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Scott E. Mollen

Brokerage—Arbitration Award Denying A Brokerage Commission Vacated—Award Was Arbitrary and Violative of Public Policy –Wife Signed Agreement—Husband Owned the Apartment—A Failure to Understand, Focus On, Or Recall Commission Agreement Is Not A Defense

A petitioner broker (broker) had moved to vacate an arbitration award which was in favor of the husband and wife respondents. The husband respondent owned the subject apartment. The owners retained the broker to find a tenant. The broker and the respondent wife had entered into an agreement that provided that the broker was entitled to a six percent commission if a tenant found by the broker purchased the apartment within six months after the lease expired, or within six months after the expiration of any extension of the lease (agreement).

The broker found tenants for the apartment. The tenants’ lease expired on July 14, 2013. The tenants continued to live in the apartment pursuant to an oral arrangement with the respondents until July 10, 2014, when they purchased the apartment for $3.05 million. The respondents refused to pay the broker a commission on the sale. The parties went to arbitration. After the arbitrator denied the broker’s claim for a commission, the broker commenced the subject proceeding to vacate the arbitrator’s decision and to recover its commission.

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