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Agent is asking brokerage after we moved in

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asey
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Agent is asking brokerage after we moved in

Postby asey » Tue, 12 Sep 2017 4:47 pm

Hi guys,

Need your help.

I and my husband had contacted an agent through .. As advised by our friends, we confirmed with the agent whether he was representing the owner when I first talked to him on phone regarding the condo. He said, "yes, I represent the owner'. So we went ahead, checked the place and decide to take it. The agent got us the lease or tenancy agreement after all the negotiation on rent, contract duration, and clauses. Nowhere did he mention that we need to pay any brokerage. In fact, it has been a month since we moved in. And now he came and handed over an invoice to us with the brokerage of one month rent to be paid. He just said "my bill" and left. He didn't even say we need to pay. None of the documents or tenancy agreement mention that we hired the agent. Now before discussing with him anything, we want to get our facts cleared. What should we do in this case? In case, the agent forces us to pay, what can we do? What will happen if we deny payment? Kindly help us. Thank you.

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ecureilx
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Re: Agent is asking brokerage after we moved in

Postby ecureilx » Tue, 12 Sep 2017 5:27 pm

asey wrote:Hi guys,

Need your help.

I and my husband had contacted an agent through .. As advised by our friends, we confirmed with the agent whether he was representing the owner when I first talked to him on phone regarding the condo. He said, "yes, I represent the owner'. So we went ahead, checked the place and decide to take it. The agent got us the lease or tenancy agreement after all the negotiation on rent, contract duration, and clauses. Nowhere did he mention that we need to pay any brokerage. In fact, it has been a month since we moved in. And now he came and handed over an invoice to us with the brokerage of one month rent to be paid. He just said "my bill" and left. He didn't even say we need to pay. None of the documents or tenancy agreement mention that we hired the agent. Now before discussing with him anything, we want to get our facts cleared. What should we do in this case? In case, the agent forces us to pay, what can we do? What will happen if we deny payment? Kindly help us. Thank you.
Take down his name, CEA registration no, call CEA, ask for advice

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Re: Agent is asking brokerage after we moved in

Postby taxico » Tue, 12 Sep 2017 8:12 pm

tell him to go get it from the LL. THE END.

he's trying to pull a fast one. threaten that you will make a report.

also, the commission is not a fixed sum. so if there was no agreed sum, there is no money to be paid.

also, how long is your tenancy?
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asey
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Re: Agent is asking brokerage after we moved in

Postby asey » Tue, 12 Sep 2017 9:36 pm

Thank you Ecurelix. Would do that!

asey
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Re: Agent is asking brokerage after we moved in

Postby asey » Tue, 12 Sep 2017 9:40 pm

Thank you Taxico. Yes, exactly! There was no discussion at all for any sort of commission. It will be a hassle dealing with him now. Our agreement is for 2 years. It can be broken with a notice of 2 months if we have to move out of Singapore or if my husband changes his job in Singapore.

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Re: Agent is asking brokerage after we moved in

Postby x9200 » Tue, 12 Sep 2017 10:24 pm

Just to add, this sort of brokerage the agent tries to impose on you is illegal as by law the same agent can not represent both parties.

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Re: Agent is asking brokerage after we moved in

Postby PNGMK » Wed, 13 Sep 2017 7:33 am

Take a copy of the invoice. If he asks for it back return the copy, not the original. This was cleared up a few years back. LL pays commission, not the tenant.
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brian_singapore
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Re: Agent is asking brokerage after we moved in

Postby brian_singapore » Wed, 13 Sep 2017 11:31 am

There is typically a clause in the lease where the LL acknowledges the agent is acting on his behalf and owes the agent commission (and it typically lays out the commission charge).

Is there anything in the lease similar to this?

asey
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Re: Agent is asking brokerage after we moved in

Postby asey » Wed, 13 Sep 2017 11:36 am

no there is nothing related to agent fee in the agreement.

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ecureilx
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Re: Agent is asking brokerage after we moved in

Postby ecureilx » Wed, 13 Sep 2017 11:59 am

asey wrote:no there is nothing related to agent fee in the agreement.


If he didn't let you sing an agreement appointing him as your agent,

and the agreement too doesn't mention nothing about agency fee

And the agent mentioned you don't need to pay agency fee, over the phone.

As I said, call CEA. https://www.cea.gov.sg/

Quote the agent's License # and Name.

Ask them for help.

If the agent sends a reminder or whatever, don't respond. Just tell him you are checking the past communication to confirm if you need to pay the bill.

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Re: Agent is asking brokerage after we moved in

Postby rarkins » Thu, 14 Sep 2017 1:29 pm

I wouldn't mind guessing that the agent somehow missed out on getting paid by the landlord and so now is trying to collect from the tenants. If he actually did get paid by the LL already then it's pretty brazen considering how clear-cut illegal it is to attempt to collect money from both parties. Interested to hear how this one ends!

asey
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Re: Agent is asking brokerage after we moved in

Postby asey » Fri, 15 Sep 2017 1:00 pm

Hi rarkins,
I feel what you have said is the exact situation.

