Legal/Advocacy

BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: Unlucky Number 13

October 2017

Realtors are in the business of listing and selling homes. They cannot and should not dispense legal advice. To my non-lawyer readers, this is not meant as a personal affront. With Friday the 13th approaching, and in the eerie month of October no less, perhaps it is appropriate to address Article 13 of the Realtor…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: Realtors as Marketplace Participants

September 2017

Realtors just like all real estate licensees are participants themselves in the real estate marketplace, either as landlords, sellers, buyers or tenants. When acting in these capacities, Realtors should be aware that the Code of Ethics still applies. If a Realtor is interested in either selling or renting their property, they are obviously free to…

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LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program Now

August 2017

The National Flood Insurance Program expires in September of this year. It is imperative that Congress vote to reauthorize it. If Congress does not act in a timely manner, thousands of transactions across the country will be stalled for homes requiring flood insurance. The bill would extend current provisions for 5 years which must be…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: Wired for Safety From Fraud

August 2017

In the fall of 2015, National Association of Realtors’ General Counsel Katie Johnson solicited a show of hands at the Idea Exchange Council for Brokers as to who in attendance had experienced wire fraud. Surprisingly, more than one-third of the audience acknowledged they had been victimized by this type of felony. Most often this occurs…

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LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Crisis Exposes Staggering Pension Costs

August 2017

Repairs on the MTA rail system have not been made because of a supposed lack of a revenue stream. This is simply false according to Nicole Gelinas, a senior fellow of the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor to the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal. Gelinas, who is also a columnist with the New York Post,…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: The Real Estate Broker’s Lien

July 2017

In New York, when a licensed real estate broker finds a “ready, willing and able” tenant for their landlord client, a commission is due. This is true of both residential and commercial transactions. However, specific to commercial deals is the allowance for a broker to file a lien against real property of their client—if that…

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Legislative Affairs: Support Reform of the Americans with Disabilities Act

July 2017

Under the terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), attorneys may collect fees related to pursuing claims of non-compliance of the law but plaintiffs are not permitted to collect damages. Lawsuits often target easily correctible infractions such as signage, soap dispenser heights and transition lifts on ramps. Owners of these properties often have a…

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LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: The Time to Act is Now

June 2017

In a Daily News editorial, the New York City writer Errol Louis commented on the New York City co-op bill. He stated, “At present, co-op boards aren’t required to explain why they accept or reject applicants, leaving boards free to discriminate based on race.” For nearly four years, New York City Councilman Brad Lander has…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: The ‘Bedbug’ Law in New York City Has Some Bite

June 2017

For residential tenants in New York City, the right to a bedbug-free environment is included in New York City’s Housing and Maintenance Code, Subchapter 2, Article 4 . That provision specifically names bedbugs in the list of insects that the residential landlord is legally obligated to eliminate. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation…

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Realtors Score Legislative Victory as State Legislature Passes NY First Home Bill

June 2017

ALBANY—The New York State Assembly and Senate passed the top legislative item on the Realtor agenda this legislative session—the First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account. The Assembly passed the measure on June 19th by a 142-1 vote with the only negative vote by Westchester County State Assembly Member Sandy Galef. The measure passed the Senate the same…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: Real Estate Rentals: Permissible Tax Deductions

June 2017

Some Realtors are real estate investors. Others regularly represent those individuals, whether in residential or commercial markets. This article will cover, for informational purposes, the generally allowable tax deductions on real estate rentals. Commonly allowable expenses include property tax, mortgage interest, operating expenses, repairs and depreciation. Landlords are allowed to deduct the ordinary and necessary…

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