August 13th, 2009
It’s something every renter has probably done or will do at one time or another in this city…pay a broker to find them an apartment. But what happens when that broker takes your money and doesn’t do much else?
Shaquilla is out a lot of money, after a real estate broker took her money and kept it.
“I paid a broker $1,300 to hold an apartment”. “The landlord rented it to someone else. The broker now won’t give me my money back. He told me to take him to court. I can’t afford that.”
So what can she do in this situation?
We asked real estate attorney Adam Leitman Bailey.
“Real estate brokers are licensed by the State of New York and the Department of Licensing, Real Estate Bureau, has a discipline authority,” said Adam Leitman Bailey.
“They will take your complaint and investigate it”.
The more facts and evidence you have, such as a written contract and your receipt, the more likely you’re going to get your money back.
“Now if that doesn’t work,” said Leitman Bailey, “I would start a case in small claims court.
For $40.00 you can bring a case, and sue for up to $5,000, You do not need an attorney to do this.
Bailey also urges anyone entering into an agreement to ALWAYS get it in writing. Make sure you both sign it. That way you have a much better leg to stand on if you have to try to get your money back.