Friday, June 1, 2018

Real Estate Brokerage License Law - 2017 Appeals to Secretary of State - Precedent for Future Cases

In 2017, there were 8 administrative appeals before the Secretary of State concerning license law violations of real estate brokers.

As real estate brokerage professionals, we learn the following rules from these decisions:

  1. Hortman v. DLS (71 DOS APP 17): The 150 days in which an administrative law judge should make their determination is directory, not mandatory, in nature and cannot result in the proceeding being dismissed if violated; instead, an application to a court to compel the decision is the only recourse for a broker awaiting such a decision. Additionally, we are reminded that "efforts undertaken to locate financing to be secured by a mortgage, to pre-qualify potential borrowers, and to coordinate financing are activities which require appropriate licensure" if involving commercial real estate.
  2. Ronald St. Cyr v. DLS (74 DOS APP 17): Deadline periods to make payment on consent orders should be strictly followed, absent proof of a modification. While modification of the deadline was proven, we are reminded that records are everything when dealing with the government. 
  3. Ronald St. Cyr v. DLS (117 DOS APP 17): There is no right to have more time to settle and the default interest rate on a judgment is 9%. All too often clients believe that they have a right to settle; you don't!
  4. Da Huang v. DLS (87 DOS APP 17): If you lose a case on default, always make sure that jurisdiction was obtained over you, which, for real estate brokerage license law complaints, means "by delivery of same personally to the licensee, or by mailing same by certified mail to the last known business address of such licensee... or by any method authorized by the civil practice law and rules." Remember to check the address if certified mail was utilized because if its wrongly addressed, there are grounds for dismissal. 
  5. Banfield v. DLS (85 DOS APP 17): Failure to cooperate with a DLS investigator is grounds for charge pursuant to RPL 442-e(5). Better have a paper trail of efforts to cooperate. We always recommend using the hot potato game when dealing with the government. Make sure they are caught with the hot potato (last contact offering dates) when the music stops.  
  6. Cilino v. DLS (19 DOS APP 17): Defaulting in appearing at a hearing is really bad. 
  7. Goulbourne v. DLS (118 DOS APP 17): An appeal of decision or order of suspension must be made within 30 calendar days of receipt of the decisions / order in compliance with 19 NYCRR 400.2(k). Plus, there are special rules of construction in the General Construction Law about how those 30 days are calculated. Know the rules or don't play the game.
  8. Zubulake v. DLS (19 DOS APP 17): An application for a real estate brokerage license based upon "equivalent experience in general real estate business for a period of at least three years" is determined by a point system set forth at 19 NYCRR 179.3 and is mandatory to be following by the DLS in hearing such an application.  
As can clearly be gleaned, going at it alone or without knowledge of prior decisions is almost certainly fatal if you want to protect your license.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

NYS Sexual Harassment Law Exposes Businesses to Claims by Independent Contractor Victims of Independent Contractor Harassers: Real Estate Brokerage Firms be Warned

NYS companies utilizing the services of independent contractors, such as real estate brokerage firms, are now exposed to liability for the acts of their independent contractors who sexually harassed other independent contractors who were associated with the same company by way of new Executive Law.

Read the full article by Andrew Lieb, Esq. here. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Dan's Papers Advertising Deal for Lieb School Students

Excited to share a special Dan's Papers Advertising Deal for Lieb School Students! 

$999 Full Newsprint Page for the Memorial Day Issue of Dan's Papers, if you book by 6pm on Monday 5/21. 

Plus get 2 FREE General Admission tickets to the Dan’s Rosé Soirée event! To take advantage of this deal email ericf@danshamptons.com 


Thursday, May 17, 2018

10 Keys To East End Real Estate In 2018

If you are investing in real estate this year, this is a must read for buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants and even neighbors. While this was published in a hamptons magazine, the facts can really apply to all NY real estate.

Read Andrew Lieb, Esq. full article published in Behind The Hedges Here. 


Thursday, May 10, 2018

4-3-18 NYS Board of Real Estate meeting summary


On 4-3-18 the NYS Board of Real Estate continued its mission of optimizing the regulation of real estate brokers in our state by holding its meeting in NYC, Buffalo and Albany. To remind real estate brokers and salespersons, the public is welcome at these meetings where the public can bring comments from the floor. It’s encouraged that Lieb School students attend these meetings to have your voices heard. 

