Apartment-hunter has to pay $10,000 in fees just to sign lease

@pipercassidyphillips/tiktok Roger Jegg – Fotodesign-Jegg.de/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘This does not include rent’: Condo-hunter has to pay $10,000 in fees just to sign lease

‘How is that legal?’


Tiffanie Drayton


Shopping for a new place to live is never easy. But these days, it seems like renters must go to some pretty extreme lengths to land a spot.

Piper Phillips (@pipercassidyphillips) posted a now-viral TikTok video explaining her own dilemma. In it, she said that one real estate broker requested an exorbitant amount of money for a New York City condo. As of Monday evening, Phillips’s video had over 330,800 views.

“The most insane ‘fees’ on a New York City apartment I’ve ever seen,” she wrote via the text overlay. 

@pipercassidyphillips Do u want my first born child at this point #nyc #nycapartment #manhattan #apartmenthunting #bffr #bestcity #newyork #greenscreen ♬ original sound – Piper Phillips

Those fees? They totaled roughly $10,000, Phillips said. And no, she said, “this does not include rent.” Phillips doubled-down on her frustration in the accompanying video caption, questioning, “Do u want my first born child at this point.”

Phillips said that she and her partner recently began their search for a rental, but explained that it felt “like a full-time job.” That’s, in part, because Phillips said that she’s encountered some pretty absurd requests from real estate brokers. 

One condo, she said, required a 15% broker’s fee. In addition, there were a number of building fees, including an application fee ($550), administrative fee ($1,500), annual amenity fee per applicant ($350), credit check per applicant ($150), a move-in fee ($150), and a refundable move in deposit ($1,000), among several other things. 

“Are you freaking kidding me?” Phillips said. “How is that legal?… If you are looking for an apartment out there, good luck.”

New York City currently faces a dilemma where inflation and increasing expenses for landlords is at odds with the city’s desire to provide low-income and rent stabilized housing to modest earners. Despite efforts to increase housing around the city—including affordable housing—the market remains hot and competitive. 

Still, the fees shocked most viewers. One commenter even said that they were “stressed” simply after reading the requirements. 

“Those fees look like they put a bunch of words together,” one user said. 

“This condo clearly does not want their owners to rent out their units,” another added.

“and that’s why I’m moving out of NYC after 5 years,” a third person wrote.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Phillips via TikTok comment.

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