I told a friend (hereinafter "A") I'd put this question to the collective wisdom of the DL. A decides to move to NYC. A engages the services of a real estate broker to find an apartment. A selects apartment somewhere in Brooklyn and signs one year lease. A pays a total of approximately $7000 to move into apartment, which includes first and last month's rent, pet deposit, and $2800 (!) broker's fee. A then decides maybe going to NYC at this moment is not a great idea, for several reasons unrelated to the apartment itself. A has never taken possession of the apartment and in fact is not in the state of New York. Lease begins December 1. What are A's rights if A decides to not take the apartment? 1) can A get any part of the broker's fee back, and if so, how much? 2) can A get deposit (i.e. last month's rent) back immediately? What about pet deposit? 3) if any part of the contract is subject to a mandatory cooling off period wherein A can back out, how long is that period? 4) What are the odds that LL will re-lease apartment quickly? I know that depends on apartment, but what's the market like right now? No, A is not really me. I'm happily on the other coast.
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