Am I still liable to pay my broker’s retainer fee if he causes us to lose the apartment that we wanted?

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Am I still liable to pay my broker’s retainer fee if he causes us to lose the apartment that we wanted?

My boyfriend and I decided to use a broker to find an apartment for us. Once we found the apartment we wanted we gave the broker our deposit. Then when we met the landlord the broker agreed to come to the meeting to bring the deposit and he never showed up. The landlord and the listing agent were ready to sign the lease but because he didn’t bring the deposit it didn’t happen. Then later the listing agent and the landlord’s broker stopped working with him because of his unprofessional behavior. Since he caused us to lose the only apartment we were interested in I feel like we shouldn’t pay him.

Asked on December 22, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I feel that the way that you have phrased the question here that the broker you hired did not fulfill his end of the contract for which he was hired and that you justified in not paying him any fee or commission for his services.  However, I caution you to read the contract that you entered in to with him. How it is phrased may give him cause for a fight but I still think that you will win in the end on this matter.  More importantly, were you able to obtain the deposit back from him after the deal feel through?  If not then I think that you may have to bring an action against him for it.  Good luck.


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