"[T]he Board has general authority to promulgate rules and regulations affecting real estate brokers and salespersons in order to administer and effectuate the purposes of Article 12-A of the Real Property Law."


The meeting was relatively brief, but did include some interesting comment, including:
- From January through March, there were 221 real estate complaints.
- New real estate brokerage course curriculum has been released to schools and is anticipated to be in place by 9-1-18. This curriculum includes 5 hours on office operations.
- Suggestions for changes to the industry included: (a) a requirement to place license numbers on marketing materials; (b) creating a system so that deceased broker's licenses are terminated and cannot be continued wrongfully by others; and (c) expanding eaccessNY to indicate when a salesperson / associate real estate broker / broker is inactive or suspended. 

The next meeting was referenced to be June 1, 2018, but was not confirmed. 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

What You Need To Know About Using Dual Agent and Dual Agent With Designated Sales Agent

We never recommend a general form as each situation is unique and requires specific information. However, sometimes in our Agency Disclosure classes we do reference the Department of State's article called "Be Wary of Dual Agency". 

Being a Dual Agent means your fiduciary duties are compromised on the individual level. Further, it's a direct deal where the seller/landlord & buyer/tenant both knowingly waive the conflict of interest permitting you to have compromised loyalties in neither negotiating on behalf of either party to a transaction.

A Dual Agent form should only be used when you represent both the seller/landlord & buyer/tenant. Additionally, no other agents are involved from your brokerage firm or another brokerage firm. You can use Dual Agent if you have a listing & you are acting as a selling agent by procuring a client to the listing.

We always recommend that large brokerage companies select Advanced Consent to Dual Agent with Designated Agent when clients are okay with it. You never know who will find a buyer for your listing or who will have a listing for your buyer.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

NY Broker Websites Are Actively Being Audited By The DOS | Learn Your Exposure

The NY Department of State (DOS) is now ACTIVELY auditing real estate broker and salespersons websites for compliance.

If you are NOT in compliance you are subject to:
  • Revocation
  • Suspension 
  • $1,000 fine PER violation 
  • Censure 
  • Disgorgement of commission + interest 
  • You get charged with untrustworthiness & incompetency in the practice of real estate brokerage in the state of NY. 
Find out if you are in compliance by taking Lieb School's Video Continuing Education Class, Deceptive & Misleading Advertising ONLINE.

You can also take advantage of our $99 special which includes 7 CE classes (including Deceptive & Misleading Advertising ONLINE).


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Video Clip of Strategic Negotiating CE

If you couldn’t make it to our in-person strategic negotiating CE class, no worries, we are currently cutting up the video and creating an online class version. Here’s a clip of what to expect. This real estate CE class will be available by the end of this year!


Lieb Headquarters Moving to Smithtown Summer of 2018

Andrew Lieb, Esq. announces exciting news about Lieb at Law, P.C.'s expansion including opening up a 40 seat compliance training center. 


Monday, April 30, 2018

Renewing An Expired Real Estate License in New York

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.   

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.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Sexual Harassment Protections Extended to Independent Contractors in New York State


As of April 12, 2018, companies in the State of New York are now exposed to liability for harassment of independent contractors in the workplace.  The text of the new law can be found here. The New York State Human Rights Law previously only protected employees from sexual harassment.  While the statute does not specify whether companies can be held liable for acts of their independent contractors who sexually harass other independent contractors, the statute does state that when determining whether a company is liable for the acts of the harasser, the “extent of the employer’s control and any other legal responsibility which the employer may have with respect to the conduct of the harasser” should be considered.  This language appears to imply that companies such as real estate brokerages which subject independent contractors to substantial supervision (as required by 19 NYCRR §175.21(a) and Real Property Law §441(1)(d )), would be exposed to liability for all acts of harassment committed by their independent contractors.  It is thus imperative that brokerage firms immediately implement sexual harassment policies and trainings for their independent contractors in addition to their employees to mitigate potential exposure.  

Friday, April 20, 2018

Lieb at Law Welcomes Mordy Yankovich

Lieb at Law, P.C. is thrilled to announce Mordy Yankovich has joined the litigation team. Mordy's practice focuses on corporate, real estate and employment litigation and compliance. Mr. Yankovich represents companies in all aspects of litigation in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies. He prides himself on advocating zealously for his clients while providing constructive and honest counsel to achieve the best possible result.

In addition to litigating matters, Mr. Yankovich advises clients on compliance with federal, state and local laws and conducts trainings for employers, including anti-discrimination and anti-harassment trainings, to minimize clients’ potential exposure. Prior to working at Lieb at Law, P.C., Mr. Yankovich was a litigation associate with Jackson Lewis, P.C., a national law firm focusing on labor and employment law.

Mr. Yankovich is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey state courts, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York and the U.S. District Court of New Jersey. He received his law degree from Hofstra University School of Law where he was an articles editor of the Labor and Employment Law Journal and a member of the Dean’s List. Prior to law school, Mr. Yankovich graduated from Boston University with a B.S. in Public Relations and a minor in Economics.

When not advocating on behalf of his clients, Mr. Yankovich enjoys playing golf and tennis, creative writing, following the stock market, and spending quality time with his wife and 2 children.

Friday, April 13, 2018

2018 is All About Real Estate Law | Special Real Estate Issue From The Suffolk Lawyer

Andrew Lieb Esq, put together a special real estate section of the Suffolk Lawyer's April 2018 addition. Included in the section are the following articles:

  • Considerations When Planning a Real Estate Investment Business by Sabie Franco
  • The Effect of a Discontinuance on the Mortgage Foreclosure Statute of Limitations Period by Christopher Gorman and James Wighaus
  • Condo and Co-op Boards Beware - Discrimination in Housing by Dennis Valet
  • Don't Slip Up Handling a Slip and Fall Deposition by Kenneth Landau

These articles are designed to ground educate and inspire us. They are the foundation of what is today because without learning about today, we cannot be prepared to leverage tomorrow.

To read the full section, click here. 

Condo and Co-op Boards Beware - Discrimination in Housing

Condominiums and cooperatives, especially high-end associations, are infamous for their lengthy, comprehensive, and often draconian purchase applications, by-laws, and house rules. In their quest to ensure that prospective new purchasers will be the proverbial “good neighbor” it is easy for a board of managers to inadvertently take discriminatory actions that expose the board to liability. This article examines some common issues a board of managers should consider when hiring an attorney to craft or review purchase applications, by-laws, and house rules that ensure compliance with ever-changing local, state, and federal discrimination laws.

To read the full article by Dennis Valet, Esq, click here. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

CLE Materials - The Top Real Estate Laws of 2017

Available here are all cases, statutes, and other supporting materials for the CLE, The Top Real Estate Laws of 2017, sponsored by First American Title, presented on Monday, April 9, 2018 at the The Omni Building.

Click HERE for downloadable materials. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Lieb at Law is Hiring | Real Estate Attorney | Unique Opportunity To Run Transaction Practice | Smithtown

Transaction Attorney: Resumes to careers@liebatlaw.com

Lieb at Law, P.C. seeks an experienced transaction attorney to join our boutique firm as we rapidly expand our footprint. This is the right position for an attorney looking to leverage our 7,000 + contacts in the real estate brokerage world. If played right, you can be the most sought after commercial and residential transactional attorney in the Long Island / NYC region.

The firm services the New York Metro area, inclusive of the Hamptons and Manhattan, and represents the largest real estate brokerage and title companies in the State of New York. Moreover, the firm’s sister company is one of the largest real estate schools in the state offering in-person and digital continuing education classes to real estate brokers and salespersons. In the summer of 2018, the firm is moving to Smithtown and opening up a new state of the art training facility and headquarters. We are looking for someone to lead and grow what can be the largest transaction department in the State. Those that succeed and prove themselves have the opportunity to become a partner at the firm.

