Piper Phillips thought she won the treasure hunt for a coveted one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan.

Then she was hit with jaw-dropping additional costs totaling more than $10,000 — which would have brought her initial payout, including security and first month’s rent, to a whopping $21,507.50.

The Midtown condo asked Phillips to cough up thousands in fees — not including the monthly rent — such as a $550 application fee, $1,500 administration fee, $1,500 “move-in” fee and a one-month broker’s commission.

The Chicago native couldn’t believe the “ridiculous” hidden costs associated with the already pricey listing, which would have run her a whopping $5,350 per month.

The fees were even described as “well above the norm” by one real estate expert interviewed by The Post.

“That one was the craziest one I’ve ever seen,” Phillips told The Post, noting that the apartment’s hefty price tag was already at the top of her and her boyfriend’s budget.

They didn’t sign on the dotted line

However, the sticker-shocked marketing director revealed the building’s additional fees on TikTok, posting a screenshot of the broker’s email, which she said made her “laugh out loud.”

Piper Phillips was shocked to encounter additional costs totaling more than $10,000 when she went apartment-hunting.
Piper Phillips was shocked to encounter additional costs totaling more than $10,000 when she went apartment-hunting.
NY Post illustration

Piper Phillips lounging on couch on rooftop
Last year, Phillips moved into a one-bedroom flex apartment in NYC with her roommate and boyfriend.
Instagram/Piper Phillips

Piper’s apartment hunting woes come amid record-high rent hikes, and the average one-bedroom listed for $4,366.
NY Post

While the luxury apartment promised an in-unit washer and dryer — a far-fetched dream for many New Yorkers — it was too good to be true.

In addition to requiring tenants to earn 50 times the monthly rent, the landlord demanded a slew of additional costs: a $550 application fee, $1,500 administrative fee, $350 annual amenity fee, $150 credit check, $1,500 “move-in” fee, $100 “single initiation fee,” $1,000 move-in deposit and $55 digital submission fee.

While Phillips didn’t specify whether she would need a security deposit, it’s standard practice for renters to provide a first month’s worth of rent and a deposit of the same value — and sometimes even cough up the last month’s rent, too.

Even the broker acknowledged the “high” building fees, advising Phillips to negotiate with the property owner when submitting an application.

“How is that legal?” Phillips exclaimed in the TikTok video, which scored over 385,000 views.

The Post has reached out to the broker for comment.

To top it off, tenants would be required to pay an additional 5% of those building fees for “app admin,” excluding the submission and initiation costs.

“They don’t even tell you what it means,” she exclaimed of the “crazy” fees. “It doesn’t make any sense.”

Piper Phillips in pink blazer
She’s hoping to move into a one-bedroom with her boyfriend later this month.

Then, there’s the broker’s fee — which “feels a little wrong” to pay, admitted Phillips, who stumbled upon the listing on Street Easy.

“I have so much respect for people in the real estate industry, but it confuses me why there are so many fees … when I’m doing hours of manual labor searching for the unit,” she said.

It turns out the fees faced by Phillips “are well above the norm,” according to one NYC real estate expert.

“We typically see application fees associated with renting a condo unit in NYC ranging between $1200-$1500. Per the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, credit fees are capped at $20 per applicant,” Hal D. Gavzie, executive vice president of residential easing at Douglas Elliman, told The Post. “However, due to the HSTPA legislation of 2019, we may see landlords offsetting restrictions by adding other administrative fees. The broker fee can range from zero to 15% of annual rent.”

Piper Phillips with Statue of Liberty behind her
Phillips said she uses Street Easy to find available apartments in the area.
Instagram/Piper Phillips

Phillips in pink dress on rooftop balcony
Phillips called the additional fees “crazy.”

One high-profile broker, who declined to be quoted on the record, told The Post that the add-on money grabs likely aren’t broker fees but, rather, condo fees.

The reason: They want buyers, not renters, and try to discourage the latter.

All fees, then, would go to the building directly — and not to the brokers.

“The way to avoid this is to rent in a building that is designed for renters rather than a condo or a co-op,” the source told The Post. “Because each of those boards has the right to make up their own rules about renting in their building.”

The industry insider summed up the situation thusly: “These buildings are designed to be bought. Find another building — they don’t want ya!”

As if apartment-hunting wasn’t difficult enough.

Brownstone on streets
Phillips said that sites such as Street Easy can “catfish” tenants since the listings may utilize images taken years ago and, in reality, may actually be run-down.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

After spending the last year in a one-bedroom flex unit with her roommate and her boyfriend, Phillips began her search for a new place but was met with lackluster listings.

“The thing about Street Easy is, they kind of catfish you,” she explained, adding that the units don’t always live up to their photos online.

She’s toured run-down units in desperate need of renovation, which she claimed are a far cry from the images available online. But seeing the properties in person is like a “full-time job,” according to Phillips, who already often works 11-hour days at her job.

Now, she filters her Street Easy results by “no fees” and has her fingers crossed that she’ll find a new home before her current lease is up at the end of August.

Her apartment hunting woes come amid record-high rent hikes last month, and the average one-bedroom listed for $4,366.

“It’s hard because the power dynamic is really uneven,” Phillips said of Manhattan’s real estate market.

“The landlords and the management building know that the demand for these places is really high again, so it feels like they know that they kind of have the upper hand oftentimes.”

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