LIEB BLOG

Legal Media Analysts

Showing posts with label Fair Housing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fair Housing. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

New York Law Journal: Discrimination Boutique Takes on ADA Class Action on Behalf of Deaf Apartment Dwellers

Residents tried going to management directly, called on their elected leaders and on community organizers and even staged a demonstration outside of their homes that attracted media attention. Now one of them is going to the courts. Read the full article discussing the lawsuit that Lieb at Law, P.C. has brought to bring justice to the hearing impaired and deaf residents in this Manhattan building. 



*Attorney Advertising

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Major New RE Landlord / Tenant & Brokerage Regulatory Law in NYS - BOOM

New York tenants will be receiving new notices about their rights to reasonable modifications and accommodations for persons with disabilities as of today


The Division of Human Rights has officially adopted 9 NYCRR 466.15 - see our prior blog on the topic here


The new law places a tremendous onus, with awesome exposure, on the following people: "the owner, lessee, sub-lessee, assignee, or managing agent of, or other person having the right to sell, rent or lease a housing accommodation, constructed or to be constructed, or any agent or employee thereof." The law applies to both private property and publicly-assisted housing. 


There is a special section in the law just for real estate brokers, who are now obligated to provide the notice at the first point of substantive contact.


Plus, every obligee must also prominently and conspicuously display a link to the notice "on the homepage of such website." Unfortunately, the link, which is supposed to "be made available by the Division," is not so available. 


Nonetheless, here is the official notice and it's language (if you haven't realized it yet, housing providers and their real estate brokers better get up to speed on providing reasonable accommodations and modifications today. Failure-to-accommodate lawsuits are about to be filed with record speed / frequency): 


NOTICE DISCLOSING TENANTS’ RIGHTS TO REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES Reasonable Accommodations The New York State Human Rights Law requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations or modifications to a building or living space to meet the needs of people with disabilities. For example, if you have a physical, mental, or medical impairment, you can ask your housing provider to make the common areas of your building accessible, or to change certain policies to meet your needs.


To request a reasonable accommodation, you should contact your property manager by calling ______________ or ______________, or by e-mailing ______________. (note: brokers may delete "by calling ______________ or ______________, or by e-mailing ______________.)


You will need to inform your housing provider that you have a disability or health problem that interferes with your use of housing, and that your request for accommodation may be necessary to provide you equal access and opportunity to use and enjoy your housing or the amenities and services normally offered by your housing provider. A housing provider may request medical information, when necessary to support that there is a covered disability and that the need for the accommodation is disability related. 


If you believe that you have been denied a reasonable accommodation for your disability, or that you were denied housing or retaliated against because you requested a reasonable accommodation, you can file a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights as described at the end of this notice.


Specifically, if you have a physical, mental, or medical impairment, you can request:

  • Permission to change the interior of your housing unit to make it accessible (however, you are required to pay for these modifications, and in the case of a rental your housing provider may require that you restore the unit to its original condition when you move out);
  • Changes to your housing provider’s rules, policies, practices, or services;
  • Changes to common areas of the building so you have an equal opportunity to use the building. The New York State Human Rights Law requires housing providers to pay for reasonable modifications to common use areas.

Examples of reasonable modifications and accommodations that may be requested under the New York State Human Rights Law include:

  • If you have a mobility impairment, your housing provider may be required to provide you with a ramp or other reasonable means to permit you to enter and exit the building. 
  • If your healthcare provider provides documentation that having an animal will assist with your disability, you should be permitted to have the animal in your home despite a “no pet” rule.
  • If you need grab bars in your bathroom, you can request permission to install them at your own expense. If your housing was built for first occupancy after March 13, 1991 and the walls need to be reinforced for grab bars, your housing provider must pay for that to be done.
  • If you have an impairment that requires a parking space close to your unit, you can request your housing provider to provide you with that parking space, or place you at the top of a waiting list if no adjacent spot is available. 
  • If you have a visual impairment and require printed notices in an alternative format such as large print font, or need notices to be made available to you electronically, you can request that accommodation from your landlord.


Required Accessibility Standards 

All buildings constructed for use after March 13, 1991, are required to meet the following standards:

  • Public and common areas must be readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities;
  • All doors must be sufficiently wide to allow passage by persons in wheelchairs; and 
  • All multi-family buildings must contain accessible passageways, fixtures, outlets, thermostats, bathrooms, and kitchens.


If you believe that your building does not meet the required accessibility standards, you can file a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights.


How to File a Complaint

A complaint must be filed with the Division within one year of the alleged discriminatory act or in court within three years of the alleged discriminatory act. You can find more information on your rights, and on the procedures for filing a complaint, by going to www.dhr.ny.gov, or by calling 1-888-392-3644. You can obtain a complaint form on the website, or one can be e-mailed or mailed to you. You can also call or e-mail a Division regional office. The regional offices are listed on the website.




Friday, April 22, 2022

Housing Discrimination & Your Rights - What Victims Should Know

Discrimination in real estate is illegal throughout the United States and in certain states, like New York, there are even greater protections, rights, and damages available to victims.


Whether you were discriminated against by a seller, landlord, tenant co-op, condo, HOA, lender, real estate broker / salesperson, or property manager, you are entitled to compensation. This is true in housing and at places of public accommodation (i.e., shopping center, professional office, retail store, educational institution, recreational facility, and service center). This is often even true if the discrimination was unintentional or caused by the perpetrator's implicit biases.


Anti-discrimination rights and protections entitle victims to sue for compensation if discrimination occurred because of your protected status / protected class, which statuses / classes vary throughout the United States, but may include your race, ethnic background, visible traits (hair texture, hairstyle, donning of religious garments or items), color, national origin, citizenship status, alienage status, immigration status, lawful source of income (subsidy recipient status), occupation, religion, creed, marital status, partnership status, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression (transgender status), domestic violence victim status, stalking victim status, sex offense victim status, familial status, pregnancy, presence of children, handicap (disability), age, military status, uniformed service, veteran status, first responder status, arrest record, and sealed conviction record.


The law prevents real estate / housing providers from changing the terms, conditions, privileges, and/or availability of property based on your protected class status. It requires real estate brokers / salespersons to give you written disclosures that advise you of your rights. It prevents you from being treated differently from others where only the terms of your offer matter, not who you are.


If you are handicapped / disabled, you are also entitled to receive reasonable accommodations (change to policies / procedures / rules) and reasonable modification (change to structure) so that you can equally use and enjoy property. Plus, your actual diagnosis need not be fully revealed and can remain confidential when you seek such an accommodation / modification. Better yet, the cost of the accommodation cannot be charged to you, and in places like New York City, this is also true for the cost of modifications. The most common handicap / disability cases that we see involve service animals / emotional support animals in no pet properties, preferential / parking and ingress / egress ramps for mobility impairments, and other failure-to-accommodate cases. We are also involved in ADA failure-to-remove barrier cases and more. When it comes to handicapped / disabled people, it's all about providing access. 


If you receive subsidies, like Section 8 (Housing Choice Vouchers), or you are unemployed (i.e., retired, spousal / child support recipient, trust fund baby, student, disabled), your source of income cannot impact your housing choices. You are protected from offensive signage, improper applications, and/or wrongful questionnaires if they inquire about your employment status, request your W-2, or even solicit a letter of employment. Simply, seeing your voucher cannot be a prerequisite to seeing / viewing an apartment. Where you get the rent should be no one's business. 


Don't be afraid to speak-up. If you are advancing a fair housing and/or anti-discrimination right, you are protected from retaliation. Even if it is ultimately found that you were not discriminated against, you can nonetheless be compensated for facing unlawful coercion, intimidation, threats, or other types of interference with your anti-discrimination rights. This is not just true if you are advancing your own rights, it also applies if you are an ally who is aiding and/or encouraging someone else to exercise their rights to be free from discrimination.


Fair housing laws make housing available to everyone without stigma, loss of dignity, or other harms. If you are a victim, you can recover compensatory damages (being made whole), punitive damages (punishment damages), and your attorneys' fees. The perpetrator can lose their license (if licensed), be required to take trainings, and be ordered to stop their offensive behavior. There are fines and more. Discrimination is wrong and must be stopped.



*Attorney advertising

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Notice of Tenants' Rights to Reasonable Modifications and Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities

On March 16, 2022, the NYS Division of Human Rights published Revised Rule Making, HRT-15-21-00005-RP (proposed 19 NYCRR 466.15), with respect to the notice that tenants must receive, which explains their rights to receive reasonable modifications and accommodations in housing. 


The proposed regulation provides that:

  • Real Estate Brokers are charged with making this disclosure "[u]pon the first substantive contact." 
  • Housing providers are charged with providing this disclosure to current and new tenants. 
  • Housing providers must post the notice on all of their websites.


Here is what the notice should state:

NOTICE DISCLOSING TENANTS’ RIGHTS TO REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES 

Reasonable Accommodations

The New York State Human Rights Law requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations or modifications to a building or living space to meet the needs of people with disabilities.

For example, if you have a physical, mental, or medical impairment, you can ask your housing provider to make the common areas of your building accessible, or to change certain policies to meet your needs.

To request a reasonable accommodation, you should contact your property manager by calling —or —, or by e-mailing — * . You will need to inform your housing provider that you have a disability or health problem that interferes with your use of housing, and that your request for accommodation may be necessary to provide you equal access and opportunity to use and enjoy your housing or the amenities and services normally offered by your housing provider.

A housing provider may request medical information, when necessary to support that there is a covered disability and that the need for the accommodation is disability related.

If you believe that you have been denied a reasonable accommodation for your disability, or that you were denied housing or retaliated against because you requested a reasonable accommodation, you can file a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights as described at the end of this notice. 

Specifically, if you have a physical, mental, or medical impairment, you can request: 

  • Permission to change the interior of your housing unit to make it accessible (however, you are required to pay for these modifications, and in the case of a rental your housing provider may require that you restore the unit to its original condition when you move out); 
  • Changes to your housing provider’s rules, policies, practices, or services;
  • Changes to common areas of the building so you have an equal opportunity to use the building. The New York State Human Rights Law requires housing providers to pay for reasonable modifications to common use areas.

Examples of reasonable modifications and accommodations that may be requested under the New York State Human Rights Law include:

  • If you have a mobility impairment, your housing provider may be required to provide you with a ramp or other reasonable means to permit you to enter and exit the building.
  • If your healthcare provider provides documentation that having an animal will assist with your disability, you should be permitted to have the animal in your home despite a “no pet” rule.
  • If you need grab bars in your bathroom, you can request permission to install them at your own expense.
  • If your housing was built for first occupancy after March 13, 1991 and the walls need to be reinforced for grab bars, your housing provider must pay for that to be done.
  • If you have an impairment that requires a parking space close to your unit, you can request your housing provider to provide you with that parking space, or place you at the top of a waiting list if no adjacent spot is available.
  • If you have a visual impairment and require printed notices in an alternative format such as large print font, or need notices to be made available to you electronically, you can request that accommodation from your landlord.

Required Accessibility Standards All buildings constructed for use after March 13, 1991, are required to meet the following standards:

  • Public and common areas must be readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities;
  • All doors must be sufficiently wide to allow passage by persons in wheelchairs; and
  • All multi-family buildings must contain accessible passageways, fixtures, outlets, thermostats, bathrooms, and kitchens.

If you believe that your building does not meet the required accessibility standards, you can file a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights.