The firm’s practice areas include:

Litigation: Commercial Litigation, Real Estate Litigation, Real Estate Brokerage Litigation, Title Litigation, Plaintiff Personal Injury, Landlord/Tenant, Discrimination and Estate Litigation.
Legal Compliance for Regulated Industries: Outside Compliance Counsel for regulated professions, Policy Drafting, Policy Implementation, Auditing, Corporate Compliance Trainings. Focus on real estate brokerage and title insurance industries.
Estate Planning and Probate: Last Wills, Advance Directives, Trusts, and Probate Administration.
Transactions: Commercial and Residential Real Estate Purchase and Lease Transactions, Business Transactions and Negotiations.
Qualifications:
Lieb at Law’s transactional practice represents commercial clients and individuals in real estate and business transactions. Candidates must have a minimum of 4 years of experience drafting, structuring and negotiating contracts and leases. Be prepared to explain the legal bases for specific title exceptions and your strategy to clear these title issues if you want the job. Candidates must be impeccably organized and technologically savvy as the firm is a paperless office that leverages cloud based systems to streamline operations. Most importantly, the candidate must be a hustler, who wants to leverage substance rather than emotion, when getting the job done yesterday. The firm’s motto is “no case, no statue, no talk”.
Commercial and Residential Transactions:
  • Purchases & Sales for Single Family / Vacation (Second) Homes, Multi-Family Homes, Co-ops, Condos, New Construction, Short Sales, Vacant Land 
  • Commercial Sales / Purchases for Stand Alone Buildings, Shopping Centers / Strip Malls, Hotel / Motels, Entity Transfer Agreements, Religious Institutions, Operator / Master Tenant Agreements and more… 
  • Commercial / Residential Leasing 
  • Deed Transfers 
  • Land Use & Zoning Advice & Applications 
  • Promissory Notes & Mortgages 
  • Property Management
Business Transactions and Negotiations:
  • Purchases & Sales (UCC Filings / Bulk Sale Transactions) 
  • Drafting & Negotiation of Commercial Contracts 
  • Drafting Legal Viability Reports for Business Planning 
  • Business Structuring & Startup Counseling 
  • Organization of New Businesses, Formation of Corporations, Partnerships, LLCs and more
  • Shareholder / Membership Agreements 
  • Drafting Form Contracts 
  • Drafting & Advice for Policy Manuals 
  • Intellectual Property Copyright / Trademark Filings & Licensing Agreements 
  • Regulatory Advice, Compliance & Advocacy


Lieb at Law is Different:
The law firm’s sister company, Lieb School, offers in-person and digital courses throughout New York State and Connecticut. Lieb at Law, P.C. attorneys draft curriculum and teach at the school where they have the opportunity to establish themselves as topical experts and drive the future of the real estate brokerage industry.  Lieb Attorneys will have the opportunity to leverage the firm’s state of the art training center for business development.

About the Firm:
The firm was founded in 1977. In 2009, Andrew Lieb acquired control of the firm and transformed its legal services from a general practice to a commercial litigation and transaction boutique focusing on real estate and legal compliance for regulated industries.

The firm’s litigation practice is driven by leveraging informational imbalances to win cases. This is a substance first law firm where data drives decision making and strategy.

To achieve the firm’s information focused litigation culture, staff have access to cloud-based legal research platform so the latest cases are available to our legal team everywhere, including within the courtroom. Next, a secure, cloud-based case management system catalogs every thought and action on each client’s matter. As a result, case facts are readily accessible through the stroke of a computer key, instead of being locked away in one attorney’s memory or private paper notes in some desk draw. Finally, enterprise file sharing, storage and collaboration software is utilized to enable the efficient collaboration between attorneys where case strategy and document preparation benefits from fresh and innovative group think.

Lieb at Law’s latest research and collaboration tools extend to the firm’s transactional team, which ensures that contractual language is driven by our real life experiential learning from our contractual litigating practice.

Lastly, we publish and teach the law that we practice in order to always stay on the cutting edge. Lieb at Law’s work product is a derivative of embracing education and technology to provide a modern law firm that is at the vanguard of representation.

About the Transaction Practice:
Lieb at Law ensures that contractual language is driven by the real life experience of our litigation practice. As a result, we advise and negotiate by performing a cost-benefit analysis for each provision that goes into our client’s contracts. Knowing the cost of litigation and likelihood of success on the merits for each term, through first-hand experience, enables us to succinctly know when to push and when to give in to achieve favorable agreements. Simply stated, we are a substance-based law firm, not a "because that’s how it's done" shop.

We are on the cutting edge of the law and frequently give lectures and continuing education to attorneys and real estate professionals throughout New York State. Our attorneys have drafted and published a complete set of transactional forms for the largest brokerage companies in the state, including policy manuals and the like. The firm’s Managing Attorney oversees the transactional practice and is a prolific author on real estate law topics, has served as the Chair of the Real Property Committee to the Suffolk Bar Association and is a regular contributor to the Journal of Real Estate Litigation and Condemnation of the American Bar Association, The New York Real Estate Journal, The Huffington Post, Dan’s Papers, Behind The Hedges, The Nassau Lawyer and The Suffolk Lawyer.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The End of Yellowstone Injunctions

The Appellate Division, Second Department, ruled on an issue of first impression in 159 MP Corp. v. Redbridge Bedford, LLC, that commercial tenants may waive declaratory judgment remedies in their written lease agreements and as such, landlords can now avoid Yellowstone injunctions through carefully crafting their lease agreements. All landlord’s counsel should include a provision in their leases mirroring the operative lease language. It would be wise for landlord’s counsel to expressly set forth broad consideration for the waiver of declaratory relief so that it is not subject to unconscionability analysis. 

Read the full article by Andrew Lieb, Esq. published in The Suffolk Lawyer here. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Brand New FREE Lieb CE | Listing Agents - Claims of Ownership | Southampton


Date: April 19, 2018
Time: 3:30pm to 7:15pm
Instructor: Andrew Lieb Esq
Price: FREE, FUN WITH FOOD*
Location: 230 Elm in Southampton

*FOOD Provided by Class Sponsors: Douglas Elliman Real Estate, DE Title Services, Citizens Bank and Behind The Hedges (DANS PAPERS)

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Lieb at Law is Hiring | Litigation Attorney | Complex Motion Writer | Legal Strategist | Smithtown


Lieb at Law, P.C. seeks an experienced attorney to join our boutique firm as we rapidly expand our footprint and seek new high quality litigators. The firm services the New York Metro area, inclusive of the Hamptons and Manhattan. In the summer of 2018, the firm is moving from Center Moriches to Smithtown and opening up a new state of the art training facility. We are looking for a complex motion writer / legal strategist to join our team. This is an opportunity for someone who wants to work on interesting and complex cases with endless career opportunities. This person will manage high profile commercial litigation cases (Plaintiff & Defense).

The firm’s practice areas include:

  • Litigation: Commercial Litigation, Real Estate Litigation, Real Estate Brokerage Litigation, Title Litigation, Plaintiff Personal Injury, Landlord/Tenant, Discrimination and Estate Litigation.
  • Legal Compliance for Regulated Industries: Outside Compliance Counsel for regulated professions, Policy Drafting, Policy Implementation, Auditing, Corporate Compliance Trainings. Focus on real estate brokerage and title insurance industries. 
  • Estate Planning and Probate: Last Wills, Advance Directives, Trusts, and Probate Administration.
  • Transactions: Commercial and Residential Real Estate Purchase and Lease Transactions, Business Transactions and Negotiations. 


Qualifications: 

Candidate must be seasoned in motion practice, oral arguments, depositions, and trial preparation. Appeals and Trials are a plus, but not required. Must be technologically savvy as the firm is a paperless office that leverages cloud based systems to streamline operations. Most importantly, the candidate must be a strategic and technical litigator who leads with substance rather than emotion. The firm’s motto is “no case, no statute, no talk”.

Lieb at Law is different: 
The law firm is a part-owner of a New York State Licensed Real Estate School, Lieb School, which offers in-class and digital courses throughout New York State and Connecticut. Lieb at Law, P.C. attorneys draft curriculum and teach at the school where they have the opportunity to establish themselves as topical experts and drive the future of the real estate brokerage industry.  

About the firm:
The firm was founded in 1977. In 2009, Andrew Lieb acquired control of the firm and transformed its legal services from a general practice to a commercial litigation boutique focusing on real estate and legal compliance for regulated industries. 

The firm’s litigation practice is driven by leveraging informational imbalances to win cases. This is a substance first law firm where data drives decision making and strategy.

