Legal/Advocacy

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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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: Agricultural District Notice Requirements

May 2017

The New York Legislature enacted the New York Agricultural Districts law, Article 25-AA of the Agriculture & Markets Law, in 1971. It was designed to promote and protect the availability of land for farming uses. Licensees should be aware that the required notice form pursuant to this statute is available on our Hudson Gateway Multiple…

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HGAR’s First ‘RPAC-A-Thon’ Raises Over $8,000 for RPAC

May 2017

WHITE PLAINS—The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors held its very first “RPAC-A-Thon” recently at its White Plains headquarters, raising more than $8,000 for RPAC, the Realtors Political Action Committee. The initiative, supported by the New York State Association of Realtors, brought in a dedicated group of HGAR members who reached out with phone calls to…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: Legal Update on the Use of Drones

May 2017

The Federal Aviation Administration’s Small Unmanned Aircraft Rule (“FAA Rule”) was effective as of August 29, 2016 and permits the commercial use of drones without having to apply for a waiver or exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration. The former rule in place did require the granting of a waiver or exemption directly from the…

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LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Don’t Panic, Take Action on Tax Reform

May 2017

Tax reform has been proposed. Do not panic yet. Why do I say that? Because even though the Trump Administration has laid out the tax reform proposal, Congress has not weighed in as yet. In order for long-term tax reform to work where deductions are eliminated or modified, the Senate needs 60 votes. Right now…

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The ‘On or About’ Closing Date and ‘Time of the Essence’ Letter

April 2017

Important Elements of The Real Estate Transaction: Real estate closings in parts of New York State do not always go as smoothly as one would like. In many other states, real estate transactions are handled primarily by the real estate agents and not the attorneys, who negotiate the offers between sellers and buyers and primarily…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: What Personal Assistants Can and Cannot Do

April 2017

Personal assistants, although typically unlicensed, can provide an enormous benefit to Brokers and Office Managers in performing necessary administrative tasks. There are instances in which a personal assistant may also be licensed as either a Salesperson or Associate Broker, and work in that capacity as well. However, those types of rare instances invoke tax and…

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LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Latest Realtor News from Washington, DC

March 2017

There are many issues of concern to Realtors on the political horizon this year. Congress is currently absorbed considering the nomination of a Supreme Court Justice as well as the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) so, tax reform, while currently not yet at the forefront, has serious implications for Realtors. 1031 exchanges are being targeted in…

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NAR Sounds Alarm on Upcoming Flood Insurance Expiration

March 2017

WASHINGTON—The National Association of Realtors is urging Realtors as well as consumers to the pending expiration of the National Flood Insurance Program on Sept. 30. NAR officials warn that a possible program expiration would harm consumers and threaten the health of the residential real estate market. While NAR is working closely with federal regulators and…

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