Shady Broker Situation
April 21, 2008 10:15 PM   Subscribe

My broker is trying to charge another fee to put someone new on the lease for the NYC apt. we've been living in for 3 years. Is this legal? Do I have any recourse?

Brief backstory: About 3+ years ago, two friends paid a broker's fee and signed the lease on an apartment in Manhattan. One moved out and I sublet (legally) for a few months. Eventually, we added my name to the lease. I didn't pay a broker's fee, just $100 or so for a credit check.

Now my roommate is moving out and I found someone new to move in. Our broker is trying to charge this new guy a broker's fee for the new lease, even though I did the work. Is this legal? Do I have any options other than losing the apartment?

I'd appreciate any help - thanks!
posted by theseampsgoto11 to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
This is a standard clause on the leases in Texas. Do you have a copy of the lease? Look at the section under breaking a lease. Here, the amount that the landlord (or broker) gets is left blank, for parties to fill in.
posted by Pants! at 10:58 PM on April 21, 2008

From the Attorney General's Tenant's Handbook:

" A consumer may retain a real estate broker to find a suitable apartment. New York State licenses real estate brokers and salespersons. Brokers charge a commission for their services which is usually a stated percentage of the first year's rent. The amount of the commission is not set by law and should be negotiated between the parties. The broker must assist the client in finding and obtaining an apartment before a commission may be charged. The fee should not be paid until the client is offered a lease signed by the landlord. Complaints against real estate brokers may be brought to the attention of the New York Department of State. (Real Property Law, Article 12-A)"

NYC has tenant's associations. Get out the phone book or google and contact them. That's what they're for.
posted by the christopher hundreds at 11:00 PM on April 21, 2008

Why are you going through a broker at all? A broker is not required to sign a lease.

Is the Mgmt. Company requiring you to use this guy? If that's the case, I'd go to them and say they should pay, and stick to your guns. That's much less expensive for them than the cost of acquiring new tenants.
posted by mkultra at 5:34 AM on April 22, 2008

Response by poster: i just contacted the management company and they said that a new name on the lease would require a credit check, but didn't mention anything about another fee.

so at least now i'm going into the meeting prepared.

thanks mefites!
posted by theseampsgoto11 at 7:46 AM on April 22, 2008

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