Rental buildings pay broker’s fees, offer free rent

While market reports show rents have gone down in Manhattan, Fritz Frigan, the executive director of sales and leasing for Halstead Property, said an even better measure of the state of the rental market is how many buildings are covering broker’s fees. Many landlords will offer to pay broker’s fees instead of lowering rents because that means starting at a lower base when renewing leases. In January 2008, 90 of the rental properties represented by Halstead were covering broker fees, and by November, that number jumped to 1,300 properties. Daniel Hedaya, director of leasing at Platinum Properties, said in the Financial District, the majority of buildings are offering to pay broker’s fees, as well as one month of free rent, because of the excess of inventory in the neighborhood. The Philippe Starck-designed Dwell95, at 95 Wall Street, is offering up to three months free rent, Hedaya said. Other concessions on offer include free health club memberships, free storage space, and reduced parking rates.

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