LIEB BLOG

How current events impact your business and real estate holdings

Showing posts with label DOS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DOS. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

NYS Proposes Regulations that Require Appraisers to Learn Fair Housing / Anti-Discrimination

On 12/23/2020, the NYS Department of State proposed mandating fair housing education as a condition of license renewal for appraisers and assistant appraisers.  


The proposed regulations would be at 19 NYCRR 1107.2(b), 19 NYCRR 1107.33(a), (b), and (c), and 19 NYCRR 1107.34. 


In substance, the regulations would require that every licensed or certified appraiser complete an approved course of study in Fair Housing and Fair Lending every two years with the following course topics: 

a) 7 Hour Introduction to Fair Housing and Fair Lending Instruction

b) 4 Hour Update on Fair Housing and Fair Lending Instruction


Now, we are in the public comment period until 02/21/2021. To make your comments, email the regulator at david.mossberg@dos.ny.gov


While we are very encouraged by increased fair housing and anti-discrimination trainings being required in NYS, we are concerned with how specific the subtopics of education are and how they offer no explanation as to what exactly the government is looking for within each subtopic. We are also concerned about how this requirement will impact federal government contractor appraisers who must follow Executive Order 13950 on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping and are therefore restricted on engaging in trainings on unconscious bias or implicit bias to the extent that "it teaches or implies that an individual, by virtue of his or her race, sex, and/or national origin, is racist, sexist, oppressive, or biased, whether consciously or unconsciously," per the US Department of Labor. We hope that these issues will be addressed before this regulation is finalized. 


To the specific subtopic requirements, under topic a), the subtopics are as follows:

(1) Fair housing, fair lending requirements, and the history of lending 2 hours

(a) What is fair housing?

(b) What is fair lending?

(c) Roadblocks to fair housing/lending

(d) Federal laws Civil Rights Act of 1866

Civil Rights Act of 1964 Fair Housing Act of 1968

Supreme Court

The Housing and Community Development Act of 1974

The Fair Housing Amendment Act of 1988

Other legislation

- Community Reinvestment Act

- Equal Credit Opportunity Act

- Home Mortgage Disclosure Act

- Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act American Disabilities Act

(ADA)

(e) New York State Law - Executive Law includes the Civil Rights

Law of the State (NY Human Rights Law - Article 15)

- Additional protected classes; age and marital status

- Includes residential property, land commercial property and credit

transactions

(f) Local Regulations

(g) Exemptions and Exceptions

- Senior Citizen Housing

- Drug users and alcohol abusers

- Two family exemption

(h) USPAP/FIRREA

(i) Enforcement and Duties

-U.S. Department of Justice

-Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

-New York State Department of State, Division of Licensing

-New York State Division of Human Rights

-Administrative Law Judges

-Federal and State Courts

-Responsibilities of individual appraisers

(j) Penalties New York State Federal Government

(2) Development of appraisal (Standard 1 USPAP) 1.5 hours

(a) Bias and discrimination in the analysis in development

(b) Documentation of sources

(c) Secondary market guidelines Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD,

VA

(3) Reporting of appraisal results (Standard 2 USAP) 1.5 hour

(a) Bias and discrimination in the report

(b) Documentation of sources

(c) Secondary market guidelines Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD,

VA

(4) Case studies 2 hours

(a) Neighborhood issues

(b) Improvement issues

(c) External obsolescence

(d) Conscious and Unconscious bias


Under topic b), the subtopics are as follows:

(1) Fair housing, fair lending requirements, and the history of lending 1 hour

(a) What is fair housing?

(b) What is fair lending?

(c) Roadblocks to fair housing/lending

(d) Federal laws Civil Rights Act of 1866

Civil Rights Act of 1964 Fair Housing Act of 1968

Supreme Court

The Housing and Community Development Act of 1974

The Fair Housing Amendment Act of 1988

Other legislation

- Community Reinvestment Act

- Equal Credit Opportunity Act

- Home Mortgage Disclosure Act

- Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act American Disabilities Act

(ADA)

(e) New York State Law - Executive Law includes the Civil Rights

Law of the State (NY Human Rights Law - Article 15)

- Additional protected classes; age and marital status

- Includes residential property, land commercial property and credit

transactions

(f) Local Regulations

(g) Exemptions and Exceptions

Senior Citizen Housing

Drug users and alcohol abusers

Two family exemption

(h) USPAP/FIRREA

(i) Enforcement and Duties

-U.S. Department of Justice

-Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

-New York State Department of State, Division of Licensing

-New York State Division of Human Rights

-Administrative Law Judges

-Federal and State Courts

-Responsibilities of individual appraisers

(j) Penalties New York State Federal Government

(2) Development of appraisal (Standard 1 USPAP) 1 hour

(a) Bias and discrimination in the analysis

(b) Documentation of sources

(c) Secondary market guidelines Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD,

VA

(3) Reporting of appraisal results (Standard 2 USAP) 1 hour

(a) Bias and discrimination in the report

(b) Documentation of sources

(c) Secondary market guidelines Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD,

VA

(4) Case studies 1 hour

(a) Neighborhood issues

(b) Improvement issues

(c) External obsolescence

(d) Conscious and Unconscious bias


 




Monday, April 27, 2020

Fair Housing Disclosure / Notice / Website Requirements - Effective June 20, 2020

Major NEW Fair Housing Regulations are effective June 20, 2020 according to the NYS Board of Real estate meeting that was held on April 27, 2020.