How to File a Complaint A complaint must be filed with the Division within one year of the alleged discriminatory act. You can find more information on your rights, and on the procedures for filing a complaint, by going to www.dhr.ny.gov, or by calling 1-888-392-3644 with questions about your rights. You can obtain a complaint form on the website, or one can be e-mailed or mailed to you. You can also call or e-mail a Division regional office. The regional offices are listed on the website.


The public can comment on this Revised Rule Making until April 30, 2022 by email to  Caroline.Downey@dhr.ny.gov with subject of I.D. No. HRT-15-21-00005-RP



Of note, this Proposed Rule was already revised based on prior public comment. Based on that prior comments, the Revised Rule now:
  1. Includes a posting requirement;
  2. Language change from "doctor" to "healthcare provider" with respect to proving disabilities;
  3. Language change from "show" a disability to "inform" of a disability;
  4. The regulation also now explains the statute of limitations of 3 years to file a complaint in court;
  5. Adding that the failure of a housing provider to respond to a reasonable accommodation request may also be considered a denial of a reasonable accommodation;
  6. Clarifying when a provider may reasonably request particular documentation about a disability or need for an accommodation; and
  7. That the notice requires owners and landlords, not real estate agents, to provide contact information for property managers in the notice.
The response to those comments also acknowledges that there is no express enforcement mechanism for failure to comply with the notice requirement besides from the fact, that we surmise, it will be relevant in a failure-to-accommodate lawsuit and under license law for licensed professionals. 


Finally, the Division of Human Rights declined to include advice about the availability of attorneys' fees for plaintiffs in discrimination lawsuits in response to comment. We strenuously disagree with this decision because this lack of disclosure will demotivate victims from seeking the professional help that they desperately need and we hope that you, the public, will comment, again, to remind the Division of this important fact.  



Wednesday, December 22, 2021

New Law: Real Estate Brokerage in NYS is Changed for Good - Standardized Qualifying of Homebuyers Required

Write down December 21, 2021 as the date that real estate brokerage was changed forever in NYS. That is when S2131A was signed into law and became effective. 


If you are a real estate salesperson or an associate real estate broker at a brokerage firm that is unaware of this new law, it's time to change brokers. 


This law requires your broker to institute standardized operating procedures for the prerequisites prospective homebuyers shall meet and to submit such procedures to the Department of State. 


If procedures are changed, whatsoever, the new procedures shall be submitted within 30 days of the change. 


Plus, the law requires the Secretary of State to promulgate regulations and the combined law / regulations shall, at a minimum, require brokerages to have a policy as to: 

  1. Whether prospective clients shall show identification; 
  2. Whether an exclusive broker agreement is required; &
  3. Whether pre-approval for a mortgage loan is required. 


If you are a salesperson who is operating under a brokerage's license that fails to satisfy this new submission of procedures requirements, or if you fail to follow the procedures, you are subject to a license law violation and penalty, including revocation or suspension of your license. 


This is very serious and will also work as important evidence in any and every fair housing / discrimination litigation moving forward. 




New Law: Real Estate License Law Violation Fine Doubled to Fund Fair Housing Enforcement

Starting on February 19, 2022, the maximum fine for real estate license law violations has been doubled from $1,000 to $2,000 by S945B. Brokers beware. 


Further, 50% of these fines, for violating Article 12-A and 19 NYCRR 175, will be used to establish an Anti-Discrimination in Housing Fund (ADHF). 


The ADHF shall be controlled by the NYS Attorney General and may be used for:

  • Fair housing testing;
  • Grants to duly applying county, city, town or village human rights commissions;
  • Grants to duly applying county, city, town or village agencies specializing in the prevention of unlawful discrimination in housing; &
  • Grants to duly applying not-for-profit agencies specializing in the prevention of unlawful discrimination in housing. 
It looks like there is about to be a lot more housing discrimination litigation going on starting in 2022. Are landlords, sellers, brokers, and property managers ready? 





