LIEB BLOG

How current events impact business & real estate

Monday, January 24, 2022

Increased Fees for NY Real Estate Licenses

Effective January 21, 2022, there will be an increase in the fees for real estate salesperson, real estate broker and real estate branch office licenses. The new fee for salespersons will be $65, the fee for brokers and branch offices will be $185. This increase applies to both initial and renewal applications. 



Friday, January 21, 2022

Reverse Loans Available for Senior Shareholders in New York

Those 62 and older living in cooperative apartment units in New York will soon be able to obtain reverse mortgage loans. The amended law was signed by Gov. Hochul on January 24, 2022.

To qualify, the borrower must certify annually on each anniversary of the loan that they reside in the unit and that it is their primary residence and the borrower's lender will advise the borrower on an annual basis of the name/contact information of the third-party on file (the borrower has the option to appoint a designee to be notified in the event of foreclosure) and provide the borrower a chance to update or change the information for the third-party.

The goal of the amended law is to provide co-op owners the same resources as traditional homeowners and to help senior citizens remain in their homes. 




Thursday, January 20, 2022

NYS DOL Publishes Emergency Regulations to Implement NY HERO Act Rules

The NYS DOL published new regulations, retroactively effective to January 1, 2022, as an emergency rule to implement the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (NY HERO Act).


The regulations requires private sector employers to create an Exposure Prevention Plan to eliminate or minimize employee exposure to airborne infectious disease agents, which includes the COVID-19 virus and its variants.


The measure sets forth requirements that employers select and obtain exposure controls appropriate for the exposure risks. These controls must be included in the employer’s Exposure Prevention Plan. As to the plan, the NYS Department of Health has developed a new Model Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan (Template) and various industry specific model plans (Templates) for prevention of airborne infectious disease.


Employers must enact compliant plans immediately. 




New York Real Estate License Renewal Questions and Answers for NY Licensed Salespersons, Brokers, and Associate Brokers

What are the Continuing Education requirements for real estate agents in NY?

As of 7/1/2021. All licensees must receive 22.5 hours of continuing education every 2 years to stay licensed. NY Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons that were previously exempt from Continuing Education will no longer be exempt and will need to have completed the full CE requirements, including the new subjects prior to submitting a renewal on or after 7/1/2021. The 22.5 hours must include:

  • 3 hours on fair housing &/or discrimination
  • 2.5 hours on ethical business practices
  • 1 hour on recent legal matters governing the practice of real estate brokers and salespersons in New York, which may include statutes, laws, regulations, rules, codes, Department of State Opinions and Decisions, and Court Decisions
  • 1 hour on the law of agency (2 hours in the initial 2-year cycle)

As of 4/20/2022: All licensees must receive 22.5 hours of continuing education every 2 years to stay licensed. The 22.5 hours must include the following topics:

  • 3 hours on fair housing &/or discrimination
  • 2.5 hours on ethical business practices
  • 1 hour on recent legal matters governing the practice of real estate brokers and salespersons in New York, which may include statutes, laws, regulations, rules, codes, Department of State Opinions and Decisions, and Court Decisions
  • 1 hour on the law of agency (2 hours in the initial 2-year cycle)
  • 2 hours on Cultural Competency

As of 6/19/2022: All licensees must receive 22.5 hours of continuing education every 2 years to stay licensed. The 22.5 hours must include the following topics:

  • 3 hours on fair housing &/or discrimination
  • 2.5 hours on ethical business practices
  • 1 hour on recent legal matters governing the practice of real estate brokers and salespersons in New York, which may include statutes, laws, regulations, rules, codes, Department of State Opinions and Decisions, and Court Decisions
  • 1 hour on the law of agency (2 hours in the initial 2-year cycle)
  • 2 hours on Implicit Bias Awareness and Understanding
  • 2 hours on Cultural Competency

Who regulates my New York State Real Estate License?

The New York, Department of State (DOS) - Note Real Estate Boards / Schools / Trade Organizations are memberships not licensed. 