ALERT: Real estate brokers must implement trainings immediately on their salespersons distributing the new required disclosure form or risk both license law violations and lawsuits for discrimination. Lieb Compliance is ready to help.



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The new disclosure regulation is 19 NYCRR 175.28:

a) A real estate broker shall be responsible to ensure that each individual licensed pursuant to Article 12-A of the New York Real Property Law and associated with such broker provides to a prospective purchaser, tenant, seller, or landlord upon first substantive contact a disclosure notice furnished by the Department, containing substantive provisions of the New York State Human Rights Law. The disclosure notice shall set forth how Human Rights Law complaints may be filed, and such other information as the Department deems pertinent.

b) The disclosure notice required pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, may be provided to a prospective purchaser, tenant, seller, or landlord by any of the following means: email, text, electronic messaging system, facsimile, or hardcopy. An electronic communication containing a link to the disclosure notice required pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section shall be permissible, provided the communication also contains text to inform the prospective purchaser, tenant, seller, or landlord that the link contains information regarding the New York State Human Rights Law. Oral disclosure does not satisfy the requirements imposed by this section.

c) The disclosure notice required by paragraph (a) of this section shall apply to all real property whether or not it is used or occupied, or intended to be used or occupied, wholly or partly, as a home or residence of one or more persons regardless of the number of units, and shall include: condominiums; cooperative apartments; vacant lands, including unimproved real property upon which such dwellings are to be constructed; or commercial properties.

d) A real estate broker, licensed real estate salesperson, or licensed associate broker that provides the disclosure notice required pursuant to this section by hardcopy, shall obtain a signed acknowledgment from the prospective buyer, tenant, seller, or landlord. Such signed disclosure notice shall be retained for not less than three years. A real estate broker, licensed real estate salesperson, or licensed associate broker that provides the disclosure notice required pursuant to this section by email, text, electronic messaging system, or facsimile, shall maintain a duplicate copy of such disclosure and shall retain the same for not less than three years. If the prospective buyer, tenant, seller, or landlord declines to sign the disclosure notice, the real estate broker, licensed real estate salesperson or licensed associate broker shall set forth under oath or affirmation a written declaration of the facts regarding when such notice was provided and shall maintain a copy of the declaration for not less than three years.

Interestingly, subsection (e) was deleted from 175.28 after public comment. Subsection (e) previously stated "[a] real estate broker shall be jointly liable for any violation of this section committed by any licensed individual associated with such broker." Our comment on the topic, given on January 21, 2020, was discussed at the NYS Board of Real Estate meeting on April 27, 2020.

We commented:
This subsection is superfluous, to an extent, and creates issues with regulatory construction as it indicates that a broker is not jointly and severally liable for other violations of 19 NYCRR 175 and as such, it should be stricken. I imagine the intended purpose is to clarify the impact of RPL 442-c on this regulation, but it should be further clarified as it's ripe for litigation the way it currently exists, as proposed.
As you can see, it's always important to participate in the regulatory process through comments. 

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ALERT: Real estate brokers need to display this new notice in their offices & on their websites. Real estate brokers must audit their real estate salespersons' websites under this new regulation. Lieb Compliance is ready to help.



The new advertising regulation is 19 NYCRR 175.29:

a) A real estate broker shall display and maintain at every office and branch office operated by such broker a notice, furnished by the Department, indicating the substantive provisions of the New York State Human Rights Law relative to housing accommodations. The notice shall set forth
how Human Rights Law complaints may be filed and such other information as the Department deems pertinent.

b) The notice required by paragraph (a) of this section shall be prominently displayed in the window of such office and any branch office maintained by such broker if such broker also provides listings or other postings in the window of such location and must be visible to persons on that portion of the sidewalk adjacent to such office or branch office. If any office or branch office is not accessible from the sidewalk or if postings are otherwise prohibited by any other applicable law, then the notice
required pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section shall be prominently posted in the same location the business license is posted pursuant to subdivision 3 of section 441-a of article 12 of the Real Property Law.

c) All websites created and maintained by real estate brokers, associate real estate brokers, real estate salespersons and any real estate team, as such term is defined by section 175.25 of this title, shall prominently and conspicuously display on the homepage of such website a link to the Department’s notice as required by paragraph (a) of this section, which shall be made available by the Department.

d) A real estate broker, licensed real estate salesperson, or licensed associate broker shall have displayed at all open houses of all real property the notice required by paragraph (a) of this section. In addition, a real estate broker, licensed real estate agent, or licensed associate broker shall
have available at all open houses and showings of all real property the notice required by paragraph (a) of section 175.28 of this part.

