Posted by rob on January 03, 2000 at 20:41:29:
In Reply to: brokerage fees & rent hike on new lease posted by Dougal on December 20, 1999 at 19:07:42:
I saw this message and thought that this is probably one
of the most crucial issues in NYC real estate currently.
There is a loophole that I am not sure of the specifics
of that allows an agent to charge a broker's fee for an
apartment they manage, but they have not obviously
marketed this apartment, so no judge in the United States
of America is going to allow that broker to collect a fee.
I say that is out of the question.
Based on what you stated, your apartment is rent stabilized.
If you are a roommate, then you still have the option of
applying for the sublet. You can sublet indefinitely.
Certainly you should see if you have legal grounds to keep
the apartment having been a roommate.
If a landlord has accepted any rent checks from you with your
name signed to the check, then he has accepted that you are
a legal tenant and a contract has been made that means you
are a legally recognized tenant of the apartment, entitled
to renew the lease, with no extra fees.
I would fight tooth and nail personally to make sure that
the landlord spent more than he made on getting a new tenant
in legal fees evicting me. However, you sound like a
responsible tenant such that you might not want to have
housing court records.
There is one thing I can promise you though - these buildings
with exclusive agents trying to charge you a fee like they are
definitely give a kickback to the owner in one form or another.
I cannot stress strongly enough that the broker is not entitled
to the fee because it has not been earned. If you can record
what they are trying to do to you on paper (have them send you
a letter with instructions) then file a complaint with teh NYS
Licensing Department and report the broker. Then you also have
a defense to stay in the apartment. You are obviously the first
applicant for the apartment and they can't claim you're not
qualified to live there if you have been paying the rent all
along and have been a good tenant!
Good Luck and fight to keep the apartment if you want it.
Let me know what happens! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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