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Century 21, NY Brokerage Franchisee to Litigate


Century 21 has been sued by its top producing New York area franchisee. The franchisee operates from fourteen offices. Read more about this recent development.


Century 21 has terminated its franchise agreement with New York's Laffey Associates, which has 500 agents and brokers working from 14 offices in Queens and Long Island. Laffey reports annual revenues of $1 billion. Century 21 claims it's owed more than $280,000 in royalties and franchise fees. Laffey executives say they intend to file a counterclaim in New Jersey Superior Court. Laffey Associates said many of the counterclaims it intends to make are also the subject of a lawsuit filed by other Century 21 franchises in 2002.That lawsuit, which was granted class-action status last month, alleges that Century 21 and its parent company failed to provide the required level of services and misappropriated fees that franchisees paid into a national advertising fund. The company claims it's been the top-producing Century 21 firm in New York for the past 10 years, and that it ranked among Century 21's top 10 companies nationwide in 2009.

Attorneys for Century 21 stated: "Century 21 has demanded an accurate accounting of any additional sales transactions or amounts that may be owed to Century 21, and (Laffey Associates) has refused to provide this information," the lawsuit said.

In a statement, Laffey Associates said there was more to the split than the allegations detailed in Century 21's lawsuit. "Despite their claims, Century 21 made numerous attempts during the past few months to extend the term of our affiliation beyond 2010," the company said. "While we acknowledge that our business relationship with Century 21 has ended, the affiliation was not terminated by reason of our firm's failure to live up to the terms of its franchise agreement."

Launched in 2002, Laffey claims its real estate portal for Long Island and Queens, Laffey.com, was the first to incorporate all of the Long Island Multiple Listing Services' property listings, and attracts more than 100,000 visitors each month.

2010 FranchiseKnowHow, LLC

Ed Teixeira is the President of FranchiseKnowHow, LLC. He can be reached at franchiseknowhow@gmail.com


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