AUSPL Advises Lessors NOT to Pay CB Richard Ellis Group Commission Fees for Leases on Post Offices
By now, most AUSPL lessors have received a “Dear Landlord” letter in which the Postal Service introduced its real estate program delegating lease negotiations to CB Richard Ellis (CBRE). We are vigorously challenging this program because we believe it unfairly targets lessors and favors CBRE.
Many members are concerned about being forced to deal with CBRE because it subjects our members to negotiating with less qualified, third party contractors who have no prior experience with the property with the expectation we pay the real estate commission.
What’s more, postal buildings are unique. Nearly all postal buildings were constructed according to standard plan documents developed by USPS. The facilities include specialty equipment, materials, specialized interior space and configuration, accessibility and security features that would be difficult and very costly to duplicate in a generic commercial facility. Without understanding that, CBRE agents may well recommend the Postal Service relocate to lower priced, alternate quarters, which would be detrimental to our lessors and USPS.
At AUSPL, we believe lessors should NOT enter into an agreement to pay CBRE a commission. While the “Dear Landlord” letter obligates lessors to negotiate with CBRE, it does NOT obligate them to pay a commission. Indeed, the “Dear Landlord” notification is an “agency notice,” which requires lessors to negotiate with CBRE. However, a USPS real estate contracting officer must ratify and sign any lease renewal; CBRE is not authorized to sign any (new) lease or lease renewal agreement. Do not be bullied or pressured by a CBRE agent. If an agent CBRE “threatens” to withhold recommendation of the negotiated lease terms to the Postal Service real estate contracting officer, contact us immediately. Call 800-572-9483 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We will continue to fight this program and we keep you posted. Stay tuned.