Is it possible to get broker’s commision back?

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Is it possible to get broker’s commision back?

My husband and I hired a real estate broker to help us find a rental apartment. One apartment suit our budged and we went ahead with signing a lease. Also we paid the agency’s commission. However before we even moved in there we have discovered that an apartment has a serious cockroach problem. Therefore we cancelled the deal. However the agency does not want to refund our comission saying that once we accepted the apartment their job is finished and there are no refunds. They said that they can find us another apartment and not charge a second commission but we do not trust this agency anymore. Are there any chances that we can get our commission back (at least part of it)?

Asked on November 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, it is most likely that you cannot get the commission back. The brokerage is correct: their job was to find you an apartment which you would rent. You state that you signed the lease for the apartment--thus, the brokerage did discharge its responsibilities.  It is not responsible for anything happening later to terminate the lease or cause you to move out, whether due to an infestation, nonpayment of rent, or otherwise, and whether occuring before  you moved in, during the middle  of the lease term, or near the end.


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