A Letter to New York City's Real Estate Agents about StreetEasy

by Phil Horigan
Founder of Leasebreak

Dear Real Estate Agents,

I’m sure you have heard the news: starting soon, StreetEasy will begin charging you for every rental you post on their site. Yes, this is a gut punch in the stomach for agents who need a reliable source for leads. It is also, quite frankly, a betrayal.

While, as the founder of Leasebreak, I would love for leasebreak.com to be your free alternative to post and search for rentals—as we already are for many agents (we moved beyond just “leasebreaks” years ago), I am writing to you now as a colleague.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been a New York City real estate agent for many years—thirteen, to be exact. Let’s face it, it’s a brutal business, especially the rental side of the business, an area close to my heart.  Unless you have actually been in our shoes, you can’t comprehend what it takes to get a deal done from start to finish; you simply can’t empathize—and it is now perfectly clear that the executives at StreetEasy can't either.

StreetEasy became the market leader by convincing all of the brokerage firms to post their listings on their website. To accomplish this, they deceived brokers in three ways:

First, they indicated that they would only accept listings from brokers. But then they surprised agents by allowing landlords and tenants to post on their site.

Second, they assured you all leads from your listings would go directly to you. StreetEasy’s new “Premier Agent” program abruptly ended that commitment.

Finally, they led you to believe it would always be free to post listings on their site. Yet, now by charging all rental agents to post their listings, the deception has reached new heights.

One thing I want to make crystal clear: Leasebreak’s goal is not to become the next StreetEasy. The real estate community should never find itself in this predicament again: relying too much on one source or firm, possessing too much market power, and justifying reprehensible business decisions which harm the community which, ironically, helped create it.

This is why Leasebreak wholeheartedly supports REBNY’s effort to once and for all provide a true MLS in New York City. Real estate agents need this to be protected from a greedy juggernaut like StreetEasy.

I hope that you will come to see Leasebreak’s rental marketplace as a free alternative. You already know that Leasebreak is the clear leader in finding shorter term furnished and unfurnished rentals between one and twelve months online, but did you know:

  • Many 12 month listings are also posted on Leasebreak by agents, tenants breaking their lease, and condo/coop owners.

  • Agents can post listings and get leads for free. They can also search listings for free.

  • We host properties not listed anywhere else. Since our marketplace is free to list, many who post on Leasebreak are from owners and tenants who don't want to pay the $125 to post on StreetEasy. (Who can blame them?!).

  • We have a special program where agents can get exclusive rental listings or work with renters. Over 250 agents are in the program as of today, and they love it.

  • We have “shares” or “rooms for rent.”  While most agents don’t “work” these type of clients, many still refer their clients to a transparent, professional real estate website for these types of apartments.

We look forward to seeing you on Leasebreak.com. And please, don’t hesitate to respond and ask me any questions. Hope to hear from you soon!


Phil Horigan,
Founder, Leasebreak

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About Us

At Leasebreak.com, our mission is simple: Connect those who are looking to break their apartment lease (“lease breakers”) with those who are looking for a short term rental (“Short term renters”), or perhaps a longer term rental. Often landlords will allow you to break your lease if you can provide a qualified renter to take it over.

Launched in 2013 and focusing on Manhattan and the New York City market, Leasebreak.com started with the realization that there are often times when sudden unexpected life changes result in people needing to get out of their apartment lease. Furthermore, we realized that the resources that existed to help tenants get out of their lease were extremely limited. At Leasebreak.com, we strongly believe that Landlords should be enlisted as partners in the process. Usually, they are more than willing to work with tenants in these difficult situations, as long as the tenant can find someone qualified to take over their lease and as long as the landlord is not financially impacted by the "lease break". In fact, quite often, landlords would welcome a “leasebreak” situation because it may mean they can start a new lease with a new tenant at a higher price sooner than they would have been able to do under the current lease.

Our goal is to provide a tool – leasebreak.com - for leaseholders, landlords, and real estate agents, to make it easier to find that person who would be an acceptable new tenant to the landlord when someone is asking to break their lease.

But we realized that at the same time we would be helping lease breakers, we would also be helping out another underserved market: The short term rental market. By “short term” we are referring to a time period generally between 2 and 10 months. Almost all apartment leases are at least one year in length. There are many reasons why people would not want to make a one year commitment on a rental, but are ready to make a several months commitment. That is where leasebreak.com comes in. A short term renter could “take over” someone else’s lease...that is, someone who is looking to “break” their lease, creating the perfect match!

