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unlicensed broker fraud?

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unlicensed broker fraud?

Postby knc » Wed Oct 16, 2002 4:24 pm

I'd like some advice:

Two friends of mine recently got an apartment through a broker. We went to the lease signing paid one month's rent ($2700), one month's security ($2700) and the broker's fee to the broker ($3,240) at the lease signing. We paid the rent and security in certified checks and the broker's fee in traveller's checks.

Several days later we got a call from the real-estate brokerage company saying that the broker who handled the apartment deal had been fired from the company and had effectively handled the deal without the license and pocketed the fee himself. At first they told us to try to get the money back ourselves. Of course, the former broker didn't return our phone calls. Then the brokerage company asked us to provide a signed letter stating what happened and providing copies of the traveller's checks and receipts for the fees.

My question is how to proceed at this point. Do we cooperate with the brokerage company and let them handle it? Or do we declare the traveller's checks stolen and hire a lawyer? Can the brokerage company void the lease that we signed?
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Re: unlicensed broker fraud?

Postby Brooklyn Babe » Thu Oct 17, 2002 1:15 am

The brokerage company is at fault, and faces the liability -not you.
Fax them a copy of your receipts,- they are probably trying to charge him with fraud; ask them to refund your brokers fee. You may be able to sue the company civilly.
Also, just as a precaution you may want to speak to your LL, and tell him that the company had someone unlicensed working for them, but that your information given is correct and that you will be fulfilling your tenant obligations.
The above information is from a non-attorney tenant activist and is not considered or to be used as legal advice.
Brooklyn Babe
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Re: unlicensed broker fraud?

Postby Cranky Tenant » Thu Oct 17, 2002 3:44 pm

If your friends can, it might be a good idea to report the traveler's check stolen and get their money back. Then I would imagine it would go to whoever can demonstrate they're entitled to the money

If the money can't be recovered, it's the Brokerage Firm's problem. Presuming the broker was introduced to you as a represenattive of the Brokerage firm, produced gave them a lease, etc, then it's their problem to deal with their own employees.
I'm a cranky tenant NOT a cranky lawyer.
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