Legal/Advocacy

LEGAL CORNER: The New COVID-19 Relief Package: Highlights of the Second Round

January 13, 2021

On Dec. 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 [see https://bit.ly/3qb3WOP] which passed overwhelmingly by both the House and Senate. The Appropriations Act is the largest bill (over 5,000 pages) ever passed by Congress. It includes $900 billion in pandemic relief funds to assist businesses and provide important funding and…

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LEGAL CORNER: During the COVID-19 Pandemic: New York Enacts Paid Sick Leave Program Effective Jan. 1, 2021

December 11, 2020

On April 3, 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo “enacted the strongest Paid Sick Leave program in the nation” by passing Section 196-b of the New York State Labor Law (“Section 196-b”) [see https://bit.ly/39Xk9T6]. Proposed regulations have also been issued [see https://on.ny.gov/37TW4d2] (“Regulations”). Section 196-b, and its accompanying regulations, will…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: Offers: Trying to Make Sense of it All

December 8, 2020

Before we begin, it is important to understand that only NAR is authorized to interpret the Code of Ethics, its applications, and its proper enforcement to Member Boards and Board Members. Professional Standard hearing panels rely on these interpretations, as well as NAR’s case interpretations in forming their decisions. No other body, state association, local…

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LEGAL CORNER: What Documents Are Brokers and Agents Required to Maintain?

November 16, 2020

It is not uncommon for real estate brokers and agents to make requests, and many times demands, at the closing table for certain documents, such as the lender’s Closing Disclosure, the Contract of Sale, and other documents. Brokers and agents claim that the law requires that these documents be provided because they are mandated under…

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Election Day is Here!

November 2, 2020

2020 has been a roller coaster of a year. It started out with a booming economy, a robust real estate market and an optimistic outlook for the year. That all quickly changed two months later when the economy virtually came to a halt due to the pandemic. Election Day is now here. As I write,…

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LEGAL CORNER: Challenges to New Rental Laws Hit a Judicial Obstacle

October 14, 2020

On Sept. 30, U.S. District Court Judge Eric R. Komitee for the Eastern District of New York, issued a decision that deals a temporary blow to two cases filed more than a year ago by the Community Housing Improvement Program and the Rent Stabilization Association of N.Y.C., in one case, and several landlords, in another…

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LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: National Issues in Focus

October 13, 2020

The Small Business Administration will begin processing PPP loan forgiveness applications. Businesses’ are eligible for the forgiveness program if they spent 60% or more of the loan on payroll, and for other uses such as rent, electric or mortgage payments. The PPP program saved many businesses from going under. Businesses should submit their applications to…

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October Legislative Update

October 5, 2020

The House and the Senate have passed and President Trump has signed a stopgap funding resolution through Dec. 11. This is a big step in keeping certainty going for the country and the economy at large. Included in this resolution is an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program through next September, which will keep…

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LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Westchester Co-Op Transparency Law in Need of Improvement

September 11, 2020

In December of 2018 the Westchester County Executive George Latimer signed legislation into law to guarantee a measure of protection to prospective co-op purchasers. Thus far, more than 300 rejections of prospective buyers have occurred since the co-op law went into effect. This is an inordinate number of rejections. and there are many questions that…

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LEGAL CORNER: The HEALS Act: Still in Limbo

August 7, 2020

On July 27, 2020, the Senate introduced eight bills, referred to as the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools Act (HEALS Act), that would offer additional relief for individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. On July 31, 2020, an important element of the previously enacted COVID-19 relief packages, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: Being a Professional

July 31, 2020

As the HGAR Professional Standards Administrator, I often get calls and e-mails from members of the public and/or Realtors looking to file a complaint against a Realtor who is acting unethically. Usually, after a lengthy discussion, it’s revealed that the Realtor being complained about isn’t acting unethically, they’re simply acting unprofessionally. Topping the list of…

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August Legislative Update: Congress Debates Latest COVID Aid Package

July 29, 2020

Legislative activity remains high on the national level. As the incidences of Covid-19 escalate in many areas of the country, Congress is in talks to pass another aid package which, at this point, is far from what either party can agree upon. One of the components of the bill that is being discussed is extending…

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LEGAL CORNER: The Court of Appeals Decision in Regina Metropolitan Co., LLC: A Challenge to New York’s Rental Laws

July 10, 2020

On April 2, in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the New York State Court of Appeals issued a decision in Regina Metropolitan Co., LLC v. New York State Division of Housing and Community Preservation (“Regina Metropolitan”) [see https://bit.ly/38I4y79] barring the retroactive application of certain provisions of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of…

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