Not necessarily. Quite often a Co-Broke situation between Rental Agents is not as simple as a â€œ1-month Feeâ€ split evenly between both Agents. One Agent works on behalf of the Landlord while the other Agent is working for the Tenant. Where possible, each Agent is providing a service to their respective Clients and they may expect to charge a Full-Fee for that service, but quite often they may need to split that with another Agent in order to get the deal done. In some situations, a Tenant may be paying a Full-Fee to his Agent directly, while a Landlord is also paying his own Agent a Full-Fee; this is NOT double-dipping.
In your described scenario, it looks like both Agents were keen on getting a Full-Fee and charging the Tenant for 1.5mo rent is a bit uncommon in MA, but certainly possible (in NY, a Tenant might be charged 10-15% of a yearâ€™s rent as the fee).
Bottom line, both sides (Landlord & Tenant) should have received clear disclosure from their respective Agents on how their Fee structure works, on how they expect to get paid (and from whom) to complete the transaction.