Estate Agent fees for finding a rented apt.

Can a foreigner buy...? Can a foreigner rent...? What about deposits? Bad neighbors? Unreasonable landlords? Miscellaneous problems?
Forum rules
While the moderators are happy to help point people in the right direction for legal assistance and to attempt to keep these forums civil and tidy, please bear in mind that an Internet forum is not the place for providing or receiving legal advice or for the creation of any attorney-client privileges or obligations. Also keep in mind that Forumosa and the moderators cannot conduct comprehensive reviews of all laws or legal concepts referenced or discussed within these forums – laws and regulations are updated and amended, interpretations do change, and sometimes the legal landscape can change very fast. Forumosa provides these legal forums for general informational purposes only. By using these legal forums, you agree that the information does not constitute legal or other professional advice and no attorney-client or other relationship is created between you and any other posters on these forums. DO NOT CONSIDER THE FORUMS TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR OBTAINING LEGAL ADVICE FROM A QUALIFIED LICENSED ATTORNEY.

Re: Estate Agent fees for finding a rented apt.

Postby robert » 14 Sep 2011, 14:58

I agree he should have disclosed this fee to you before anything. It is a common practice for each the landlord and tenant to pay 50% of one months rent to the agent. Real estate agents are some of the best cheaters out there but at any rate you owe the agent money and in this case its 50% of one months rent. Refusing to pay and it could get ugly, fast.
robert
Memorized My Password (gāng jìhǎo zìjǐ de mìmǎ)
 
Posts: 44
Joined: 14 May 2009, 15:31
2 Recognized(s)



Re: Estate Agent fees for finding a rented apt.

Postby Lo Bo To » 14 Sep 2011, 18:18

I'm gonna take him to court. He is in the wrong. Last I checked an assumption of contract had no meaning. I would have made some sort of negotiation but since he won't then too bad.
Forumosan avatar
Lo Bo To
Bird Walker (liù niǎo de rén)
 
Posts: 1415
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 31 Aug 2005, 16:44
Location: Taipei
1 Recommends(s)
6 Recognized(s)



Re: Estate Agent fees for finding a rented apt.

Postby Toasty » 14 Sep 2011, 18:26

Lo Bo To wrote:I'm gonna take him to court. He is in the wrong. Last I checked an assumption of contract had no meaning. I would have made some sort of negotiation but since he won't then too bad.


The fees are a standard rate in Taiwan. One month finder's fee, split between renter and rentee is always paid to an agent. This is why, much like DB, I don't use them. Your options here are to pay or decline the apartment. I predict failure in your proposed lawsuit as the fees are standard, acceptable practice here. Depending on how bad the landlord wants you to rent the place, s/he may also discreetly offer to pay the whole fee, then tell the agent to say he's waiving your fee, thus letting you feel as if you've won.
I'm the toast with the most.
Forumosan avatar
Toasty
Second Landlord (èr fáng dōng)
Second Landlord (èr fáng dōng)
 
Posts: 2401
Joined: 17 May 2004, 21:59
Location: Getting Toasted
9 Recommends(s)
21 Recognized(s)



Re: Estate Agent fees for finding a rented apt.

Postby finley » 14 Sep 2011, 18:30

Wot Toasty said. The agent probably didn't explain because he assumed you know how it works; I've done this once or twice (when necessary). Agents can be irritating, but if they've done a good job then they've earned their fee ... and I must say I consider the 50-50 split a fair arrangement. If you don't like them (and if you're not in a hurry, you really don't need one) then don't use them. You're not going to achieve anything by getting lawyers involved.
"Global warming is happening and we KNOW that man is 100 percent responsible!!!"
- Fred Smith
Forumosan avatar
finley
Thinking of Staging a Coup (xiǎng yào gǎo zhèng biàn)
Thinking of Staging a Coup (xiǎng yào gǎo zhèng biàn)
 
Posts: 6179
Joined: 20 Jan 2011, 23:34
926 Recommends(s)
688 Recognized(s)



Re: Estate Agent fees for finding a rented apt.

Postby The Daily Drucker » 14 Sep 2011, 18:56

Recently I used an agent. I was schooled on what to say and how to use an agent. Most importantly you have to use them to drive the amount of the rent down. If you give the agent, say 10% of the month's rent you can pretty much stand on their head to negotiate with the landlord to get that price down. They will have your back and you will get a "local" price for it if you know what you are doing. That 10% just means you are serious and if they get the rate you want their commission is as good as in their pocket. You would just pay the difference in the half months rent. If they do not get it, they return the money to you. It is not additional, its just good will called 斡旋 wo4xuan2. If you say this they will know exactly what you are talking about and know that this means business. I saved nearly 10k on my last apartment per month. It started at 38k and dropped to 33k, I offered 27k to the agent and paid the woxuan and the landlord wouldn't talk to me. I negotiated up to 28k and the agent got me a meeting. :discodance: The meeting was a 2 hour battle all in Chinese and the agent was pushing for me to get it the whole time. It was almost like he was my pitbull. We got the price I was looking for and the relationship we built with the landlord was very good. They knew I wanted this place, and gave in! :bravo:

I had a great apartment in Xindian I got on my own without an agent but its best to go on websites like yong qing or 591 and they both will tell you if there is a fee to pay right on the add. An agent is not too necessary when living in xin bei shi. Downtown Taipei is expensive and if you are looking for a new place with any sort of pingage it's rather tough under 50k. It is very legit and my agent informed me in Chinese and in English prior to moving forward.

