a lender in possession. Landlord’s obligations end when Landlord’s interest in the Building is transferred. Any acts Landlord may do may be performed by Landlord’s agent or employees.

    30. Paragraph headings.
    The Paragraph headings are for convenience only.

    31. Changes.
    This Lease may be changed only by an agreement in writing signed by and delivered to each party.

    32. Effective date.
    This Lease is effective when Landlord delivers to Tenant a copy signed by all parties.

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