Skip to main content

Is oral agreement to pay real estate agent a one month rent fee enforceable?

New York, NY |

I am a rental agent. I usually have clients sign an agreement stating they will pay me a one month fee if they rent the apartment I show them. Of course the one time I did not have a client sign there is a disagreement. I showed my client an apartment. He said he liked it but needed to discuss with his wife. He called me the next day and said that he had already signed the lease and said he will of course pay my fee of one month rent. After not taking my calls for several days, he called and said he will only pay a portion of my fee. He sent me a check for $200. The agreed upon fee was $1900. What can I do?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Bring an action in small claims court. You are entitled to your fee.

    This e-mail may contain confidential or privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately by return e-mail and delete this e-mail and all copies and attachments. If you are not the intended recipient, or the employee or agent responsible for delivering the message to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. IRS Circular 230 Notice: Unless specifically stated otherwise, any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. Unless specifically stated otherwise, this communication shall not be deemed to be legal or tax advice, and no attorney-client relationship shall be deemed to have been created.


  2. Doesn't hurt to try a small claims lawsuit. May have a problem proving your case.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or www.mynewyorkcitylawyer.com.


  3. Hire an attorney to send a demand letter to the tenant, warning the tenant of civil action, including a cause of action for legal fees, if the tenant doesnt send the check for the remainder within 7 days. The demand letter should be a simple matter. Please contact a civil litigation attorney, such as myself, to discuss the drafting of a demand letter.

    If the demand letter is unsuccessful then your only option is small claims court. Best of luck.

Real estate topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics