Is it legal for a former broker to refuse to give me....

Six month's ago, I ended my relationship with my former employer, a small real estate brokerage business in Sunny Isles Beach, FL [SIB Realty]. My files, keys personal computers and just about everything work related remained in HER office.

I was told by the broker- my former employer- that whatever I brought in to the office must stay there... It is no longer mine. Now... I have no files or records...

I requested via every way imaginable to request my personal property back.... I want a copy of the Independent Contractor Agreement...

The very agreement that sets out how I was to be compensated... That too would not be made available to me. I am owned MANY Thousands of dollars in commissions...  Any suggestions?


I don't want to file a lawsuit... Looks like there is no other option.

 
  Flag content
Close
Report a Problem

Please enter a valid email address.

Close
Content flagged

We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

Close
We're Sorry
This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.
March 09 2011 - Sunny Isles Beach
We think we've answered this question for you!
  • Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.
 
 

Answers (4)

Profile picture for wetdawgs
I suspect there is more to this story than we are hearing.

You describe the person as your former employer, which is quite a different relationship than an independent contractor for a brokerage.  But then, you talk about the independent contractor agreement.  It can't be both.

Why did you leave? 

If you were an independent contractor, did you pay all the appropriate desk fees and commission percentages to the broker?

If you were an employee, the contacts made while you were the employee are indeed the property of the employer, not you.   If you merge them with your old contacts, that was your mistake.

If you were an employee, and chose to put company business on your personal computer, then the company can chose to delete all files from the computer before returning it to you (of course you have the receipts etc to confirm it is your computer?)

Walking in after six months and picking up your stuff isn't likely, because it probably is in storage where you'll never find it and person at the desk will have no idea. 

I'd consult with an attorney, with the whole story.
  Flag content
Close
Report a Problem

Please enter a valid email address.

Close
Content flagged

We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

Close
We're Sorry
This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.
March 09 2011
Yikes!  If you knew you were leaving, why didn't you take everything with you?  Sorry - that's not helpful I know.  I like sunnyviews direct approach but am uncomfortable with what might happen if your items aren't where you left them.  You will be inside the office that you no longer work in.

In my state - Massachusetts - I am self-employed.  My brokerage is not my employer which is a huge distinction. 

I would NEVER leave anything in my brokerage office, even overnight, that I wouldn't want them to keep.  In my town a year ago, a brokerage closed in the middle of the night and a moving truck came and took everything and the doors were chained closed. 

I hope you are able to get somewhere with your old brokerage but fear a lawsuit will be your only remedy. 
  Flag content
Close
Report a Problem

Please enter a valid email address.

Close
Content flagged

We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

Close
We're Sorry
This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.
March 09 2011
If I were you I would notify the broker in writing via certified mail, that you will be at that office on a specific date to retrieve your personal property, as listed in your letter, period! 
All listings and paperwork including office supplies that the Broker provided to you, is legally the property of the Broker. 
I agree that you should bring a witness in the event it doesn't go well.
Unfortunately some Brokers think they "own you" when you work under their Brokerage.  You should have made a copy of your Independant Contractors Agreement along with the Brokerage Policy Manuel, for your own records, for this exact reason if nothing else.
Sorry to hear about your situation but hopefully you will be prepared next time if this ever happens again.  Good Luck!
  Flag content
Close
Report a Problem

Please enter a valid email address.

Close
Content flagged

We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

Close
We're Sorry
This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.
March 09 2011
Profile picture for sunnyview
Walk into the office and take your property. Unless you signed something that gives her control over your property, it's still yours. Oral agreements don't mean squat and never acknowledge that they were accepted by you as a condition of employment.

If police are called, they will not get involved as long as it is a civil matter. Stay matter of fact and remain cool as you walk out of the office with your computer. Bring a well dressed and level headed witness with you if possible along with one demand for property email that you sent to your former employer. Do not ask permission to take your property or to come into the office. Just walk in and retrieve it and leave.

Any property not recovered on that day, email a list and set a deadline you will come to pick it up. If you have to go to court later, you can show a good faith effort to be reasonable.
  Flag content
Close
Report a Problem

Please enter a valid email address.

Close
Content flagged

We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

Close
We're Sorry
This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.
March 09 2011
 
Related Questions
Is it legal for a former broker to refuse to give me....
Profile picture for wetdawgs
Latest answer by wetdawgs
March 09 2011 | 4 answers
  • Asked by Mott Marvin Kornicki
  • In Pro-to-Pro
  • March 09 2011
Be A Good Neighbor

Zillow Advice depends on each member to keep it a safe, fun, and positive place. If you see abuse, flag it. More on our Good Neighbor Policy.

Homes for Sale
  1. 16901 Collins Ave # 3403, North Miami Beach, FL Home For Sale
    16901 Collins Ave # 3403, North Miami Beach, FL 33160

     For Sale: $4,350,000

    • Beds: 3
    • Sqft: 2870
    • Baths: 4.5
    • Lot: --
  2. 250 174th St APT 405, Sunny Isles Beach, FL Home For Sale
    250 174th St APT 405, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160

     For Sale: $339,000

    • Beds: 2
    • Sqft: 1544
    • Baths: 2.0
    • Lot: --
  3. 19370 Collins Ave APT 1612, Sunny Isles Beach, FL Home For Sale
    19370 Collins Ave APT 1612, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160

     For Sale: $282,000

    • Beds: 1
    • Sqft: 1005
    • Baths: 1.0
    • Lot: --