Always read contracts (including leases) before signing them. It is only prior to contract execution that the terms can be negotiated. Having said that, terms asking the tenant to pay for the realtor's fee and first month's rent in advance are not uncommon. My advice is to keep accurate records of how much, and when, you pay for rent and security deposit (which normally should not be more than one and one-half month's rent.)
Disclaimer: For a free consultation contact me directly at 973-519-0196 or adam@LefkowitzLawOffice.com. If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. Answering questions on avvo.com does not create an attorney-client relationship. You are strongly encouraged to seek and retain your own counsel. Information and answers posted to this website are for general informational purposes only.
I know of no basis for objecting to this. It's relatively common for a month's rent to be paid in advance. Given that the realtor had gotten the rental for you, it seems appropriate to make the fee payment now.
Here's why. If you paid the security deposit and not the first month's rent and changed your mind, the LL would have to refund the security deposit. If you pay the first's month's rent and then don't move in the LL does not have to refund the first month's rent. I always advise my LL to take the first month's rent rather than the security deposit for that reason. The realtor does not want to lose its fee so regardless of whether you move in or not, the realtor has fulfilled its contractual obligation. This practice is common in NJ.