We are in touch with the previous tenant and he too confirmed that this agent is owner's representative and should take his fee from the landlord.

Now, we called the agent to clarify this. We started by saying that "we initiated the process only after we confirmed with you that you represent the owner. Why do we need to pay now?" He agreed that he said he is owner's rep but that does not necessarily mean that he would recieve his fee from the LL.

Then my husband argued that "why didn't you ever mention this in the whole process? Ideally, at least it should have come up while signing the rental agreement. It is a huge sum and you never talked about it." etc etc

To this, agent said "I don't want much dispute. If the amount is huge for you, you can consider giving half of it. I will not get a single penny for this deal. I don't want to spoil our relation because of this. I can't take money from both parties also."

He will come again to discuss. I feel bad for him but I think we are not supposed to pay him anything because there was nothing signed, nothing discussed. We can think of paying 100-200 bucks out of courtsey but then that would be too small for him. But we can't afford to pay half the rent.

I will update whatever happens.
Thank you for your time guys.

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Re: Agent is asking brokerage after we moved in

Postby rarkins » Fri, 15 Sep 2017 1:19 pm

Did the agent have keys to let you in to the apartment for viewing or was the previous tenant still living there and simply answered the doorbell? That could explain how the agent may have shown you the apartment without really having full permission of the owner. On the other hand, if the LL had decided to change agents and the old one was hoping to "win them back" then the tenant presumably would have seen the other agent too and let you know that. Most likely guess is that the landlord is at fault however the agent has shown very poor manners and people skills in the way he's attempted to collect money from you, so there may be another explanation.

Regardless of what the explanation is, it can still be bad for you:
1. You need to know how you should interact with the LL/agent in future. i.e. with whom should you deal with?
2. If the LL has done anything unethical here, that's probably a sign of a general lack of ethics and you should be cautious about future dealings, especially your security deposit when you move out.

I would advise that you (a) take a huge amount of photos of the condition of the apartment and make sure any existing damage or wear/tear is acknowledged by the owner or with some independent third party if you can't reach the owner, and (b) you insist that the agent needs to explain to you what happened between him and the LL so you can judge for yourself what is the right thing to do.

To be clear: you definitely owe the agent nothing legally or ethically so consider any payment to be courtesy/generosity as you said.

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Re: Agent is asking brokerage after we moved in

Postby ecureilx » Fri, 15 Sep 2017 1:37 pm

asey wrote:Now, we called the agent to clarify this. We started by saying that "we initiated the process only after we confirmed with you that you represent the owner. Why do we need to pay now?" He agreed that he said he is owner's rep but that does not necessarily mean that he would recieve his fee from the LL.


That's not your problem, unless you are able claim back the fee from, say, your employer ? :)

asey wrote:To this, agent said "I don't want much dispute. If the amount is huge for you, you can consider giving half of it. I will not get a single penny for this deal. I don't want to spoil our relation because of this. I can't take money from both parties also."

He will come again to discuss. I feel bad for him but I think we are not supposed to pay him anything because there was nothing signed, nothing discussed. We can think of paying 100-200 bucks out of courtsey but then that would be too small for him. But we can't afford to pay half the rent.

I will update whatever happens.
Thank you for your time guys.


My 2 cents, don't meet up to discuss, unless you are willing to cough up 50% of the rental. Or more.

Anything less than that, I can safely say, it will not go nice. 200/300 ? mmmm I doubt it ..

If you are feeling generous, go ahead.

If not, sorry to say, me says find an excuse. And don't meet. As you have no obligation to meet and discuss something that you are not going to resolve - i.e. by paying,

Best : My employer will not reimburse as this was not indicated in advance :D

Sorry Rarkin: I will not want to get involved between the LL and agent. What happened between them is none of my concern. Rule # 1 in my life now. Don't stick your nose into problems unless you want to resolve it or want to be part of the problem, or solution.

asey
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Re: Agent is asking brokerage after we moved in

Postby asey » Fri, 15 Sep 2017 1:41 pm

@rarkins
Because the previous tenant was staying here when we first saw the condo, the agent had arranged for a viewing time after discussing with the tenant. So yes, he rung the doorbell, and the tenant and the agent had let us view the place. We wanted to see the place again before finalizing and that time tenant was out of Singapore and had left the keys with the agent. So, the second time agent had the keys. (This was discussed between them in front of us on our first visit.)

Now yes, this is a concern for us as you said if the LL is at fault. We have the LL's contact number (not from agent) but haven't got in touch with him yet. As you suggested, we will try to get his email id and send him all the pictures.

Thank you for this valuable advice!


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