Things Renters Should Know when Dealing with a Real Estate Agent
Anyone in the business of finding living accommodations for another for a fee, commission, or other valuable consideration must be licensed as a real estate broker or salesperson.
* Make sure the real estate agent is licensed and in good standing with the Board. Call (617) 727-2373.
* When seeking to rent or lease an apartment, house, or condominium through a real estate broker or salesperson, you may be asked to complete an application. Know what you are signing. Some applications may bind you to a fee that must be paid whether or not you ever sign a lease. Even when a standard application form (a form that contains “standard” language) is used, you can submit the application with changes that reflect your terms.
* There are no “agency disclosure” regulations for agents finding rental or lease property for a fee. Ask who the agent represents – you or the landlord?
* If you are asked to make a deposit, find out what the deposit will be applied to – first or last month’s rent, security deposit, or a fee and under what circumstances, if any, might you forfeit any portion of that money.
* Determine whether it is you or the landlord who will pay the agent’s commission. If you are required to pay the commission, find out when the payment is due.
It is illegal for an apartment listing service to advertise or otherwise represent listings that claim to meet certain specifications when, in fact, they do not, or to state that it has listings meeting certain specifications when it has no such listings. It is also illegal for an apartment listing service to induce you to sign a contract by falsely representing that it has listings that conform to your requirements at the time the contract is executed.