To achieve the firm’s information focused litigation culture, staff have access to cloud-based legal research platform so the latest cases are available to our legal team everywhere, including within the courtroom. Next, a secure, cloud-based case management system catalogs every thought and action on each client’s matter. As a result, case facts are readily accessible through the stroke of a computer key, instead of being locked away in one attorney’s memory or private paper notes in some desk draw. Finally, enterprise file sharing, storage and collaboration software is utilized to enable the efficient collaboration between attorneys where case strategy and document preparation benefits from fresh and innovative group think.

Lieb at Law’s latest research and collaboration tools extend to the firm’s transactional team, which ensures that contractual language is driven by our real life experiential learning from our contractual litigating practice.

Lastly, we publish and teach the law that we practice in order to always stay on the cutting edge. Lieb at Law’s work product is a derivative of embracing education and technology to provide a modern law firm that is at the vanguard of representation.

Notable Clients:
  • Largest Real Estate Brokerage firm in the State of New York
  • Largest Title Insurance company in the State of New York
  • Lieb School: New York State / Connecticut Real Estate School
  • Small and medium size businesses and property owners 
  • High net worth individuals
To apply: Email Cover Letter & Resume to careers@liebatlaw.com 

Monday, February 26, 2018

DOJ Launches Sexual Harassment in Housing Initiative


The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice announced a new initiative that brings local law enforcement, legal service providers, and DOJ officials together in order to encourage victims to report instances of sexual harassment, increase awareness, assist in obtaining necessary resources for relief, and ultimately, continue the vigorous enforcement of the Fair Housing Act’s ban on sexual harassment.

This initiative stemmed from four cases in 2017, wherein DOJ recovered over $1 million in damages for claims of sexual harassment and violations of the Fair Housing Act. Two of those cases are U.S. v. Kansas City, Kansas Housing Authority and U.S. v. Tjoelker.

On September 29, 2017, DOJ executed a settlement agreement resolving a case against Kansas City Kansas Housing Authority (KCKHA). The Complaint alleged KCKHA employees engaged in a pattern or practice of sexually harassing female housing applicants and residents. One defendant even admitted in sworn deposition testimony that he exposed himself to multiple females. In the agreement, the fourteen aggrieved females were awarded $360,000 in monetary damages. In addition, KCKHA was ordered to implement a written policy against sexual harassment, including a formal complaint procedure to be approved by DOJ and to pay a $5,000 civil penalty to the United States.

On October 3, 2017, DOJ also executed a settlement agreement against Frank Tjoelker, owner and/or manager of rental dwellings in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Complaint also alleged that he engaged in a pattern or practice of sexually harassing actual and prospective female tenants. Allegations include unwelcome sexual comments and advances, unwanted groping or touching, offers for housing benefits in exchange for sexual favors, and taking or threats of taking adverse housing actions for those who object to such harassment or refuse to grant sexual favors. Under the settlement agreement, Tjoelker was ordered to pay $140,000 to compensate the ten victims and a $10,000 civil penalty to the United States.

Although DOJ only executed settlement agreements to obtain resolutions on the above-mentioned cases and such agreements are binding only among the parties involved, it is likely that DOJ will apply similar penalties in future settlement agreements or decisions on violations of the Fair Housing Act’s sexual harassment ban. See U.S. v. Bailey, U.S. v. Barnason, and U.S. v. Bathrick.

In this regard, as evidence of good faith compliance with the Fair Housing Act, real estate professionals are encouraged to establish written policies against sexual harassment, to train their employees and agents to identify and refrain from engaging in acts of sexual harassment, and to establish procedures for handling complaints.

Monday, February 19, 2018

House Approves ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017

The US House of Representatives approved the “ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017” or H.R. 620 with a 225-192 vote. This Bill will change the face of commercial real estate disability law immediately when signed by the President. Specifically, the Bill provides for a new notice and cure period as a condition precedent to civil suit. As such, commercial property owners should immediately implement a policy to demonstrate good faith that is triggered by receipt of a notice. Further, defense counsel should leverage this new law as a procedural basis to dismiss claims against commercial real estate clients.

As an aside, the Bill also provides for educational programs designed to promote public accommodations for persons with a disability, but such programs will require regulations prior to implementation so it is unknown how such programs will ultimately look. Regardless, the Bill provides for training of professionals whose job it is to assess accessibility of properties, such as Certified Access Specialists (CASp). The CASp program was created through California Senate Bill 262 and currently, New York does not have a similar program in place. Nonetheless, New York commercial real estate professionals may hire accessibility specialists certified by the International Code Council or similar programs.

