ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Can't Get No Satisfaction

130pxnew_york_state_seal A previous post summarized Srour v. Dwelling Quest Corp., a New York case concerning when a real estate broker’s job is fully performed, entitling her to a fee.  There, the parties’ contract defined the broker’s job as “assisting in the location and renting of a suitable apartment.” 

The New York Court of Appeals decided the case yesterday, unanimously reversing the appellate decision in a summary memorandum.  The lesson: you have to satisfy the conditions of your agreement to earn a brokerage fee.  The court held:

Here, the rental agreement obligated the defendant-broker to assist plaintiff in renting a "suitable apartment" and provided that the broker's commission was to be paid "at the time of lease signing"; however, the apartment had become uninhabitable by the time the landlord signed the lease.  Accordingly, the defendant-broker did not satisfy the brokerage agreement's condition, and is not entitled to any commission.

[Meredith R. Miller]

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