Commissions, Real Estate Broker, Tenant Skip, Breach of Lease, Down Payments, Condominium Dues and Assessments

The Real Property Law places strict requirements on law suits involving Real Estate Brokers or Real Estate Sales Persons. While New York generally requires that any broker seeking a commission be the procuring cause of the sale or lease, there are numerous exceptions which arise because clients always try to get out of paying commissions. If a tenant defaults soon after the lease is signed, the landlord still has to pay the commission, unless the agreement with the broker states otherwise. Sometimes, it takes several hours of fact gathering and additional legal research to determine if a commission is really due. Even a lengthy investigation is entirely free if it is determined that there was no valid reason to sue.

Tenants who run out on a lease are generally liable for the remainder of the stated lease term. New York eliminated the need for any mitigation efforts. Recent cases interpret the good guy guaranty strictly and required the guarantor to be in complete compliance with all conditions needed to end the guaranty.


The law has already recognized that unit owners who fail to pay dues and assessments are “lining their own pockets at the expense of the other unit owners who are dutifully paying their common charges which are in turn used to maintain the premises.” (2009 opinion by a Supreme Court judge).

With a contingent fee attorney, the Board can sue delinquent unit owners without wasting the dwindling reserve money on lawyer’s fees.

The New York Real Property Law states that the by-laws govern the property and that the unit owners have to comply with the by-laws and regulations.  The condominium can file a lien for unpaid charges.  The lien is valid for 6 years.  A law suit for the unpaid charges does not affect the lien.  To encourage prompt payment, the Board can impose a late charge as well as attorney fees and, also, the highest interest allowed by law, currently, a 16% annual rate.