My experience was fun and was the first one I closed in Chinese 100%. The agent help give me credibility and knew what buttons to push, I just made sure I followed through on pushing them.
World Gym Neihu District
www.worldgymtaiwan.com
Here We Grow Again!!!!
Forumosan avatar
The Daily Drucker
Memorized My Password (gāng jìhǎo zìjǐ de mìmǎ)
 
Posts: 67
Joined: 16 Sep 2010, 13:32



Re: Estate Agent fees for finding a rented apt.

Postby Lo Bo To » 14 Sep 2011, 19:18

I just spoke with a lawyer concerning this matter and he said that there is no way that the company can demand any fee from me at all cause there was no contract signed by me to pay anything.

But actually the Taiwanese woman that I was with was asked to sign a piece of paper after being told that it was for his companies reference to prove he had shown us the apartments but said nothing about a fee. But apparently it did say something about it at the bottom of the paper. She should have read it more carefully I admit and so does she. But according to my lawyer it's beside the point cause I never signed anything.

That's what I thought.
Forumosan avatar
Lo Bo To
Bird Walker (liù niǎo de rén)
 
Posts: 1415
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 31 Aug 2005, 16:44
Location: Taipei
1 Recommends(s)
6 Recognized(s)



Re: Estate Agent fees for finding a rented apt.

Postby Toasty » 14 Sep 2011, 19:43

Lo Bo To wrote:I just spoke with a lawyer concerning this matter and he said that there is no way that the company can demand any fee from me at all cause there was no contract signed by me to pay anything.

But actually the Taiwanese woman that I was with was asked to sign a piece of paper after being told that it was for his companies reference to prove he had shown us the apartments but said nothing about a fee. But apparently it did say something about it at the bottom of the paper. She should have read it more carefully I admit and so does she. But according to my lawyer it's beside the point cause I never signed anything.

That's what I thought.


You would have signed a contract, which would have mentioned the fees, if you had agreed to pay. Your lawyer sounds like he was telling you that you don't have to pay when there is no contract involved and not that the fee itself is illegal. I doubt that he would take on your case and if he did, he would not do so on a contingency basis.

There is nothing unusual, illegal or untoward about an agent's finder's fee for renting an apartment, nor is the one you were asked to pay overly expensive. It is 100% standard. You were being treated fairly, like everyone else. Unfortunately-- and you're not going to like my saying so-- you and your lack of local knowledge are the only sources of conflict and misunderstanding in this case.
I'm the toast with the most.
Forumosan avatar
Toasty
Second Landlord (èr fáng dōng)
Second Landlord (èr fáng dōng)
 
Posts: 2401
Joined: 17 May 2004, 21:59
Location: Getting Toasted
9 Recommends(s)
21 Recognized(s)



Re: Estate Agent fees for finding a rented apt.

Postby Lo Bo To » 14 Sep 2011, 20:33

Toasty wrote:
Lo Bo To wrote:I just spoke with a lawyer concerning this matter and he said that there is no way that the company can demand any fee from me at all cause there was no contract signed by me to pay anything.

But actually the Taiwanese woman that I was with was asked to sign a piece of paper after being told that it was for his companies reference to prove he had shown us the apartments but said nothing about a fee. But apparently it did say something about it at the bottom of the paper. She should have read it more carefully I admit and so does she. But according to my lawyer it's beside the point cause I never signed anything.

That's what I thought.


You would have signed a contract, which would have mentioned the fees, if you had agreed to pay. Your lawyer sounds like he was telling you that you don't have to pay when there is no contract involved and not that the fee itself is illegal. I doubt that he would take on your case and if he did, he would not do so on a contingency basis.

There is nothing unusual, illegal or untoward about an agent's finder's fee for renting an apartment, nor is the one you were asked to pay overly expensive. It is 100% standard. You were being treated fairly, like everyone else. Unfortunately-- and you're not going to like my saying so-- you and your lack of local knowledge are the only sources of conflict and misunderstanding in this case.


