Is it legal for a managing agent to charge a “Finders Fee” of 25% for renewing a lease?

UPDATED: Jul 15, 2010

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Is it legal for a managing agent to charge a “Finders Fee” of 25% for renewing a lease?

Management Agreement states: 50% of the first months rent for 7 months lease and a further 25% should they renew or 50% for a 12 month lease. For tenants that renew after 12 months,there is a lease renewal fee of $200. Would like to know if such a clause is legal, especially since the tenant is laready onthe lease?

Asked on July 15, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

A fee on renewal, unless you are in some sort of public housing (which is governed by various rules, regulations, and statutes) is probably legal if it was in a lease that the tenant has already signed and thereby agreed to. Parties typically have a great deal of freedom to contract, including agreeing to various additional charges, administrative fees, etc. For a more definitive answer, bring the lease to an attorney with landlord-tenant experience who can review it for you; as a general matter though, in the absence of statutes, etc. to the contrary (which would most likely be on public housing, as noted; private housing is largely unregulated, other than barring discrimination and ensuring proper building, safety, zoning, etc. code compliance), parties may freely contract as they like.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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