Home Buying in Oceanside>Question Details

Anonymous123, Home Buyer in Oceanside, NY

Ethics question - broker/landlord

Asked by Anonymous123, Oceanside, NY Tue Mar 9, 2010

My landlord is also a real estate broker. I have been renting her house for several years. During this period I also was looking for a house to buy. She offered to me that if I used her as a broker she would let me stay month-to-month in my lease if I had to do construction and could not move in at the end of my lease. Now, after having bought a house for almost $1M (she got 2% comission) she is very reluctant to rent the house to me month to month and also wants to charge me 1.5 time the rent (it was in the lease). The discussions were all just verbal. Is there anything I can do? Also, is there an ethics board for real estate brokers where I could at least report this in my opinion unethical behavior.

Help the community by answering this question:


There are two issues here; legal and moral.

If you had a lease at a certain amount of money and went on to a month-to-month basis, you might check with your attorney, but I believe the lease terms stay in effect.

I don't know how long you intend to stay, but even if she tried legally to have you removed (and you are paying her the rent), it would take a very long time to get you out (and possibly costly for her).

Morally, you can call LIBOR at 631-661-4800 and file a complaint (called a grievance). They will give you the instructions. You also have the Dept of State to fall back on.

Personally, I would want to know who she is. As a broker, I prefer not to do business with unscrupulous agents.
Web Reference: http://GailGladstone.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 10, 2010
Hi, There are many good suggestions already there from real estate pros. In addition I would suggest that you may want to consider storage and move in to a smaller place temporarily. It depends how much time you need to repair your property.
Web Reference: http://islandadvantage.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010
For legal advice you call an attorney.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 12, 2010
John Ford's answer is on target. I think it would be best for your Real Estate Attorney to negotiate with your landlord/broker. Another important issue to research is if your Agent represented you as a Buyer's Agent or acted as a Broker's Agent, representing the Seller. This may have a bearing on your rights. Best of Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 13, 2010
I'm a landlord and Broker myself and can tell you from experience that when a lease ends and the tenant stays in occupancy the courts look at it as a month to month agreement with the same terms as the original lease. Since it’s a month to month the landlord can offer a new lease or month to month with new terms like in your case where she is raising the rent. As far as her collecting a commission that’s legal too since she is a licensed agent/broker. Your only recourse is to negotiate with her since you’re in occupancy and if you didn't agree to her new terms she would have a problem getting you out. These questions are Legal questions and you really should consult your attorney. We as Realtors cannot offer legal advice but can tell you our opinions based on experience.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 10, 2010
Why not have your attorney review your initial lease agreement and see what options you may have at this point--and definately report her to the Long Island Board of Realty.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 10, 2010
Hi there, Gail has answered your question very well and I would go with her good advice.

To tackle the ethics concern, I would contact the agents broker/manager and follow up with a complaint/grievance as Gail has suggested.

You will need a real estate attorney for your purchase, he/she can advise you on your rights as a tenant and whether you are being wronged. Here in NJ the laws favor tenants rights. There is information - much of it summarized in a government publication which we require be given to both tenants and landlords that we assist. You can also consult the HUD website: http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/states/new_york

Good luck to you,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
My Blog: http://www.trulia.com/blog/jeanne_feenick_-_new_jersey/
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 10, 2010
The written agreement is the only agreement.

You can file a complaint - and should if you feel you were wronged.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 10, 2010
If you don’t have anything is writing it is just your word against the brokers. The broker has a lease agreement that you signed. How will you be able to convince a neutral third party of the truth of what you are stating if the broker denies it?

Your case is an illustration of why real estate agreements must be in writing.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 9, 2010
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