Take your pick: The number of houses for sale in the Hamptons increased 84 percent in the second quarter

What you need to know about buying a NYC condo in a former church or synagogue

A Battery Park City condo with a dramatic corner living room, for $4,350,000

Ask Sam: Under the new rent laws, can my landlord still kick me out so his family can move in?

Brick Undergrounds guide to the best Manhattan neighborhoods for families in 2019

5 ways renting in NYC is unlike anywhere else

Here are the NYC apartments for sale with the deepest price chops in June

Manhattan sales jump as buyers rush to close before July 1 deadline for new mansion tax

Can you still make money flipping an apartment in NYC?

Examining Americans food delivery habits, a new Gilded Age for the UWS, & more

When it rains in NYC, dont wade through flooded streets (its really gross)

Amazon wants to help you find an apartment, Buttigieg rakes in NY campaign donations, & more

How to manage change orders for your NYC renovation to keep costs down

NYC community gardening 101: What to know and how to get involved

How to brighten a Midtown East fixer-upper on a low floor

5 houses in Phoenix, Arizona, where millennials are flocking and its sunny 300 days a year

Take your pick: The number of houses for sale in the Hamptons increased 84 percent in the second quarter

A mountain house surrounded by views in Sugar Hill, N.H., for $539,000

Rent Coach: Going around the broker, California Closet shakedown

Q. A rental agent showed me an apartment that I didnt like. Afterward I saw a nicer one in the same building, advertised online by the management company, that I can rent directly for no fee.  Do I still have to pay the broker?

This depends on the brokerage fee agreement that you probably signed before seeing the apartment with your agent. It is not uncommon for such an agreement to have a provision that requires that you pay the broker a commission if you rent an apartment in a building to which your agent has directed you, whether or not you saw the specific apartment with your agent during a specified time frame.

If your agent brought you to see a listing in a building, and you then learned that the management company had other listings there and you contacted them directly to avoid paying your broker a fee, that would be inappropriate and could give rise to a claim of breach of contract if you signed a fee agreement.

If you did not sign one, then under these circumstances you would not be legally required to pay the broker. Ethically, however, its a slippery slope, particularly if you contacted the management company afterward in order to avoid paying a fee to the broker who introduced you to the building in the first place.

Q. My landlord wants to deduct the cost of removing the California Closets I installed from my security deposit.  Is that legal?  Does he have to prove that he actually removed them?

Yes.  A typical lease requires that you elicit your landlords permission before making any alterations or improvements to the apartment.  If you installed California closets without obtaining permission to alter the apartmentandto leave those changes in place after your lease terminates, and your landlord now wants them removed, it is your obligation to restore the apartment to its condition at the time that you took possession of it.

Your landlord may use your security deposit as reimbursement for the reasonable cost of repairs beyond normal wear and tear, including the removal of unauthorized improvements that you made.  If your landlord takes any deduction from your security deposit, they must provide you with an itemized list of the cost of each repair, along with any funds remaining, within a reasonable period of time after the termination of your lease.  You may insist that they provide receipts to prove that the repairs were actually performed,but unfortunately you do not have a right to personally inspect the apartment to see for yourself.

Mike Akerlyis a New York City real estate attorney, landlord, and real estate broker.Rent Coachalso appears inAM New Yorks Thursday real estate section.

Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertisers product without making the relationship clear to our readers.

13 tips to deal with the stress of buying a NYC apartment

What does it take to get a group of NYC co-op shareholders to sell their whole building?

How much does it cost to renovate a bathroom in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Jersey City?

New NYC rent laws require security deposits to be returned in 14 days and landlords are fuming

Dear Ms. Demeanor: I live in a NYC doorman building. Do I really need to lock my apartment door?

Heres a Windsor Terrace townhouse that doesnt come on the market often, for $1,549,000

In Comedy Centrals sitcom The Other Two, a NYC apartment seems as unobtainable as a career in showbiz

*By signing up you agree to receive occasional emails on behalf of our sponsors

*By signing up you agree to receive occasional emails on behalf of our sponsors

Delivered to your inbox twice weekly – for free.