LIEB BLOG

How current events impact business & real estate

Showing posts with label Real Estate Brokers and Salesperson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Real Estate Brokers and Salesperson. Show all posts

Monday, August 03, 2020

New Housing Discrimination Law – RE Brokers Exposed to Fines & Revoked / Suspended Licenses

Effective August 3, 2020, the Department of State is given the discretion to fine, suspend, or revoke a real estate broker or salesperson's license for violations of the New York State Human Rights Law in their capacity as broker or agent.

Governor Cuomo signed Senate Bill S6874-A which specifically amends Section 441-c of the Real Property Law to include violations of Article 15 of the Executive Law or the New York State Human Rights Law as a ground for revoking or suspending a real estate broker or salesperson's license.

Ironically, the law already included the Department of State’s ability to revoke a license at 19 NYCRR 175.17(b), which states:
“No real estate broker or salesperson shall engage in an unlawful discriminatory practice, as proscribed by any federal, state or local law applicable to the activities of real estate licensees in New York State. A finding by any federal, state or local agency or court of competent jurisdiction that a real estate broker or salesperson has engaged in unlawful discriminatory practice in the performance of licensed real estate activities shall be presumptive evidence of untrustworthiness and will subject such licensee to discipline, including a proceeding for revocation. Nothing herein shall limit or restrict the Department from otherwise exercising its authority pursuant to section 441-c of the Real Property Law.”

Is the new law than just lip service to appease the public after the Newsday investigation which uncovered rampant housing discrimination violations in the real estate industry?

Weigh in.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Pointless Legislation? RE Broker Discrimination = License Revocation

Newsday is reporting that "Sen. James Gaughran (D-Huntington) and Assemb. Kimberly Jean-Pierre (D-Babylon) introduced a bill that would expand the state’s authority to suspend or revoke a real estate agent’s license."

Did you know that a law already exists that provides for discrimination = license revocation?

19 NYCRR 175.17(b) states:
No real estate broker or salesperson shall engage in an unlawful discriminatory practice, as proscribed by any federal, state or local law applicable to the activities of real estate licensees in New York State. A finding by any federal, state or local agency or court of competent jurisdiction that a real estate broker or salesperson has engaged in unlawful discriminatory practice in the performance of licensed real estate activities shall be presumptive evidence of untrustworthiness and will subject such licensee to discipline, including a proceeding for revocation. Nothing herein shall limit or restrict the Department from otherwise exercising its authority pursuant to section 441-c of the Real Property Law.

Yes, codifying the law makes sense, but unless DOS prosecutes, what's the point?


Hey Brokers - should a license be lost if a broker is found to have discriminated? 

Just remember, not every charge of discrimination is legitimate.

Let us know your thoughts in comments.





Monday, May 15, 2017

Agency 1 Hour ONLINE | Video Clip of CE Course Preview

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Important Administrative Decision - Bedbugs in NYC

In DOS v. Fletcher, a real estate broker was charged with incompetency and untrustworthiness for acting as a landlord's agent and failing "to assure that their client provided [the tenant] with the bed bug infestation history" for the unit.

As background, the Administrative Tribunal was addressing New York City's Administrative Code at §27-2018.1(a), which states:

For housing accommodations subject to this code, an owner shall furnish to each tenant signing a vacancy lease, a notice in a form promulgated or approved by the state division of housing and community renewal that sets forth the property's bedbug infestation history for the previous year regarding the premises rented by the tenant and the building in which the premises are located.

According to the Department of State, the "act of omission was a violation of the respondents' obligation to deal fairly and openly with a prospective renter."

Moving forward, all New York City Landlord's Agents MUST assure that their landlords provide the bedbug disclosure to avoid being charged with a license law violation.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Real Estate Brokerage Regulatory Updates - 12/14/16 NYS Board of Real Estate meeting summary

On 12/14/16 the NYS Board of Real Estate continued its mission of optimizing the regulation of real estate brokers in our state by holding its meeting. 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."

A complete video of the meeting is available on youtube.

