Legal/Advocacy

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…

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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…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: A Refresher on Legal Protections of Service Animals

October 2018

We all love our pets. However, service animals, as that term is defined in our state law, are not pets and are afforded certain legal protections above and beyond what pets receive. This article concerns the definition of service animals, where they are allowed, and the interplay between local, state and federal laws concerning this…

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The New NYS Sexual Harassment Law Requirements Take Effect on Oct. 9, 2018

September 2018

On April 12, 2018, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law the New York State Budget Bill for Fiscal Year 2019 [see https://bit.ly/2MgdWC6] (the “2019 Budget Act”) which enacts several key legislative initiatives that address sexual harassment in the workplace (hereinafter referred to collectively as the “NYS Sexual Harassment Law”). It is critical for every employer…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: The Two Unenforceable Standards of Practice in New York

September 2018

The National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual is the architecture by which Professional Standards enforcement is shaped at the local Association level. In the Code of Ethics itself are 17 Articles and various Standards of Practice. The Standards of Practice are applications of ethics principles to specific conduct in specific circumstances…

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LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Summer Co-op Disclosure Bill Update

August 2018

The co-op bill continues to be on the agenda of the Westchester County Legislature. Currently the bill contains a 10-day time period in which a board must notify an applicant that they received the application. It also contains a 45-day period from date of receipt to the time they must notify the applicant whether that…

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HUD Files Fair Housing Case Against Facebook

August 2018

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced on Friday it had filed a formal civil complaint against Facebook for violating the Fair Housing Act by allowing landlords and home sellers to use its advertising platform to engage in housing discrimination. HUD officials also reported on Friday that the U.S. Attorney for the Southern…

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LEGAL CORNER: I am Buying a Home and I Lost My Job, Now What?

August 2018

The loss of employment can be one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. Purchasing a home, while it is a very exciting time, can also be an extremely stressful event. If one loses his or her job, however, while in contract to purchase a home it can certainly be devastating. A purchaser…

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City of Newburgh Files Federal Suit Over Water Contamination

August 2018

NEWBURGH—The City of Newburgh filed suit on Aug. 6 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking to halt on-going contamination of the city’s water supply by cancer causing per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) originating at Stewart Air National Guard Base and Stewart International Airport, now operating as New…

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NAR Applauds Introduction of Net Neutrality Bill

July 2018

WASHINGTON—The National Association of Realtors has commended US Rep. Mike Coffman for his introduction of the 21st Century Internet Act. Rep. Coffman’s bill comes in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s 2017 decision to dismantle net neutrality regulations, with the legislation ensuring that Internet Service Providers, or ISPs, cannot block or throttle online content or…

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LEGAL CORNER: The Path to a Successful Real Estate Transaction

July 2018

The Women’s Council of Realtors Empire Local Westchester hosted a panel discussion on July 9th entitled “Deal Breakers.” It was a privilege to be part of the panel and to listen to the panelists’ invaluable insight into the many issues  need to be carefully understood in connection with a real estate transaction. This article highlights…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: A Refresher on Illegal Rentals

June 2018

While the vast majority of landlords are law-abiding, some continue to flout the law when it comes to renting out apartments that are not legally suitable for occupancy. These illegal apartments are typically, but not always, found in single- or dual-family homes. Undocumented immigrants are frequently preyed upon by this practice. This article is about…

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New York Becomes First State to Join Fair Housing Lawsuit Against HUD

May 2018

ALBANY—New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday that New York will be joining a lawsuit against the federal government’s alleged failure to enforce the Fair Housing Act. The lawsuit seeks to force the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to enforce a rule requiring local and state governments to address segregated housing patterns…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: A Refresher on State Regulations Governing Teams

May 2018

The New York Department of State Regulation Section 175.25 (a)(2) defines a real estate team in this way: “ 'Team’ means two or more persons, one of whom must be an associate real estate broker or real estate salesperson, associated with the same real estate brokerage who holds themselves out or operate as a team.”…

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Websites, Social Media and the DOS Enforcing Advertising Regulations

May 2018

Posting on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, has become commonplace for real estate professionals. Every day agents post new listings, photos, open houses and much more on their social media sites, and may not even realize they are engaging in advertising. It is important to be aware that any advertisement, in…

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