BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: Stone Soup Update: A Potpourri of New Information from Everywhere
Brian Levine | March 14, 2023
Stone Soup—For those that haven’t heard this story, it’s about hungry travelers who say they are going to boil a big stone in a pot of water to make soup for everyone. While they say it’s delicious, they also say that it needs a little bit of garnish, which is missing, to improve the flavor. The townsfolk all provide a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. They add potatoes, onions, celery, tomatoes, corn, meat, milk, butter, salt and pepper. Finally, the stone is removed from the pot, and a delicious and nourishing pot of soup is enjoyed by everyone. The moral of the story is that sharing benefits everyone who contributes. Today, I’m going to share information I’ve obtained from various sources over the past month to create my version of Stone Soup. Bon appétit.
Lobby Day is our annual trip to Albany to meet with our legislators and impress upon them the issues that are important to our membership. This year, Lobby Day is scheduled for Tuesday, May 2, 2023, at the Empire State Plaza. We will gather in Meeting Room 6 (breakfast and lunch will be provided). Make sure that you register on the HGAR website (it’s free) and indicate if you wish to ride the free bus up to Albany.
There are two busses that will take members to Albany. One bus will leave at 5:50 a.m. from outside the HGAR offices on 110 Bloomingdale Rd., White Plains, and will stop at the DiCicco’s Market in Brewster at 6:30 a.m., before arriving in Albany. The other bus will depart at 5:50 a.m. from the former HGAR office in Nyack, located at 2 Medical Park Drive, and will stop at 6:30 a.m. at the rear of the Newburgh Mall, before continuing on to Albany. Both busses will depart Albany after lunch to return home.
Additional information and details for Lobby Day can be found at https://www.hgar.com/event/lobby-day-in-albany-20230502: or you can contact HGAR Government Affairs Director Alexander Roithmayr at Alexander.Roithmayr@HGAR.com.
Pursuant to the governor’s Executive Order, cold calling is still not permitted. This includes any unsolicited calls or texts to any person or business with whom you do not already have an established business relationship.
New Protected Classes
Previously, New York State’s Department of Human Rights expanded the Human Rights Law to identify status as a victim of domestic violence as a protected class for discrimination purposes. Recently, the DHR added citizenship and immigration status as a protected class as well. While the DHR has always been of the opinion that immigration status/citizenship was protected under “national origin” and possibly under race, creed, and color as well, it felt it necessary to specifically identify this class. Further, it changed several terms, with “alien” being changed to “noncitizen” and “illegal alien” being changed to “undocumented noncitizen.”
Effective June 21, 2023, every residential lease will be required to provide notice of the following information related to the previous flood history and current flood risk of a leased premises:
• whether any or all of the leased premises is located wholly or partially in a Federal Emergency Management Agency designated floodplain;
• whether any or all of the leased premises is located wholly or partially in the Special Flood Hazard Area (100-year floodplain) according to FEMA’s current Flood Insurance Rate Maps for the leased premises’ area;
• whether any or all of the leased premises is located wholly or partially in a Moderate Risk Flood Hazard Area (500-year floodplain) according to FEMA’s current Flood Insurance Rate Maps for the leased premises’ area; and
• whether the leased premises has experienced any flood damage due to a natural flood event, such as heavy rainfall, coastal storm surge, tidal inundation, or river overflow.
Further, every residential lease must contain the following notice to tenants: “Flood insurance is available to renters through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program to cover your personal property and contents in the event of a flood. A standard renter’s insurance policy does not typically cover flood damage. You are encouraged to examine your policy to determine whether you are covered.”
Effective June 14, 2023, the language in the Property Condition Disclosure Statement form will change; therefore, it’s important that you advise/update these forms. The change is with regard to the issue of mold. The new form will now contain language that will encompass mold (using the language “other material” when referencing toxic or hazardous substances, as well as the phrase “and indoor mold,” which specifically identifies mold). Additionally, the new PCDS form will ask the following question:
“HAS THE PROPERTY BEEN TESTED FOR INDOOR MOLD? YES/NO/UNKN (IF YES, ATTACH A COPY OF THE REPORT).”
New PCDS forms will be made available by the DOS and must be used starting June 14, 2023.
Agency Disclosure in Different Languages
New York State now requires that state agencies provide documents translated into seven different languages. These are: English, Spanish, Haitian-Creole, Italian, Korean, Russian and Chinese. As a result, the Department of State now provides agency disclosure forms in these languages. If a consumer is not proficient in reading and/or understanding English and the agency disclosure form is provided in a language they are proficient in, the licensee should provide the form with that language. Note: failure to provide a translated form in a language the consumer understands may expose the licensee to potential liability.
End of Real Estate License Reciprocity
Due to New York State’s increased requirements for obtaining a real estate license, including the required hours to obtain your license, fair housing training requirements, and the recent requirements that all real estate licensees must satisfy implicit bias and cultural competency programs, the DOS had terminated any reciprocity relationships it had previously maintained with other states. This means that licensees from other states may not waive into New York State to obtain a real estate license. Due to this termination of reciprocity, a member should check with formerly-reciprocal states to determine if they are continuing to observe reciprocity from New York State to its jurisdiction if they are considering obtaining a license in that jurisdiction. DOS has indicated that they are looking at future ways to reopen reciprocity.
I hope you enjoyed this Stone Soup. As the saying goes, “sharing is caring,” so please share this information with others, particularly your colleagues and clients, and fill their minds with sustenance.