Are there any exemptions for Continuing Education requirements for real estate agents in NY?

NY Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons that were previously exempt from Continuing Education will no longer be exempt and will need to have completed the full CE requirements, including the new subjects prior to submitting a renewal on or after 7/1/2021.

How do I renew my New York State Real Estate License?
License renewals must be completed online through the Department of State eACCESSny website. Please note that the renewal process requires licensees to validate education completion by answering “Yes” to the Continuing Education question that confirms all CE requirements have been satisfied. If you mistakenly answer “No”, the DOS will not renew your license until they see all original course completion certificates. You also have to hold onto the original course completion certificates in the event of a license audit by the DOS.

Where can I take my Real Estate Continuing Education courses?
Lieb School offers in-person and online real estate CE courses. Lieb School's online real estate courses are on-demand videos and you can take them at your own convenience. All courses are instructed by Attorney Andrew Lieb and satisfy the NY Department of State license renewal requirements. 

Does Lieb School report my completed credits to the NY Department of State (DOS)? Am I responsible for sending my course certificates to the DOS?
Credits received from Lieb School count towards the 22.5 required from the DOS for license renewal. Certificates provided at each class serve as proof of credit hours. After each in-person class, Lieb School provides paper certificates. After each online class, Lieb School provides immediate access to download a certificate. After you complete a Lieb School class, Lieb School will submit to the Department of State, Bureau of Educational Standards, all licensee information for successful completion of each course. Upon license renewal, the DOS will require the original signed certificate if you are selected for an audit. 

How do I download a course certificate after I complete a Lieb School online class? 
  • Login Here (if you forgot your password reset it here)
  • Click on Dashboard
  • Click on "Completed Courses"
  • Click on the class you need the certificate for
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page. You will see "Cert


    ificate". To the right click on "Download Certificate". The certificate will open as a PDF.

Can I take Continuing Education after my NY Real Estate License Expires?

A licensee (salesperson or broker) can renew their license anytime within two years of the expiration date. Of course they cannot use the license once it is expired, but they do have two years to renew it before any penalties are imposed.

If the license is expired and has not been expired for over two years, they can renew the license online as long as there is a broker of record in place and they have completed the required continuing education. If they were terminated/cancelled by their previous broker, a broker must pick them up using the brokers eAccess account before they can submit an online renewal.  You can still take Continuing Education within the 2 years if your license expired. Lieb School offers on-demand 22.5 CE Credit Packages here. 

If the license has been expired for over two years, the record becomes null and void. At this point the licensee must retake and pass the NY licensing examination and can then reapply for a license. No continuing education is required to reapply as they are starting over. No qualifying education is required as long as they have a record in the Department of State system or can prove that they were previously issued a license.



Thursday, January 13, 2022

Supreme Court Permits Biden's Healthcare Vaccine Mandate

All healthcare facilities that receive Medicare and/or Medicaid funding must ensure that their covered saff are vaccinated against COVID after the Supreme Court stayed injunctions that were preventing the implementation of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Interim Final Rule.


To be clear, the rule does not cover those healthcare workers with medical and religious exemptions and those who telework full-time. 


In permitting the mandate to be implemented, the Supreme Court found exactly what it said was lacking in the OSHA vaccine mandate case, to wit: specific language in a statute authorizing Biden's Executive Branch to impose a mandate. 


According to the Court, the core mission of the Department of Health and Human Services "is to ensure that the healthcare providers who care for Medicare and Medicaid patients protect their patients’ health and safety." In fact, the Court found that “infection prevention and control program designed . . . to help prevent the development and transmission of communicable diseases and infections” are precisely within the Department's charge. 


In addressing its divergent opinions, between OSHA and Healthcare, the Supreme Court explained:


The challenges posed by a global pandemic do not allow a federal agency to exercise power that Congress has not conferred upon it. At the same time, such unprecedented circumstances provide no grounds for limiting the exercise of authorities the agency has long been recognized to have.



 

Supreme Court Stays OSHA Vaccine or Mask / Test Mandate

In staying the OSHA vaccine mandate, the Supreme Court wrote "that the Secretary lacked authority to impose the mandate."