New RE Brokerage CE Requirement - Implicit Bias Training - Lieb School is Ready

Starting on June 19, 2022, real estate licensees in NYS will be required to complete "at least two hours of instruction pertaining to implicit bias awareness and understanding" as part of their 22.5 hours of continuing education to renew their license because of a new law, S538B


According to the law, "'implicit bias' shall mean the attitudes or stereotypes that affect an individual's understanding, actions and decisions in an unconscious manner."


Lieb School is ready and already offers an implicit bias course that counts towards the fair housing and discrimination requirements. To comply with the new law, we are re-submitting this course to count towards the required implicit bias training as well. 




New RE Brokerage CE Requirement - Cultural Competency Training - Lieb School is Ready

Starting on April 20, 2022, real estate licensees in NYS will be required to complete "at least two hours of cultural competency training" as part of their 22.5 hours of continuing education to renew their license because of a new law, S979A


Lieb School is on top of making sure that its students lead the industry, having already drafted curriculum to satisfy this requirement. Our course will educate licensees on the following subtopics:

  1. Right to Social Benefits of Integration
  2. Misunderstanding in Cultural Competency
  3. 4 Elements in Developing Cultural Competency
  4. Friction Between Cultural Sensitivity & Discrimination Law
  5. Cultural Norms, Preferences, & Challenges
  6. Cultural Competence Techniques

While this course is being finalized for licensing, we asked the Bill Sponsor, James Gaughran, for guidance on what he envisioned in the Curriculum by email on 12/15/2021. We await a response.





New NYS / Local Government Fair Housing Enforcement Obligations

As of 12/21/2021, all state agencies administering housing programs or enforcing housing laws and all localities administering housing programs and receiving funds from the state for such activities are now required to affirmatively further fair housing.


What this means is that the state and local governments will actively seek to create more diverse, inclusive communities. They will do this, according to the new law (S1353A), by:

  1. Identifying and overcoming patterns of residential segregation & housing discrimination;
  2. Eradicating racially or ethnically concentrated areas of poverty;
  3. Reducing disparities in access to opportunities;
  4. Eliminating disproportionate housing needs;
  5. Providing the public reasonable & regular opportunities to comment on fair housing issues & participate in the development & advancement of affirmative fair housing policy; &
  6. Encouraging & maintaining compliance with Article 15 of the Executive law & any other applicable anti-discrimination or fair housing law. 
While this all sounds grand, it's really just aspirational because there are no concrete actions contained in this law, except that an annual report will be available to the public. Only through calling government on the report, will concrete change really happen.



Friday, December 10, 2021

New RE Brokerage Law: NYS Funding For Fair Housing Testing Efforts

Now there is another initiative by New York State to combat discrimination in real estate.


Effective as of December 21, 2021 a $30 fee has been added for real estate broker / salespersons licenses to cover the costs of the Attorney General to fund fair housing testing throughout NYS. 


Senate Bill S32133A adds a surcharge to the fee paid for issuing or reissuing a real estate broker or salesmen license. 




Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Housing Discrimination - Updated Protected Classes List - As Applicable to Downstate New York

We are always updating our CE courses at Lieb School because the law is constantly changing. 


While the law changes on every topic, there is no field that seems to be evolving today more than anti-discrimination law. So, we thought it important to share our updated definitive lists of protected classes within downstate New York for Fair Housing and Discrimination Law.


Note - While these lists are similar for employment discrimination law, there are minor differences in protections between the two fields and you should consult with an attorney should you have any questions.