In summary, the following was discussed:
  1. The collaboration between the Department of State and the Division of Human Rights in investigating claims of discrimination and enforcing the law. To date, the Department of State has referred 5 complaints to the Division of Human Rights. 
  2. The Department of State's right, even without subpoena, to request documents from a licensee (including to document requests pertaining to documents that are unrelated to the practice of real estate brokerage) and that a licensee's failure to cooperate may result in a license suspension. 
  3. A new licensing requirement of a 1 hour course on licensee safety is being added to curriculum and to make room for such additional hour the property insurance requirement is being reduced from 2 hours to 1 hour.
  4. The comments period for regulatory changes, [to 175.1 (commingling money), 175.7 (disclosure to clients before accepting money), 176.3 (1 hour license safety course), 177.3 (minimum instruction time of 1 hour rather than 3 hours), 177.7 (computation of time being 50 minutes for an hour requirement) and 175.25 (licensee disclosure of license type on business cards)], has expired and such regulations are expected to be effective in mid January 2017. 
  5. Brokerage firms can utilize cloud storage of their records so long as such cloud technology creates an accurate reproduction of paper records and has technology to permit discovery of any alterations of such records.
  6. The Board of Real Estate meeting schedule for 2017 is April 12, 2017, September 13, 2017 and December 6, 2017. 
The next meeting is expected on April 12, 2017. 



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

New Real Estate License Law Regulation - Discrimination is Serious for your License

Effective May 18, 2016 the license law has been updated in the State of New York and discrimination clearly will no longer be tolerated by salespersons and brokers. The regulations is:

19 NYCRR 175.17(b)

No real estate broker or salesperson shall engage in an unlawful discriminatory practice, as proscribed by any federal, state or local law applicable to the activities of real estate licensees in New York State.

A finding by any federal, state or local agency or court of competent jurisdiction that a real estate broker or salesperson has engaged in unlawful discriminatory practice in the performance of licensed real estate activities shall be presumptive evidence of untrustworthiness and will subject such licensee to discipline, including a proceeding for revocation.

Nothing herein shall limit or restrict the Department from otherwise exercising its authority pursuant to section 441-c of the Real Property Law.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Real Estate Brokerage Regulatory Updates - 5/3/16 NYS Board of Real Estate meeting summary

On 5/3/16 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."

A complete video of the meeting is available on youtube.

In summary, the following was discussed:

  1. Enforcement activity report;
  2. Equalizing points for salespersons seeking a real estate broker's license for acting on the selling and listing sides of deals;
  3. Updates on the continuing education topics of agency and diversity;
  4. The new broker's curriculum; and
  5. Fair Housing regulations, which were passed.
Most interestingly, the enforcement report claimed that while 317 complaints were fielded by the Department of State from January through April of this year, only 2% were referred to the Administrative Department to pursue charges. Agents should translate that statistic as meaning that while a lot of complaints come into the Department of State, a lot of effort is exerted in weeding out the legitimate complaints from the lot. This is quite reassuring. 

Friday, January 08, 2016

Direct Negotiations in Co-Brokered Flat Fee MLS Real Estate Impermissible by Regulation

Flat fee MLS is a trend where a homeowner can pay a small fee (typically around $300), to list their For Sale By Owner home (referred to herein as “FSBO”), on the Multiple Listing Service (referred to herein as “MLS”). As a result, the homeowner can enjoy the best of both worlds in avoiding an approximate 4 to 6 percent commission, while nonetheless exposing their property to all of the clients and customers of licensed real estate brokers/brokerage firms throughout the region. However, the FSBO homeowner cannot directly place their home on the MLS on Long Island, but instead must pay a flat fee MLS vendor, who is also a real estate broker/brokerage firm (referred to herein as “MLS vendor”) for the privilege of using the MLS because only licensees of the service can list on the MLS.

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

Monday, December 14, 2015

Real Estate Brokerage Regulatory Updates - 11/7/15 NYS Board of Real Estate meeting summary

On 11/7/15 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."

A complete video of the meeting is available on YouTube.

