Legal/Advocacy

BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: Have I Got an Offer for You!

June 2019

As agents it’s common for us to make and/or receive offers on properties, at least we hope that it’s common. Because it’s common, we often forget the rules surrounding the making and receiving of offers. It’s important to keep these rules in mind so you don’t run afoul of the HGMLS Rules and Regulations or…

Read More

LEGAL CORNER: HUD v. Facebook: Battling Discrimination on the Internet

April 2019

The filing of the charge of discrimination on March 28, 2019 (see https://bit.ly/2OxXTCC) against Facebook, Inc. by the Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity with the Department of Housing and Urban Development comes at a time of the year when the real estate industry’s focus is on Fair Housing, particularly because it commemorates the…

Read More

HGAR Hires Brian Levine as New In-House Counsel

April 2019

WHITE PLAINS—Brian Levine, Esq., of Stamford, CT has recently been appointed In-House Counsel/Director of Legal Services & Professional Standards Administrator for the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors. Levine comes to HGAR with nearly two decades of legal experience, including real estate, contracts, refinancing, litigation/mediation/arbitration, insurance, regulatory agency compliance, commercial contracts/development, and tortuous interference of business…

Read More

LEGAL CORNER: Still No Clarity: The ADA Revisited in Light of the Ninth Circuit’s Decision in Robles v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC

February 2019

On Jan. 15, 2019, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in Robles v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC (see https://bit.ly/2SDzfF7), which sheds some additional light on the requirements “places of public accommodation” (which include real estate brokerage firms, Realtor associations, and other businesses) are subject to under the Americans with Disabilities Act  (see https://bit.ly/2dXuamI)…

Read More

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: NAR Releases 2019 Legislative Agenda

February 2019

The National Association of Realtors’ 2019 legislative agenda has been released. The industry has big goals ahead for 2019 with a new Congress that took power amid a month-long partial government shutdown. Some of the key NAR legislative agenda items are below. I will cover more agenda items in my column for the February print…

Read More

BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: A Close Look at Rent Security Deposits in New York

February 2019

Virtually all leases require tenants to give their landlords a security deposit; usually of one month’s rent. If a lease is renewed at a greater amount or the rent is increased during the term of the lease, the owner is permitted to collect additional money from the tenant in order to bring the security deposit…

Read More

LEGAL CORNER: The Shutdown’s Effect on Real Estate Transactions

January 2019

On Dec. 21, 2018, the federal government partially shutdown all non-essential services. At press time, this is now the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. As a result, some federal loan programs have been affected. The shutdown is also affecting conventional loans, causing delays and even cancellations of transactions. Real estate professionals should understand how…

Read More

BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: Section 8 Program in a Nutshell

January 2019

The housing choice voucher program (a.k.a. “Section 8”) is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private market. Since housing assistance is provided on behalf of the family or individual, participants are able to find their own housing,…

Read More

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: HGAR Government Affairs 2018 Successes

December 2018

2018 was a year of great accomplishments for HGAR Government Affairs. Led by HGAR President Barry Kramer’s leadership we secured a long sought-after Westchester County co-op transparency bill that was passed and signed into law earlier this month. The law provides timelines that a Co-Op Board must notify the Westchester County Human Rights Commission of…

Read More

LEGAL CORNER: Cybercrime and Ransomware Are Very Real and Costly Threats!

December 2018

During the holiday season, it is important for individuals and companies alike to be aware of the extensive array of cyberthreats that exist. A presentation on cybersecurity threats and related issues was made in Boston at this year’s National Association of Realtors’ Legal Conference held on Nov. 1. The panel provided invaluable insight on the…

Read More

BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: Updates on Remote and Electronic Notarization

December 2018

As we all know, new technologies are rapidly changing the way that real estate business is conducted. Remote online notarization is a tool that is modernizing the sales transaction and allowing for increased flexibility when it comes to closings. When implemented with appropriate safeguards to protect the privacy and security of consumers, online notarization results…

Read More

BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: The Duties of New York’s Real Property Bureau

November 2018

The Real Property Bureau of the New York Attorney General’s Office provides legal assistance to state agencies and authorities in connection with the acquisition and disposition of real property. The office investigates titles, clears liens, prepares deeds and various closing documents and facilitates the closing of title. In addition to purchases and dispositions, the bureau…

Read More

LEGAL CORNER: A Focus on ‘Pocket Listings’ and ‘Coming Soon’ Listings

November 2018

At the National Association of Realtors Legal Conference recently held in Boston one of the topics discussed included the increased use of “Pocket Listings” and “Coming Soon” listings on behalf of clients when listing properties for sale. These types of listings are utilized by Realtors and real estate licensees in certain instances and many times…

Read More

Election Aftermath: Nation Divided; New York Gets Bluer

November 2018

WHITE PLAINS—The political landscape after the election on Nov. 6 changed dramatically both in Washington DC and Albany. In the nation’s capital, President Trump and the GOP retained control of the U.S. Senate and in fact Republicans picked up seats from the Democrats. At press time, the GOP had 51 seats to the Democrats’ 46…

Read More