As the Court explained "permitting OSHA to regulate the hazards of daily life—simply because most Americans have jobs and face those same risks while on the clock—would significantly expand OSHA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization." The problem, as set forth by the Supreme Court, was that the mandate was indiscriminately applied. However, and to be CLEAR, the problem was not that it was unconstitutional, violated federalism, or anything else. 


The Supreme Court did not rule that either:

  • The Federal Government cannot issue a nationwide vaccine mandate; or 
  • Biden's Executive Branch cannot issue a nationwide vaccine mandate. 

Instead, it ruled that Congress did not grant OSHA the power to issue a nationwide vaccine mandate for all employers with 100 or more workers. 

In fact, the concurring opinion set it simply, "that power rests with the States and Congress, not OSHA."  


That is not to say OSHA has no power to regulate workplaces with respect to COVID. The Court carefully said OSHA does have power by writing that it was "not [] say[ing] OSHA lacks authority to regulate occupation-specific risks related to COVID–19. Where the virus poses a special danger because of the particular features of an employee’s job or workplace, targeted regulations are plainly permissible." As such, the Supreme Court invited a new mandate to be issued by OSHA and suggested that it targets COVID researchers or risks associated with crowded / cramped environments. 


As the concurring opinion explained, this case was decided on the Major Questions Doctrine, "'[w]e expect Congress to speak clearly' if it wishes to assign to an executive agency decisions 'of vast economic and political significance.'" Here, Congress did not clearly grant OSHA the power to do make this indiscriminate mandate. 


The fact that they didn't doesn't mean that they can't. Should Congress authorize OSHA now? 




NYS Eviction Moratorium Is Over January 15, 2022, ... Sort Of

The NYS eviction moratorium will end on January 15, 2022. 

But, after January 15, 2022, landlords are still going to face big obstacles if they want to evict residential tenants because of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program ("ERAP"). 


To evict under ERAP, a landlord is required to demonstrate that their tenant: 

  1. Intentionally caused significant damage to the property;
  2. Engaged in nuisance behavior or behavior that poses a safety hazard to others (landlord will have to provide specific instances and show that the behavior occurred more than one time);
  3. Tenant owes rent prior from to the pandemic that was not covered by ERAP funding; 
  4. Owes rent after receipt of ERAP funding; or 
  5. Tenant doesn't qualify for ERAP because:
    • Income is above 80 percent of the area medium income ("AMI") for federal program or Income is above 120 percent for NYS program;
    • A member of the household did not experience significant costs or a financial hardship due to COVID;
    • Tenant has paid rent and there are no rental arrears owed on or after March 13, 2020; or
    • The household is not at risk of homelessness. 
Without making the above demonstration, tenants that applied for ERAP will be safe from eviction for another year. 

Landlords should therefore consider this checklist carefully before proceeding. While the moratorium is over on Saturday, landlords are still prevented from evicting many tenants and if they do evict, their costs are going to increase to prove that they can evict in the face of ERAP.  




Wednesday, January 12, 2022

NY Real Estate Salesperson & Brokers | Updates To Continuing Education Requirements in 2022

If you are a NY Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, Broker, or Associate Broker - CE Requirements are changing in 2022. There are new topics required for license renewal.  Lieb School is in the final stages of getting the newest topic of Cultural Competency licensed and will update the course catalog in the next few weeks. We have all other topics available on our course catalog

What are the Continuing Education requirements for real estate agents in NY?

