Legal/Advocacy

LEGAL CORNER: The HEALS Act: Still in Limbo

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

July 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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LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: July Legislative Update

July 2020

We are four months into the COVID-19 crisis and much of the legislative activity continues to center around COVID issues on both a state and national level, not to mention the myriad of related local rules and regulations. On the federal level, Congress is beginning to debate a third round of stimulus for the economy.…

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LEGAL CORNER: The PPP Flexibility Act: Update on the PPP Loan Program

June 2020

On Friday, June 5, 2020, President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act of 2020 (the “PPP Flexibility Act”) (see https://bit.ly/3dSbhNx). The PPP Flexibility Act provides additional relief to those businesses that have applied for and received loans under the Paycheck Protection Program instituted under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: Phase 2: What You Need to Know

June 2020

As you are all aware, the post Covid-19 reopenings are underway and the Mid-Hudson region is currently in Phase 2. There are many rules that New York State’s Department of Health has outlined as mandatory requirements and others as “best practices” that are strongly recommended. You are all encouraged to read the “Interim Guidance for…

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LEGAL CORNER: New Fair Housing Regulations Go into Effect on June 20, 2020

May 2020

During this difficult period, when individuals and businesses are concerned primarily with the personal and economic impact being caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is important that real estate brokers and agents continue to keep up with the new legal developments. On Dec. 16, 2019, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced new regulations (“New Fair Housing Regulations”),…

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LEGAL CORNER: The Latest on the PPP Loan and PUA Programs for Small Businesses, Sole Proprietorships and Independent Contractors

April 2020

On March 7, 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for New York State [see https://on.ny.gov/34jIVI4]. On March 13, 2020, President Trump then declared a national state of emergency [see https://bit.ly/2JMNC3N]. Since then, many have lost their lives to the COVID-19 virus. Additionally, many of the nation’s non-essential businesses have been forced to…

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NAR Helps Secure Key Provisions in Coronavirus Bill for Realtors

March 2020

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a $2-trillion COVID-19 compromise economic relief package on March 25. The bill now goes to the U.S. House, where it is expected to pass, and President Trump has said he will sign the much-needed measure into law. The National Association of Realtors reports the bill includes $350 billion for the…

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LEGAL CORNER: HUD’s New Guidance on ‘Service Animals’ and Reasonable Accommodations for ‘Assistance’ Animals

March 2020

A common issue that arises in connection with many residential lease negotiations and the occupancy of condominium units and cooperative apartments is where the individual seeking to occupy an apartment or unit requests a reasonable accommodation from a housing provider to allow for occupancy of a “service animal” or “assistance animal.” While many requests are…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: MLS is Coming—Here are the New Changes!

March 2020

OneKey MLS, our new joint venture multiple listing service, will go live March 24, 2020. With this new change comes modifications to what you will see and input into our Matrix system, as well as some procedural changes. This article will address the most notable and important changes. New Status Changes Pending: As you may…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: Coping with the New Changes

February 2020

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new. Socrates I thought it would be a good idea to focus this month’s article on the subject of change. There’s a lot of change taking place in our industry. Tenant rights are being strengthened,…

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NYSAR Urges Realtors Take Action Against DOS Guidance Barring Certain Commissions

February 2020

ALBANY—The New York real estate industry, particularly downstate, is reeling from guidance recently released by the Department of State that now among other changes regarding regulations on landlords and agents, prohibits a landlord’s agent from collecting a broker/fee commission from a tenant in residential rental transactions. The guidance, part of a sweeping update released by…

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LEGAL CORNER: 2020 Vision: A Clear Focus on Fair Housing and Professionalism

January 2020

In December, this column focused on the extensive multi-year investigation conducted by Newsday (see https://bit.ly/357OA3L) and the widespread fair housing violations and discrimination taking place on Long Island. The Newsday investigation opened the eyes of the real estate industry to the discrimination that is still taking place many decades after the enactment of the original…

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