Is It legal to ask for the realtor fee and the first months rent. Upon signing the agreement if the lease is for next month.

I signed a lease yesterday to start on 6/15/13 for a rental. I read through it today the realtor had me make 2 checks out one for her fee and one for the 1st months rent. It states I will pay the security deposit on the move in date. Is that the correct way for me to enter into an agreement. I had to make them both payable for 5/13/13

Hackensack, NJ -

Attorney Answers (2)

Sandra A Joseph

Sandra A Joseph

Landlord / Tenant Lawyer - Hoboken, NJ
Answered

Here's why; If you paid a security deposit and changed your mind about renting the apt, the LL would have to return your security deposit in full. The LL does not have to return the first month's rent becuase the LL took the apt off the market. The broker has fulfilled its obligation to find you an apt and therefore it is entitled to its fee as outlined in the agreement you signed with broker. This common in NJ. I always advise my LL to take the first month's rent rather than the security to hold an apartment. Many LL will request, the first's months rent and security at lease signing.

Steven Todd Keppler

Steven Todd Keppler

Landlord / Tenant Lawyer - Somerville, NJ
Answered

If you went through a broker, he or she is entitled to a fee which you agreed to by contract. This is separate and apart from any agreement or agreed-upon rental agreement (e.g. lease) you entered into with the landlord. I see nothing untoward about this arrangement.

The foregoing is not legal advice, and nothing in the foregoing shall be deemed to create an attorney client... more

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