In summary, the following was discussed:
1.      New Rules: A rule making package for new regulations in the field is going through the regulatory process concerning the following topics:
a.      Setting a specific timeframe to deposit escrow monies rather than a reasonable time as the rule currently requires;
b.      Rules concerning brokers who accept money from their client as opposed to the existing rule concerning a broker accepts money from all clients;
c.      Including a 1 hour safety training course in the curriculum;
d.      Modifying continuing education from a required minimum of 3 hours to 1 hour;
e.      Changing 1 credit of continuing education from constituting 1 hour of study to only constituting 50 minutes of study; and
f.       Revising the advertising regulations to require business cards to include the actual title of the cardholder on the card.
2.      Clarification of School Regulations: It was clarified that online schools and brick and mortar schools are regulated equally with regard to having a brokerage NOT control or own the school.  
3.      Continuing Education Credits: In the distant horizon the Department of State is implementing an online continuing education credit system so agents will not need to keep their original certificates at such time.
4.      Brokerage Curriculum:
a.      Changes to the broker’s curriculum were voted and approved as published. Such changes are not effective yet as there is a long regulatory process.
b.      The Board discussed updating the salesperson’s curriculum next and possibly updating the test to make it more difficult. However, it was pointed out that only approximately 60% pass the salesperson’s exam, as currently written, so making it harder may be too large of a barrier to entry into the field.

c.      The Board clarified that the legislature would have to make a high school diploma or GED a requirement of licensing because the statute, as written, does not give the Department of State the power to implement such regulations. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Estate Deals - Free Lieb School Continuing Education Course Offered in Southampton

Estate Deals

Instructor: Andrew Lieb, Esq., MPH

Credits: 3

Price: Free

Sponsors: Behind the Hedges, Citizens Bank, Douglas Elliman

Course Summary: Estate sales offer a unique opportunity to help the grieving by doing your job professionally. Starting with speaking the language of the Surrogate’s Court, this course will empower the real estate broker / salesperson to assist the Executor / Administrator in liquidating real property in order to satisfy debts of the estate. Additionally, disputes between beneficiaries and with the fiduciary, sales forced by the court, and foreclosures incident to the probate process will be discussed. Lastly, the student will be exposed to the overlay of brokerage and executor’s commissions where an Executor / Administrator is expressly exempt from the Real Estate License Law for Brokerage.

Register Online Here

Monday, September 07, 2015

Real Estate Brokerage Regulatory Updates - 8/16/15 NYS Board of Real Estate meeting summary

On 8/26/15 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. Its 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."

A complete video of the meeting is available on youtube.

In summary, the following was discussed:

  1. Enforcement:
    • 5 new investigators are on the enforcement staff;
    • Approximately 70% of DOS enforcement is related to real estate brokerage;
    • The majority of enforcement has recently addressed client funds (a/k/a, escrow) - it was suggested that a brokerage creates a job of escrow accounts supervisor to minimize organizational confusion and it was suggested that such individual needn't be licensed in brokerage;
    • Secondarily enforcement has mostly addressed brokers failing to immediately terminate their salespersons upon request by the salesperson;
    • Enforcement contacts respondents often through the email address provided to DOS, so brokers need to check their email (not just physical mail);
  2. Curriculum:
    • Changes to the broker's curriculum are in the works:
    • Curriculum will maintain 45 hour requirement; 
    • Curriculum is expanding the topic of broker's operations to 16 hours, which includes license law and agency; 
  3. The Real Estate License Law updates from 5/2015 address changes to part 19 NYCRR sections:
    • 175.12 - key change of duplicate original to only require a copy (strangely the title stayed at "Delivering duplicate original of instrument")
    • 175.20
    • 175.24(a)
    • 177.2
    • 179.1
    • 179.2(b)
    • 179.3(a) 
At the end of the meeting there was public comment addressing 19 NYCRR 177.2, which states, in pertinent part, as follows "[n]o real estate course of study seeking approval may be affiliated with or

controlled by a real estate broker, salesperson, firm or company or real estate franchise, or controlled by a subsidiary of any real estate broker or real estate franchise." 

Specifically, it was alleged that online schools are giving referral fees to brokerage offices that recommend such schools on the brokerage's website. The Board suggested that a complaint be made to enforcement and/or an opinion letter be requested from the Department of State to clarify the applicable regulation to the alleged facts.  

The next meeting will be scheduled in November or December 2015. 

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Estate Deals - Free CE from Lieb School at Newsday in Melville

Instructor: Andrew Lieb, Esq

Date: June 4th, 2015 at Newsday in Melville

Course Summary: Estate sales offer a unique opportunity to help the grieving by doing your job professionally. Starting with speaking the language of the Surrogate’s Court, this course will empower the real estate broker / salesperson to assist the Executor / Administrator in liquidating real property in order to satisfy debts of the estate. Additionally, disputes between beneficiaries and with the fiduciary, sales forced by the court, and foreclosures incident to the probate process will be discussed. Lastly, the student will be exposed to the overlay of brokerage and executor’s commissions where an Executor / Administrator is expressly exempt from the Real Estate License Law for Brokerage.

