Property Manager Double-Charging Commission for breaking lease

3 Replies

Lease dates: 4/15/2017 - 5/31/2018
Location: San Francisco Bay Area 

Upon moving in tenants paid first month rent + security deposit (equal to 1 month rent) + $1,963 commission for property manager for the duration of the lease (cashiers check made out directly to property manager).

Tenants mailed their monthly rent check directly to the homeowner for the monthly rent.

Tenants notified property manager at beginning of September that they needed to relocate for a job opportunity, at the beginning of November.

Tenants posted ad to Craigslist, showed the property and found new tenants.

Tenants moved out on 11/3/17. New tenants moved in on 11/5/17.

Property manager is now stating they owe an additional $1,860 for his commission on the NEW lease (in addition to empty days and cleaning fee). Tenants are fine paying for empty days and cleaning fee, but have an issue with the additional $1,860 for the commission.

Anyone have experience with this? I've never heard of a property manager getting paid commission TWICE. The new tenants should have paid the same commission the old tenants did. You can't double-dip on rent, but can you on commission? Property manager is saying this is fair since they would have been on the hook for the missed rent (Nov-May), but that's not the case b/c new tenants moved in and signed a lease.

@Barbara Whiffen - it depends on the lease.  In my area if the tenant breaks the lease (which it sounds like they did) then they are responsible for the rent until a new tenant moves in, cleaning/damages, and the cost associated with leasing it out again (commissions)

We allow the tenant to market it out themselves, and if they find a qualified applicant the commission is not charged.

But yes, your PM should be charging a commission each time they lease it out 

I would have a problem if they tenants stopped paying and had to be evicted in the first few months, but this does not sound like the case

@Brie Schmidt But the tenants already paid his commission ($1,963) at the signing of the lease. Do they owe the commission AGAIN? He's charging them $1,860 (which is 5% of a 12 month lease of $3,100/month).

Also, lease doesn't say anything about breaking the lease and the fees that will be incurred if the lease is broken.

Barbara, the tenant should pay the leasing fee because they are the one creating the situation

However, it all depends on what you and the property manager agreed to. If you didn't agree to it in writing, you may want to correct that sooner rather than later.

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