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Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34314
Experience:  16 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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I am a tenant, live in NYC and I am currently being sued on

Customer Question

Hi! I am a tenant, live in NYC and I am currently being sued on Small Court by a broker.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: NYC
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Yes
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No, thank you.
Submitted: 18 days ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 18 days ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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I understand you are being sued by a broker, but I don't see any actual legal question...

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If you can post your legal question and any relevant details about your situation, I will try to help..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Thank you! Here is a better description:I moved into my building in April, I was initially going to sub-lease from the current tenant at the time for only a month, my name wasn't even on paper. She mentioned that her lease was going to expire in mid-September, but that she wanted to leave in June. She told me that if I wanted I could try to take over her lease, but if I chose to do that, I would need to go through the broker who helped her, since the building doesn't deal with anyone but tenants who are on the lease or brokers.So, I contacted the broker and he offered me a lower price deal (3/4 of a month rent = 1,725), since I was referred by the current tenant. I found someone who wanted to sign the new lease with me, and we began working with him. We never signed a contract, but if our application was approved we were going to pay him the discussed amount. Since nor me or the girl I was applying with had a credit score, the situation became challenging and she decided to pull out her application. At that point, I asked for my deposit back and also withdrew my application.The broker said at the time that if any of us wanted to apply for this apartment, it would have to go through him.Then, I found a new roommate in June. We agreed on a solution with the current tenant who was going to leave and the management company, where we were going to sublease from the current tenant for 3 months and a half paying our rent upfront to the management company.When the current tenant was leaving the building, she found our from the management company that since we were already living in the building, my roommate and I didn't need to go through the broker. So, we applied straight with the building and got our application approved. Meanwhile, the broker was showing the apartment to other people and saying that if I stayed I would have to pay him a full broker fee, much more expensive than the one he initially brought up (15% of yearly rent = 4,305).Now, he is suing me and claiming that I owe him this full broker fee. So, I am wondering if he has any right to claim that in this case.Please let me know.Best,
Manuela
Expert:  Barrister replied 18 days ago.

If you had no written agreement with this person, and you did not go through him to actually rent the apartment, then you don't owe him anything because you went through the tenant directly initially and the broker wasn't a "procuring cause" of you entering a lease. Further, you never agreed to pay any higher amount than the 1725 initially discussed.

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Had the broker had you sign a contract, or had you approached them first, before the tenant, then I see him having a legitimate claim.

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However, if the broker assisted in getting you signed up under the new lease, I can see a judge ordering you to pay the originally agreed on 1725...

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thanks

Barrister