As such, commercial real estate professionals should immediately learn more about these specialists to obtain an immediate assessment of their properties as it seems that a positive finding of compliance will be a good mitigator to suit.

To track H.R. 620’s progress through the Senate, use Govtrack.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Top 10 Real Estate Laws of 2017

Now that 2018 is here it is important to be aware of the changes in the law for our industry. This is not a list about the best events from 2017, but instead, a list that highlights the new legal landscape
that real estate attorneys face in 2018. Being familiar with these laws, regulations and opinions may help Attorneys better address their client’s goals and make them money while helping them
avoid malpractice.

Here is a link to the full article by Andrew Lieb, Esq. published in The Suffolk Lawyer. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

New Statute - Residential Rentals must be Code Compliant or Face Premises Liability Exposure

New section of the Real Property Law protects tenants from illegally converting dwellings in all residential leases. This statute will place an exorbitant risk on the landlords; a risk only magnified by the likelihood that a property insurance carrier will disclaim coverage for such a claim.

Read the full article by Andrew Lieb, Esq. published in the Suffolk Lawyer here.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Lieb School | Free CE | NYC | Deceptive & Misleading Advertising | Registration Now Open

Deceptive & Misleading Advertising

Instructor(s): Andrew Lieb, Esq., MPH
Sponsor(s): Quontic Bank
Credits: 3.00 CE Hours


This 3 hour real estate brokerage continuing education course maps out the rules to advertise property in the State of New York. Did you know that real estate salespersons, associate brokers and brokers cannot just say whatever they want in real estate advertisements? Moreover, agents can’t be forced by their clients to manipulate the true description of property while marketing. In this course, you will learn that there is no freedom of speech in this regulated industry. In fact, the New York State legislature empowered the Department of State to enforce advertising regulations and such regulations are actually enforced.

After taking this course, you will be able to recite, with precision, the do’s and don’ts of real estate advertising. Instead of passing this integral function off to your team members or 3rd party vendors, you will know the importance of actively managing every aspect of promotion and mastering this craft. You will learn what you can and cannot include in advertisements. We will go over team advertisements, classified advertisements, mail, telephone, websites, e-mail, business cards, signs, billboards, flyers, for-sale signs, photographs, web-based promotion and more.

We will review court cases of deceptive and misleading advertising and you will understand the consequences of such action. We will discuss advertising statutes, regulations and opinion letters from the Department of State so that agents can advertise right up to the limit of what is permissible while complying with the laws of the State of New York.

Advanced Registration Available Here

Thursday, January 18, 2018

New York State Senate Says Aye to Bill Allowing Title Insurance Marketing Expenses

With 61 ayes and 0 nays, the New York State Senate passed S6704 which provides a definition for “an inducement for, or as compensation for, any title insurance business” in Insurance Law 6409. The new definition allows title companies and agents to continue usual and customary marketing activities such as taking clients out for coffee or lunch. The only requirement is that these marketing expenses must not be offered as a quid pro quo for a particular piece of title insurance business.

Nonetheless, title insurance companies and agents are still holding their breath as it is still in the Assembly’s hands to approve A8467 and effectively ease Regulation 208’s prohibitions on inducements for title insurance business.


You can track the Assembly’s actions on A8647 through this link

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Title Regulation Testimony before the NYS Assembly - A Must Watch

The NYS Assembly held a hearing before the Committee on Insurance on January 12, 2018, which goes into great detail about new Insurance Regulations 206 and 208.

During the first approximate 2 hours of the hearing, Superindent Maria T. Vullo of the Department of Financial Services made a statement and fielded many questions about these regulations and the industry as a whole. Then, a second panel of the big 3 title insurance underwriters discussed their take on the regulations. Next, a consumer advocacy panel and then, a title insurance agency representative testified, which were followed by the President of the New York State Land Title Association and an independent title closer. Finishing up the testimony, the Executive Director of TIRSA testified.

Beyond this hearing, real estate professionals should continue to track New York State Bills A8467 and S6704, which each relate to the definition of the phrase "an inducement for, or as compensation for, any title insurance business" as set forth in Insurance Law 6409 and can further change the title insurance industry, if signed into law.