While landlords may allow a renter to "break" his or her lease, the landlord may only agree to allow someone out of a lease if the new tenant would sign a lease for a minimum term of one year. We understand this situation may come up a lot and we encourage lease breakers who encounter a landlord with these requirements to also post their lease details at leasebreak.com.


Privacy Policy

Leasebreak.com respects your privacy. Here is our privacy policy.

In order to post a listing, you would need to submit some very basic personal information, such your name, email address, and the physical address of the listed property. We only collect information that you supply to us. The address of the property listed will be posted on our web site, so we suggest if you are posting a listing, that you do not list your unit number. Leasebreak.com will use your email address if we need to contact you directly for any reason or to send you any updates or important information relating to Leasebreak.com. We will not sell or knowingly provide this information to any third party, unless required to do so by legal authorities. The apartment address is held in our database until the apartment listing is deleted (You can delete apartment listings yourself). Your name and email address is held in our database until the account is deleted (Leasebreak.com only can delete accounts).

If you are searching for rental listings or just perusing our web site but not posting a listing, we do not knowingly collect any personal data from you.

Leasebreak.com is copied on any emails that are generated from the web site. So, for example, if you are searching for a rental and click “contact leaseholder” and if you send the leaseholder an email, leasebreak.com is copied on this email. Leasebreak.com does this to be able to monitor spamming efforts, as well to better understand how people are using our web site.

We don't employ tracking devices for marketing purposes, including cookies. However, cookies are used and placed on your computer in order to store a session (i.e. to remember your login state, search criteria, filtering, and sorting view etc.). Also note that while we currently do not using any services to serve ads to you, in the future if we decide to do this, then third party vendors, including Google, use cookies to serve these ads.


Terms and Conditions

By using Leasebreak.com, you accept and agree to be bound by the terms and provision of this agreement. The terms below may be modified from time to time for any reason and without notice. Any participation in this site by you will establish acceptance of this agreement. If you do not agree to abide by the above, we ask that you do not use leasebreak.com. Please note that use of this web site is also subject to our Privacy Policy.

You must only contact leaseholders and other users of this site with the sole intent of wanting to rent out the apartment that is being listed. Users should not be contacted for any other reason. Under no conditions, should you spam other users.

You are solely responsible for any content that you post on our web site and you should use reasonable judgment in the content you choose to post. While under no obligation to do so, Leasebreak.com can remove the content you post, delete your apartment listing completely or delete your entire account at any time and with no stated reason.

As a mostly content generated web site, Leasebreak.com is not responsible for the accuracy (errors or omissions) of the information posted on this website by users, but please email us immediately at info@leasebreak.com if you notice any incorrect information and we will do our best to correct or remove it. Leasebreak.com is also not to be made responsible for the accuracy (errors or omissions) of any information that we provide. The content authored by leaesbreak.com is offered for informational purposes only.

We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason at any time.

You must be 13 years old or older to use this site.

It is your responsibility to keep your password safe and it is your responsibility to prevent others from using your account.

You should not use this website for any illegal or unauthorized purpose.

You should not overwhelm the resources of our site at any time and you should not infect our website with worms, viruses, or Trojan Horses.

Making false, fraudulent, or misleading offers or claims on this web site is forbidden.

Leasebreak.com, its employees, officers, directors or representatives will not be liable or responsible for any loss, accident, death, injury, or damages of any kind (including any loss of business) connected with any use of this web site or content or connected with the performance or nonperformance by leasebreak.com.

If you feel your intellectual rights have been infringed upon, please report this immediately to us by emailing us immediately at info@leasebreak.com

At this point, leasebreak.com is not accepting any compensation from any third party.

No one other than leasebreak.com or people interested in your apartment details should be contacting you directly. If you are being spammed by any third party, please email us immediately at info@leasebreak.com.

You acknowledge and agree that you understand that third party web sites have their own terms of use and privacy policies and you should read them before using their web site if leasebreak.com provides a link to them. Leasebreak.com has no control over such third party web sites and leasebreak.com does not endorse and is not responsible or liable for any content on these web sites. Additionally, you agree that Leasebreak.com will not be responsible for any loss or damage caused or claimed to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any such content from a third party website.


Contact Leasebreak

We would love to hear from you! Please contact us at:

info@leasebreak.com, for any general questions or suggestions you may have

techsupport@leasebreak.com, for any problems you are having with the web site

media@leasebreak.com, for all PR or media inquiries

advertising@leasebreak.com, for anyone looking to advertise on our web site

jobs@leasebreak.com, for employment opportunities