Is it legal for a managing agent to charge a “Finders Fee” of 25% for renewing a lease?

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Is it legal for a managing agent to charge a “Finders Fee” of 25% for renewing a lease?

Management Agreement states: 50% of the first months rent for 7 months lease and a further 25% should they renew or 50% for a 12 month lease. For tenants that renew after 12 months,there is a lease renewal fee of $200. Would like to know if such a clause is legal, especially since the tenant is laready onthe lease?

Asked on July 15, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A fee on renewal, unless you are in some sort of public housing (which is governed by various rules, regulations, and statutes) is probably legal if it was in a lease that the tenant has already signed and thereby agreed to. Parties typically have a great deal of freedom to contract, including agreeing to various additional charges, administrative fees, etc. For a more definitive answer, bring the lease to an attorney with landlord-tenant experience who can review it for you; as a general matter though, in the absence of statutes, etc. to the contrary (which would most likely be on public housing, as noted; private housing is largely unregulated, other than barring discrimination and ensuring proper building, safety, zoning, etc. code compliance), parties may freely contract as they like.


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