I paid half the fee but my tenant was charged a full fee by his broker and half the fee to my broker. Isn't this double charging?

Asked by cclark2107, Boston, MA Sun Sep 23, 2012

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Norman Hodson, Agent, Boston, MA
Sun Sep 23, 2012
Not necessarily. Quite often a Co-Broke situation between Rental Agents is not as simple as a “1-month Fee” 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 year’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.
1 vote
Heath Coker, Agent, Falmouth, MA
Sun Sep 23, 2012
The best way to clarify this is to re-read your agreement with the real estate professional.
You can only clarify what you are required/requested to pay.
The tenant's agreement is a separate agreement that you are probably not a part of.

Unless there is a clause in your agreement that says you get to know what the tenant agreement says, and that you get to adjust your fee accordingly, then you have to decide if your personal agreement was useful and complete.
If you got a good tenant, if the fee was comfortable and correct, any other income to the broker should not affect you.

That may sound callous, but you and the real estate professional have an agreement that the tenant is not a party to either.
If you how the professional operates, don't use them anymore or modify your future agreement(s).

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0 votes
Maria Cipoll…, Agent, Coral Springs, FL
Sun Sep 23, 2012
Today's rental market continue to grow more competitive. Realtor's comissions are negotiable. If all the parties involved signed and agreed with the disclosures, is completely legal.


Maria E. Cipollone

0 votes
James Furlong, Agent, Brookline, MA
Sun Sep 23, 2012
The "usual" fee in Greater Boston is equal to one month rent. As long as the fee policy was disclosed to all parties prior to the deal it would seem to be an acceptable practice. This year the inventory has been low so unusual circumstances/practices can occur. It has taken a lot more work on the part of the real estate agent to find and close on an apartment for their clients.
0 votes
Judy Boyle, Agent, Marlborough, MA
Sun Sep 23, 2012
It sure sounds like it but as long as everyone is in agreement there is nothing illegal about it.
0 votes
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