Posted by Fred on May 10, 2000 at 12:19:34:
In Reply to: managing agent charging broker's fee--illegal? posted by Stacy on May 10, 2000 at 11:50:39:
: I've just moved into a deregulated, six-unit building. We found the apartment through a colleague of my husband's who was vacating; she notified the managing agent that would would like to apply for the apartment. He said he was "contractually obligated" to send all his vacant apartments through a certain broker. We applied through the broker and got the apartment, and when it was time to make out the checks for the broker's fee, we were told to make out one check, for 60% of the fee (roughly $1500) directly to the managing agent. I checked the licensing databases, and he's a licensed real estate broker, but since he's also the managing agent of out apartment I'm pretty sure this meets the definition of illegal key money. This question is, where do I go from here? Who has jurisdiction? Is my best bet to hire an attorney--and will that just lead to a drawn-out court battle?
You don't need a lawyer for a small dispute like this. In small claims court (assuming this is NYC) you would appear before a judge or arbitrator. However, be sure you have determined in advance that this is illegal. Some of the small claims judges are dull as dishwater.
You might have grounds for complaint to the Attorney General's office.
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