If I used a renter’s agent and6 weeks later my new landlords put the house on the market for sale, do I have a claim against the agent?

UPDATED: Jun 10, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jun 10, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I used a renter’s agent and6 weeks later my new landlords put the house on the market for sale, do I have a claim against the agent?

I found a new apartment to live in through a broker that was retained as a renter’s agent. She claimed a close personal friendship with the landlords. Then 6 weeks after I move in, I was informed that the property was to be put on the market as they are divorcing. When I called the agent I left a message simply stating that I need to talk to her but she called the landlords first to find out what was going on. I have an attorney who has advised me not to allow showing of my rental property, whose advice I have followed. Do I have a claim against the agent?

Asked on June 10, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First, the attorney is wrong--you DO have to let the property be shown. An owner or landlord has a right, subject to some common and reasonable caveats (reasonable notice--usually 24+ hours; at reasonable times; not too often; etc.) to show a property for the purposes of renting or selling it. A tenant has no right to stop him or her.

Second, whether you have a claim against the agent depends on the circumstances. If she did not know the owner's plans, she did nothing wrong. Even if she did know of the plan, it's only possible, not definite you'd have a claim, since a sale of real estate from person A to person B does NOT terminate the lease or necessarily affect the tenant in any way--the lease goes with the property. Therefore, it's not necessarily something which an agent always has an affirmative duty to disclose and you need to look to the circumstances. Only if  you'd asked  about whether there was any pending sale, or the agent had gone out of her way to say there was no sale when she knew there was one--or alternately, if the agent knew the prospective sale was to someone who was looking to aggressively try to retire the building from residential rental--would there almost certainly be a strong case for misrepresenation or fraud.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption