Unlawful? Please help...

Asked by Dragonzfire718, Staten Island, NY Thu Jan 2, 2014

My mother had gone and seen an apartment, it was through a real estate agent. She thought she was going to take the apartment until there was a murder right in the corner of the block. She even gave a months worth as a brokers fees (which was what was written on the receipt as brokers fee by the agent). Bring that she didn't take the apartment she called the agent and asked for the money back. He said he gave it to the landlord of the apartment and refused to give it back and keeps saying that he/the landlord (his story has changed a few times) has every lawful right to keep it. I have no clue where to go to for help on this. Any information would be greatly accepted.

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Anna M Brocco’s answer
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Fri Jan 3, 2014
Unclear was a lease signed...generally the broker fee is paid at lease signing; you may wish to consult with an attorney who specializes in real estate, most professionals do offer a free consultation...
1 vote
Joseph Runfo…, Agent, Staten Island, NY
Fri Jan 3, 2014
Attorney advice is recommended. Without all the facts it's hard to answer. You might consider some facts - Did the agent provide your mother with the service that she requested? Was she satisfied with the agent's service when she paid the agent for that service? If you had hired a moving company to move your furniture to this apartment, then decided that you no longer wished to move into the apartment, after having paid the moving company, would you then ask the moving company to give you your money back?
1 vote
Gary R. DeFi…, Agent, New York, NY
Fri Jan 3, 2014
Try going to Legal Aid or contact that S.I. Board of Realtors for advice. This is a legal matter and as realtors we are not permitted to give legal advice.
1 vote
Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Thu Jan 2, 2014

I am sorry she paid the Broker Fee which is generally not due until a lease is signed (not earned by showing an apartment).

First stop is to call the Realtor's Broker and file a complaint. If this is to no avail, let the Broker know that you will pursue the issue not only with the local Real Estate Board of which they are members, but will file a complaint with the New York Department of State.

Good luck with it.

On the other side of it all, crimes can and do happen everywhere, unfortunately. And although I am sure it made your mom feel uncomfortable, she may want to reconsider finalizing the lease.
1 vote
Pocodust Pro…, Both Buyer And Seller, 86441
Sun Mar 9, 2014
As long as you have proof of payment, If your mother never moved in, she can file at landlord/tenant court and get her money back in full. They hope you go away and don't pursue the matter. The broker can't cash the check until you move in.
0 votes
Dawn Noak, Agent, Hauppauge, NY
Thu Jan 2, 2014
Did your mother sign the lease?
0 votes
Jill Subes, Agent, New York, NY
Thu Jan 2, 2014
Did you try to stop payment on the check?
0 votes
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