We continue with our mid-summer of ask curbed broker love with a reader question that involves three of our favorite things: brokers, nudity, and the law. Here goes:
I was just treated very rudely by a sr managing director at a well respected real estate group when I complained about the actions of a broker from his office. A broker picked up keys to view the apt I live in from the management company. She neither inquired nor did the management company make a statement as to whether or not the apt was vacant (she admitted to this). She came to view the property and entered without either knocking or ringing the doorbell by our door (she admitted to this). This happened after I had just gotten out of the shower. I'm sure brokers have walked into more awkward situations than this when showing apts, but I can't seem to get a straight answer from anyone as to who was in the wrong here.
Does a broker have a duty to inquire as to whether or not a property is vacant if he or she is not provided with that info? If the broker does not know the status of the apt, does he or she have a duty to approach it as though it was not vacant and announce the visit by knocking or other means? As one must be licensed in this field, I would think there are standards, at the very least, if not regulations, governing these issues...To the comments, please. Keep it clean, kids.
My impression of the market is that a majority apartments for rental come out to the market while the exiting tenant is still living there because of the structure of leases and lead-time requirement for giving notice about ending a lease. Which owner wants to have an apt sitting vacant while it is shown when they could otherwise be collecting rent on it? The broker was not with a client and was viewing the apartment for the first time, presumably to get photos. So obviously, it is a "new listing." Brokers are just starting, really, to view this apt. Apartments that are new to the market seem even more likely to still have a tenant. Doesn't it make more sense that a broker would want to give a cautionary knock before they entered given these kinds of odds and the structure of the market?
Am I simply reading too much into this as a law student and shouldn't feel so violated?
I thought it was proper to notify this broker's company about my complaint. I didn't yell, swear, cry, etc. Was it wrong to think someone higher up would be apologetic about the actions of this broker even if there wasn't a technical breach of duty or improper conduct? All the other brokers have knocked.
Is there anything wrong with this situation?
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