To Register: Login to Your Lieb School Account and Click "Enroll" or "Join Waiting List"

Friday, March 20, 2015

JUST RELEASED: Lieb School's Sizzle Reel - Video Clips of Andrew Lieb Conducting Real Estate Trainings

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Real Estate Broker Record Retention - Proposed Regulatory Change

Did you know that there are laws about keeping real estate brokerage records?



Currently, the applicable law reads:

§175.23 Records of transactions to be maintained 
(a) Each licensed broker shall keep and maintain for a period of three years, records of each transaction effected through his office concerning the sale or mortgage of one- to four-family dwellings. Such
records shall contain the names and addresses of the seller, the buyer, mortgagee, if any, the purchase price and resale price, if any, amount of deposit paid on contract, amount of commission paid to broker or gross 
profit realized by the broker if purchased by him for resale, expenses of procuring the mortgage loan, if any, the net commission or net profit realized by the broker showing the disposition of all payments made by 
the broker. In lieu thereof each broker shall keep and maintain, in connection with each such transaction a copy of (1) contract of sale, (2) commission agreement, (3) closing statement, (4) statement showing 
disposition of proceeds of mortgage loan.  

(b) Each licensed broker engaged in the business of soliciting and granting mortgage loans to purchasers of one to four family dwellings shall keep and maintain for a period of three years, a record of the name 
of the applicant, the amount of the mortgage loan, the closing statement with the disposition of the mortgage proceeds, a copy of the verification of employment and financial status of the applicant, a copy of the inspection and compliance report with the Baker Law requirements of FHA with the name of the inspector. Such records shall be available to the Department of State at all times upon request.

----

However, much of the currently applicable law makes no sense as often a broker does not have a contract of sale in his / her possession and often the broker keeps all records electronically. 

Now, there is a proposal to change the law to reflect reality and the new law would read as follows (underlines being additions to the law):

§175.23 Records of transactions to be maintained 
(a) Each licensed broker shall keep and maintain for a period of three years, paper and/or electronic records of each transaction effected through his or her office concerning the sale [or mortgage] of one- to four-family dwellings. In some transactions, the broker may not be provided a copy of the document required.  In such instances, the broker will not be found to have violated this regulation if said document is not kept and maintained. Records to be kept and maintained shall contain:

 (1) the names and addresses of the seller[,] and the buyer, [mortgagee, if any,] (2) the broker prepared purchase contract or binder, or if the purchase contract is not prepared by the broker, then the purchase price [and resale price, if any,] and the amount of deposit (if collected by broker) [paid on contract], (3) the amount of commission paid to broker, (4) [or g]the gross profit realized by the broker if purchased by him or her for resale, [expenses of procuring the mortgage loan, if any, the net commission or net profit realized by the broker showing the disposition of all payments made by the broker. In lieu thereof each broker shall keep and maintain, in connection with each such transaction a copy of (1) contract of sale, (2) commission agreement, (3) closing statement, (4) statement showing disposition of proceeds of mortgage loan.] (5) any document required under Article 12-A of the Real Property Law and (6) the listing agreement or commission agreement or buyer-broker agreement.  
[(b) Each licensed broker engaged in the business of soliciting and granting mortgage loans to purchasers of one to four family dwellings shall keep and maintain for a period of three years, a record of the name of the applicant, the amount of the mortgage loan, the closing statement with the disposition of the mortgage proceeds, a copy of the verification of employment and financial status of the applicant, a copy of the inspection and compliance report with the Baker Law requirements of FHA with the name of the inspector. Such records shall be available to the Department of State at all times upon request.]

Notate the addition of the sentence "any document required under Article 12-A of the Real Property Law" at the end of the second paragraph. This is a catchall that includes such items as an Agency Disclosure Form and any other document later added to the law.

So, keep an eye on the DOS's Regulatory Activity page to determine when this Recent Proposal will become a Recent Adoption and hence, applicable law, or just keep an eye on the Lieb Blog for simple updates when real estate events happen.