Interestingly, subsection (e) was deleted from 175.29 after public comment. Subsection (e) previously stated "[a] real estate broker shall be jointly liable for any violation of this section committed by any licensed individual associated with such broker." Our comment on the topic, given on January 21, 2020, was discussed at the NYS Board of Real Estate meeting on April 27, 2020.

We commented:
This subsection is superfluous, to an extent, and creates issues with regulatory construction as it indicates that a broker is not jointly and severally liable for other violations of 19 NYCRR 175 and as such, it should be stricken. I imagine the intended purpose is to clarify the impact of RPL 442-c on this regulation, but it should be further clarified as it's ripe for litigation the way it currently exists, as proposed.
As you can see, it's always important to participate in the regulatory process through comments. 

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Finally, real estate schools now have to record their fair housing trainings & Lieb School is already in compliance with the new regulation, 19 NYCRR 177.9:

(a) Every entity approved to provide instruction pertaining to fair housing and/or discrimination in the sale or rental of real property or an interest in real property shall cause a recording to be created of each course in its entirety. Such recording shall contain both video and audio of the instruction.

(b) The recording required by paragraph (a) of this section shall be maintained by the approved entity for at least one year following the date such course was provided to an enrolled student. If the entity knows or suspects that the recording is or will be the subject of litigation, then the approved entity shall maintain such recording as required by law.

(c) The recording required by paragraph (a) of this section may be subject to audit by the Department pursuant to section 177.11 of this part.


Friday, February 07, 2020

Recent Legal Matters CE Course & DOS Guidance on Paying Landlord's Agents

Last night, 2/6/2020, we were thrilled to have a packed house attending our new CE - Recent Legal Matters.

Image may contain: 10 people, people sitting and indoor

While not specifically a course topic, the DOS Guidance's Additional FAQs (updated: 1/31/2020) was brought up by students. Specifically, students inquired about FAQ #5:
5. CAN A LANDLORD’S AGENT COLLECT A “BROKER FEE” FROM THE PROSPECTIVE TENANT? No, a landlord’s agent cannot be compensated by the prospective tenant for bringing about the meeting of the minds. NY RPL § 238-a(1)(a) provides, in part, “no landlord, lessor, sub-lessor or grantor may demand any payment, fee, or charge for the processing, review or acceptance of an application, or demand any other payment, fee or charge before or at the beginning of the tenancy, except background checks and credit checks….” The fee to bring about the meeting of the minds would be a “payment, fee or charge before or at the beginning of the tenancy” other than a background or credit check as provided in this section. Accordingly, a landlord’s agent that collects a fee for bringing about the meeting of the minds between the landlord and tenant (i.e., the broker fee) from the tenant can be subject to discipline. 
What good timing for this to come up because our course materials included an explanation of the requirements for an agency (DOS) to issue a regulation, which were not undertaken with respect to this Guidance. As such, the Guidance is NOT law, but, instead an agency's interpretation of law. With respect to the Guidance constituting an interpretation rather than law, we explained how and when an agency's interpretation is given deference by the courts who are the co-equal branch of government with the constitutional authority to be the final voice on interpreting statutes (laws). Incident thereto, we shared the following quotes from case law with our students:
It is well settled that “[a]n agency's interpretation of its own regulation ‘is entitled to deference if that interpretation is not irrational or unreasonable’” &
“the question is one of pure statutory reading and analysis, dependent only on accurate apprehension of legislative intent, there is little basis to rely on any special competence or expertise of the  administrative agency and its interpretive regulations... And, of course, if the regulation runs counter to the clear wording of a statutory provision, it should not be accorded any weight.”
Oh, do we expect a legal battle on this issue. Stay tuned. It's going to get entertaining fast.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Real Estate Brokers - Guess the Pass Rate on the Salesperson Exam from 9/17/19 to 12/16/19

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Real Estate Brokers - Guess How Many License Complaints DOS Received from 9/17/19 to 12/16/19

248 in 3 months

According to the Board of Real Estate Meeting

Of which DOS:

  • 121 closed
  • 2 withdrawan
  • 2 duplicates
  • 19 civil matter
  • 9 resolved
  • 8 no violation
  • 24 no jurisdiction
  • 11 insufficient evidence
  • 43 were holds placed on licensee's record to address brefore renew
  • 6 were referred to counsel for a hearing
Lieb School - where the law is followed