This month in real estate history

A look back at some of New York City's biggest real estate stories

Basil Paterson on left
Basil Paterson on left

From the September issue: State officials proposed new measures to clamp down on apartment referral agencies 33 years ago this month. The efforts followed a surge of fraud complaints against the companies, which sold lists of available apartments to New York apartment hunters.

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These referral agencies offered a less expensive way to search for an apartment, allowing users to save the hefty broker’s fee — usually 12 percent of the annual rent. Instead, the user paid the agency an up-front fee, typically between $50 and $100, for a list of available apartments. [more]