Whether the fee is standard or not I believe is beside the point. I never signed anything with the real estate company. I only signed the lease with the landlord. I guess my Taiwanese friend is also ignorant of local knowledge as well then. But like I said. It doesn't matter about "common knowledge" in this case in my and my lawyers opinion. I never agreed to the terms with the real estate company cause I never signed anything with them.
Forumosan avatar
Lo Bo To
Bird Walker (liù niǎo de rén)
 
Posts: 1415
ORIGINAL POSTER
Joined: 31 Aug 2005, 16:44
Location: Taipei
1 Recommends(s)
6 Recognized(s)



Re: Estate Agent fees for finding a rented apt.

Postby Toasty » 14 Sep 2011, 21:20

Lo Bo To wrote:
Toasty wrote:
Lo Bo To wrote:I just spoke with a lawyer concerning this matter and he said that there is no way that the company can demand any fee from me at all cause there was no contract signed by me to pay anything.

But actually the Taiwanese woman that I was with was asked to sign a piece of paper after being told that it was for his companies reference to prove he had shown us the apartments but said nothing about a fee. But apparently it did say something about it at the bottom of the paper. She should have read it more carefully I admit and so does she. But according to my lawyer it's beside the point cause I never signed anything.

That's what I thought.


You would have signed a contract, which would have mentioned the fees, if you had agreed to pay. Your lawyer sounds like he was telling you that you don't have to pay when there is no contract involved and not that the fee itself is illegal. I doubt that he would take on your case and if he did, he would not do so on a contingency basis.

There is nothing unusual, illegal or untoward about an agent's finder's fee for renting an apartment, nor is the one you were asked to pay overly expensive. It is 100% standard. You were being treated fairly, like everyone else. Unfortunately-- and you're not going to like my saying so-- you and your lack of local knowledge are the only sources of conflict and misunderstanding in this case.


Whether the fee is standard or not I believe is beside the point. I never signed anything with the real estate company. I only signed the lease with the landlord. I guess my Taiwanese friend is also ignorant of local knowledge as well then. But like I said. It doesn't matter about "common knowledge" in this case in my and my lawyers opinion. I never agreed to the terms with the real estate company cause I never signed anything with them.


No, the fee being standard practice IS the point. You didn't know about it, got upset when you found out how much it was, refused to pay and you're now threatening to sue. Nobody has mistreated you. Nobody has overcharged you. The one-month fee is what EVERY agent charges. If you don't like it, then you don't use an agent. It's that simple.

Why talk about this situation as if it were anyone else's fault? You didn't know about the fee and got upset when you found out how much it is. Case closed. Your agent did work and he deserves his fee, regardless of your ignorance. Pay up or find another place. Whatever you do, please apologise to the agent and the prospective landlord for letting your misunderstanding create a situation like this.

As for "your lawyer," he isn't yours. You haven't paid his fees yet, either. If you want to retain his services, you'll pay a heck of a lot more than if you had simply paid the agent.
I'm the toast with the most.
Forumosan avatar
Toasty
Second Landlord (èr fáng dōng)
Second Landlord (èr fáng dōng)
 
Posts: 2401
Joined: 17 May 2004, 21:59
Location: Getting Toasted
9 Recommends(s)
21 Recognized(s)



Re: Estate Agent fees for finding a rented apt.

Postby finley » 15 Sep 2011, 07:32

It sounds to me as if he's grumbling not about the fee per se, but because the agent still wants his money despite the deal falling through.

Normally the fee is payable when contracts are signed (that is, when the property is actually rented out). Agents don't normally charge a fee simply for saying "look, here's an apartment. Any good?".

The OP was certainly rude and naive, but he was under no obligation to actually put pen to paper, even if his reasoning was spurious, and the agent shouldn't still be asking for money. An apology might be in order though.
"Global warming is happening and we KNOW that man is 100 percent responsible!!!"
- Fred Smith
Forumosan avatar
finley
Thinking of Staging a Coup (xiǎng yào gǎo zhèng biàn)
Thinking of Staging a Coup (xiǎng yào gǎo zhèng biàn)
 
Posts: 6179
Joined: 20 Jan 2011, 23:34
926 Recommends(s)
688 Recognized(s)



FRIENDLY REMINDER
   Please remember that Forumosa is not responsible for the content that appears on the other side of links that Forumosans post on our forums. As a discussion website, we encourage open and frank debate. We have learned that the most effective way to address questionable claims or accusations on Forumosa is by engaging in a sincere and constructive conversation. To make this website work, we must all feel safe in expressing our opinions, this also means backing up any claims with hard facts, including links to other websites.
   Please also remember that one should not believe everything one reads on the Internet, particularly from websites whose content cannot be easily verified or substantiated. Use your common sense and do not hesitate to ask for proof.
PreviousNext




Proceed to Legal Issues in Real Estate & Housing



Who is online

Forumosans browsing this forum: No Forumosans and 1 visitor

Remember this - very little is needed to make a happy life -- MARCUS AURELIUS