LIEB BLOG

How current events impact your business and real estate holdings

Showing posts with label associate real estate broker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label associate real estate broker. 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, 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, March 27, 2020

Real Estate Brokerage / Salesperson License Renewal Extended

By way of Executive Order 202.11, licensees "time to renew a license" has been extended "to the 30th day following the expiration of this Executive Order."

This Executive Order expires on April 26, 2020 and as such renewal is extended to May 26, 2020 for real estate brokers and salespersons.




Saturday, December 07, 2019

DOS Notice to Licensees in Real Estate Brokerage

Licensees just received this notice on Fair Housing. Remember - discriminating in real estate can result in fines, license revocation, and huge judgment awards in lawsuits.

Lieb School is committed to ending discrimination in housing by educating licensees about behaviors that constitute inadvertent discrimination. Lieb School - Where the Law is Followed.


Dear Licensee:

Please see attached Fair Housing Guidance Document. This email is a reminder notification of your obligation as a Real Estate Licensee to adhere to the laws prohibiting discriminatory practices.

If you have any questions pertaining to this topic, please contact us at eAccessNY@dos.ny.gov.

Division of Licensing Services
NYS Department of State



Tuesday, November 26, 2019

LIBOR / NYSAR - We just don't get it

On November 21 - we posted the blog Dear LIBOR - Lieb School has a question about your Fair Housing Courses where we advised that the statute requires that real estate licensees only be taught with "attorneys presenting legal subjects".

Now, Newsday is reporting a quote from NYSAR's CEO - "We are requiring all of our instructors that want to teach fair housing to go through a training course that will be run by an independent fair housing group before they can teach for us again,” MacKenzie said.

What?

You can't have them go through a training to become attorneys - they have to pass the Bar Exam.

Can't you all just follow the law?


Liebschool.com - where the law is followed


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.





Friday, October 25, 2019

Attention RE Brokers - No More CE Grandfathering + New Required Courses in CE

On 10/23/19, continuing education requirements for NYS real estate brokers, associate real estate brokers and real estate salespersons were changed by A6082. These changes are effective 7/1/21.

Lieb School has got you covered for your continuing education needs. Because our school's courses are written & taught by Andrew M. Lieb, Esq. we have been teaching the required courses this entire time! We know what topics you need to avoid getting sued while making money.

The new law creates 2 new categories of continuing education: "ethical business practices" & "recent legal matters" plus it eliminates grandfathering for brokers who were licensed 7/1/08.

NOW, all licensees must receive 22.5 hours of continuing education every 2 years to stay licensed. 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)

Amended RPL §441(3)(a) now states (capital is newly added & [] are deleted):

No renewal license shall be issued any licensee under this article for any license period commencing November first, nineteen hundred ninety five unless such licensee shall have within the two year period immediately preceding such renewal attended at least twenty-two and one-half hours which shall include at least three hours of instruction pertaining to fair housing and/or discrimination in the  sale or rental of real property or an interest in real property, AT LEAST TWO AND ONE-HALF HOURS OF INSTRUCTION PERTAINING TO ETHICAL BUSINESS PRACTICES, AT LEAST ONE HOUR OF INSTRUCTION PERTAINING TO 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 AND at least one hour of instruction pertaining to the law of agency except in the case of the initial two-year licensing term for real estate salespersons, two hours of agency related instruction must be completed, and successfully completed a continuing education real estate course or courses approved by the secretary of state as to method, content and  supervision, which approval may be withdrawn if in the opinion of the secretary of state such course or courses are not being conducted properly as to method, content and  supervision. For those individuals licensed pursuant to subdivision six of section four hundred forty-two-g of this article, in the individual's initial license term, at least eleven hours of the required twenty-two and one-half hours of continuing education shall be completed during the first year of the term. Of those eleven hours, three hours shall pertain to applicable New York state statutes and regulations governing the practice of real estate brokers and salespersons. To establish compliance with the continuing education requirements imposed by this section, licensees shall provide an affidavit, in a form acceptable to the department of state, establishing the nature of the continuing  education acquired and shall provide such further proof as required by the department of state. [The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to any licensed real estate broker who is engaged full time in the real estate business and who has been licensed under this article prior to July first, two thousand eight for at least fifteen consecutive years immediately preceding such renewal.]