Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Commission Earned, Says the People's Court

Commission Earned, Says the People's Court

People's CourtI was watching The People's Court while eating lunch this afternoon and I'm so proud of Judge Milian for holding a Landlord to a contract!!  Many Sellers and Landlords think they can get out of real estate contracts, but it's just not true.

This Broker takes a landlord to court for $1000 for a rental renewal on one of his properties.  I can't get my Broker to sue for $5000 commissions, but this guy had time to sue for just $1000. 

Here's what happened.  Out of town landlord in Florida puts his condo up for rent.  Broker finds a tenant.  Towards the end of the lease, the tenant gives his notice to move out.  The Landlord then hires another brokerage in Florida to find a new tenant.  A month later, the current tenant decides he wants to stay.  He calls the new broker and they work out the details.  He asks the new Broker what he owed them, and new broker said he didn't owe him anything.

Judge Milian is so smart, she picked up on this.  The Landlord felt that since the tenant gave notice and he had hired a new brokerage, that his contract with the first Broker was not valid anymore.  The problem is, the lease was never interrupted and the tenant never moved out, therefore it is a true lease renewal under the original contract.  Judge Milian even pointed out that the new Broker kindly stepped aside because they knew the first Broker would have every right to that commission and sue the other broker for the commission and for getting in the way of a valid contract.

The way they were cutting to commercials, it sounded like the new Broker made a bad decision so I was prepared to say who the broker was and the name of the agent, but in the end, the new Broker did the right thing and, most importantly, our Commission agreements are held up in court!!  I'm so excited!!

Comment balloon 1 commentDonna Harris • November 06 2006 04:40PM


It's good when our agreements are held up in court.  I just had someone (listed with another agent) who wants to buy a piece of land with me ask how he could get out of paying the listing agent on his property a commission because he called one of these "I'll buy it" type places.  He told me that the agent had only had it for a couple of weeks and hadn't done "anything" yet except for; take pictures, put up the sign, post on the MLS, arrange for another agent to show it, and get it in the paper once.  I wanted to tell him to kiss off (I made it polite and just told him that the agent has the listing agreement).  I hope when he works he doesn't get paid either.  I know I don't want to represent him in the land purchase now! 
Posted by Chris Tesch, College Station, Texas Real Estate (RE/MAX Bryan-College Station) about 14 years ago