As of 7/1/2021. All licensees must receive 22.5 hours of continuing education every 2 years to stay licensed. NY Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons that were previously exempt from Continuing Education will no longer be exempt and will need to have completed the full CE requirements, including the new subjects prior to submitting a renewal on or after 7/1/2021. The 22.5 hours must include:

  • 3 hours on fair housing &/or discrimination
  • 2.5 hours on ethical business practices
  • 1 hour on recent legal matters governing the practice of real estate brokers and salespersons in New York, which may include statutes, laws, regulations, rules, codes, Department of State Opinions and Decisions, and Court Decisions
  • 1 hour on the law of agency (2 hours in the initial 2-year cycle)

As of 4/20/2022: All licensees must receive 22.5 hours of continuing education every 2 years to stay licensed. The 22.5 hours must include the following topics:

  • 3 hours on fair housing &/or discrimination
  • 2.5 hours on ethical business practices
  • 1 hour on recent legal matters governing the practice of real estate brokers and salespersons in New York, which may include statutes, laws, regulations, rules, codes, Department of State Opinions and Decisions, and Court Decisions
  • 1 hour on the law of agency (2 hours in the initial 2-year cycle)
  • 2 hours on Cultural Competency

As of 6/19/2022: All licensees must receive 22.5 hours of continuing education every 2 years to stay licensed. The 22.5 hours must include the following topics:

  • 3 hours on fair housing &/or discrimination
  • 2.5 hours on ethical business practices
  • 1 hour on recent legal matters governing the practice of real estate brokers and salespersons in New York, which may include statutes, laws, regulations, rules, codes, Department of State Opinions and Decisions, and Court Decisions
  • 1 hour on the law of agency (2 hours in the initial 2-year cycle)
  • 2 hours on Implicit Bias Awareness and Understanding
  • 2 hours on Cultural Competency



Monday, January 10, 2022

New Rules Protecting Federal Employees from Employment Discrimination Published

Since 2021, federal employees have been protected from workplace discrimination by the Elijah E. Cummings Federal Employee Anti-Discrimination Act of 2020, which added protections, notice, and reporting to the No FEAR Act.


To implement the Cummings Act, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) published proposed rules on January 6, 2022, which are currently in the public comment period. 


These rules include:  

  • Whistleblower and retaliation protections;
  • Notice of findings of intentional acts of discrimination to be made on a publically accessible internet page;
  • Agencies to submit annual reports to the Director of OPM;
  • Agencies to submit disciplinary action reports to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC);
  • Agency employees found to have intentionally committed discriminatory acts, including retaliation, will have notations of the discriminatory acts added to the employee's personnel record;
  • New public disclosure obligations; and
  • Federal agencies to add new trainings for all employees about their rights and remedies under law.


The comment period ends on 2/07/2022 and then, these rules will be finalized to become effective. 


Suffolk County Renters: BEWARE!

Suffolk County renters: BEWARE! Those looking to rent in Suffolk County, New York should proceed with caution when searching for a rental home. 


In an effort to protect Suffolk County tenant/residents from rental fraud, the County Legislature has amended Local Law No. 30-2021. Rental fraud is committed when a person or entity leases a residential or commercial property to another, when that person or entity does not have an ownership interest in the property or authorization from the owner to lease the property. Properties that are vacant or foreclosed upon are typically the kinds of properties that are used for rental fraud. 


The law now states that "persons seeking to rent or lease real property MAY [emphasis added] demonstrate ... ownership interest or authorization to rent, lease or sublet real property." Ownership interest for real property can be demonstrated to a potential tenant via a fully signed and valid deed or a fully signed lease agreement. Similarly, a person can demonstrate they have authorization from the property owner to rent or lease the property by providing a potential tenant with proof of agency. 


The problem with this new law is that the Legislature does not actually require those looking to lease out their real property to prove that they are indeed the owner of the property. If the Legislature actually wants to protect potential tenants from rental fraud, they need to revise this law immediately and require that persons seeking to rent out real property provide proof of ownership or agency authorization incident to such rental.


Those who commit rental fraud and are caught will face penalties subject to a fine of up to $1,000.00 and/or up to six months imprisonment. Do you think the punishment fits the crime? 


In the meantime, potential tenants can and should take additional steps to protect themselves where the Legislature has fallen short. As rental fraud has become a hot topic in Suffolk, potential tenants should do their research, as well as request proof of ownership from those who are leasing properties. If a lessor refuses or cannot provide proof of ownership or agency authorization, it may be best to continue the house hunt.