Working with a broker here. She's gone out of town. My move in date is 10/15. I've paid security deposit already. She's unreachable

Asked by Angela Ingram, Brooklyn, NY Thu Oct 4, 2012

now. What to do? I've already signed the rental agreement, done the application and sent in my documents. We were supposed to do the lease before she left on Oct. 4th but she has been unresponsive to my calls, texts, and emails as of late (getting back to me much later after my attempts). I have asked for the landlord's contact info, but I haven't been given anything. Is it common practice for brokers/agents to not provide the landlord's info? Is it possible to have another agent look into this for me? Time is dwindling and this needs to be done YESTERDAY! Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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First Last, , 90002
Sat Oct 6, 2012
This is not good. The part that's seriously not good is that the agent left town before you signed the lease and received a counter signed lease in return from the landlord.

Without a signed lease, signed by both sides, you don't have a 1 year lease.

That is incredibly poor service, at a minimum. It just staggers me and angers me when I hear stories like this one.

You're not being impatient, you're being smart.

Please call the firm today and firmly ask to speak to the Principal Broker or Office Manager. This is the agent's boss. (Everybody' calls themselves a broker in NYC, but really, almost everybody is just an agent.)

Tell the Broker what has happened and ask the broker to facilitate an immediate lease signing for Monday. You need a lease signed ASAP.

I don't mean to scare you, but I'm just not sure you have this apartment in the bag. They could just return your money and say, "oops, so sorry."

I hope everything just works out fine, odds are it will, but if not, please feel free to call or email me if you find yourself in a housing emergency situation and I will do my best to help. I know Brooklyn well.

Karla Harby
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Rutenberg Realty
New York NY
0 votes
great insight
Flag Sun Oct 7, 2012
Thank you Karla! She did write me the other day after her plane landed and told me she spoke to the landlord and that everything is still good and as planned.
Flag Sat Oct 6, 2012
Robbie Vaughn, Agent, Mineola, NY
Sun Oct 7, 2012
Sounds like things will work out, but you were rightfully concerned. Good luck.
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Angela Ingram, Renter, Brooklyn, NY
Thu Oct 4, 2012
Thank you everyone for your responses. I have checked on the broker to make sure she is licensed(she posted her licensing number and it is valid until 06/2013) and I have researched the properties information to find out who the landlord/owner is. Everything checks out. I think this just may be a case of poor communication and my impatience. She did tell me in advance that she would be going out of town today through the 9th and that if we couldn't finish things before she left, we could after. But after not receiving responses to my emails, calls, and texts I got flustered and worried. This is my first time renting my own place so though I am thrilled, I am also stressed with the process of moving! I will give her time to contact me and if things don't proceed as they should, I will take the necessary measures. Thanks again for all of the help. I truly appreciate it.
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Rhonda Holt, Agent, New York, NY
Thu Oct 4, 2012
Hello, even though you turned over the deposit money you still cannot move in because the actual lease was not not signed. Since you did pay your security and I assume your agent has it then you need to to go to the broker's office and speak to the owner about the situation. Maybe the broker can contact your agent for you to get her to respond in order to find out how to proceed with the move and the security deposit. I hope you received a receipt with the agents information on it or cancelled check in case you need to be refunded.

Also, if no one can help you try pulling up the address online to find out if it is being advertised by the owner.
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Thu Oct 4, 2012
Have you tried contacting the agent's broker owner, and or, office manager....
0 votes
Mitchell Fel…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Thu Oct 4, 2012
Dear Angela:

My thoughts are as follows:

1) Try calling the broker at the office she works for.

2) Go to and see if the agent is actually licensed by the department of state.

3) Did the agent actually show you the interior of the property? If not I am worried that this may be a scam.

4) Check property records on (go to ACRIS) and see who the owner of the property is.

5) Contact the owner via phone, letter or simply ringing their door bell and explain to them what has happened, see what they say.

Usually an agent will not give out the owners phone number just as they would not give the owner your phone number until the deal was 100% consummated. You can try to have another agent help you, just make sure you tell them the whole story. If you want call me and I will see what I can do.

Mitchell S. Feldman
Associate Broker/ Director of Sales
Madison Estates & Properties, Inc.
Office: (718) 645-1665/ Cell: (917) 805-0783
0 votes
I will send you a personal email as I'm having a bit of trouble. Thanks for your help!
Flag Thu Oct 4, 2012
Thank you Mitchell. This is very helpful! Yes, she did show us the apartment and provided a rental agreement form and application. I will definitely check as you suggested. Thank you again for your great advice!!
Flag Thu Oct 4, 2012
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