Fair Housing Act:

  1. Race
  2. Color
  3. National origin
  4. Religion
  5. Sex
  6. Familial status
  7. Handicap

New York State Human Rights Law
  1. Race
  2. Creed
  3. Color
  4. National origin
  5. Sexual orientation
  6. Gender identity or expression (transgender)
  7. Military status
  8. Sex
  9. Age
  10. Disability
  11. Marital status
  12. Lawful source of income
  13. Familial status
  14. Arrest / sealed conviction record
  15. Domestic violence victim status (lease / occupancy only)

New York City Human Rights Law
  1. Race
  2. Creed 
  3. Color 
  4. National origin 
  5. Gender 
  6. Age 
  7. Disability 
  8. Sexual orientation 
  9. Uniformed service
  10. Marital status 
  11. Partnership status 
  12. Immigration or citizenship status
  13. Lawful source of income 
  14. Presence of children 
  15. Occupation
  16. Victim of domestic violence, stalking or sex offenses

Westchester Fair Housing Law:
  1. Race
  2. Color
  3. Religion
  4. Age
  5. National origin
  6. Alienage or citizenship status
  7. Ethnicity
  8. Familial status
  9. Creed
  10. Gender
  11. Sexual orientation
  12. Marital status 
  13. Disability 
  14. Source of income
  15. Status as victim of domestic violence, sexual abuse, or stalking

Nassau County Fair Housing (Open Housing)
  1. Race
  2. Creed
  3. Color
  4. Gender
  5. Disability
  6. Age 
  7. Religion
  8. Source of income
  9. Veteran status 
  10. Sexual orientation
  11. Familial status 
  12. Marital status
  13. Ethnicity  
  14. National origin
  15. First responder status
  16. Visible traits of an individual such as natural hair texture, protective hairstyles & donning of religious garments or items and shall include segregation

Suffolk County Human Rights Law:
  1. Race
  2. Color
  3. Creed
  4. Age
  5. National origin
  6. Alienage / citizenship
  7. Gender
  8. Sexual orientation 
  9. Disability
  10. Marital status 
  11. Sex
  12. Familial status
  13. Military status 
  14. Visible traits of an individual, such as natural hair texture, protective hairstyles & donning of religious garments or items
  15. Lawful source of income
  16. Veteran status
  17. Victim of domestic violence

To remind everyone, the federal law is the floor under which states and locales may not fall. Plus, there are often city / town / village anti-discrimination laws that are also relevant and must be respected in housing.

Discrimination is wrong and should be eliminated through trainings, policies, and lawsuits. As a society, we have to utilize all of the tools in our arsenal to make housing available to everyone irrespective of demographics.

Help us to get the word out on this one. It's important because unless everyone knows the protections, no one is really protected.





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


 




Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Fair Housing Guidance Procedure Unveiled in New Interim Final Rule

Get your anti-discrimination guidance starting on December 10, 2020 on HUD's new searchable website, which will also give guidance on lending, foreclosures, and much more. 


Currently, guidance is available here.  


Starting on December 10, 2020, HUD will make available "a single, searchable, indexed website," and make guidance subject to a 30 day public comment period with a procedure for the public to petition to modify or withdraw guidance per its Interim Final Rule available at 85 FR 71537.


HUD guidance documents "are statements of general applicability and future effect that set forth policy on statutory, regulatory, or technical issues or interpret statute or regulation." In plain English, guidance advises industry as to HUD's interpretation of laws as applicable to described activity. As such, industry is better able to function, in a regulated environment, when industry can request direction on gray areas of law prior to making investment or taking action in that area. 


As background, "[o]n October 9, 2019 (84 FR 55235), the President issued E.O. 13891, “Promoting the Rule of Law Through Improved Agency Guidance Documents," which "requires that each Federal agency take certain actions to ensure the transparent availability and use of guidance documents." This Interim Final Rule is made in satisfaction of the E.O.




Friday, September 25, 2020

NYS Senate Committee - Housing Discrimination Hearing

 Watch the hearing live now here 


What do you think? 


The key question was whether there should be legislation to cap the number of salespersons per supervising broker. Wowwwwwww




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.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Suffolk County Fair Housing Task Force Expected to Begin Efforts to Combat Discrimination

On July 14, 2020, the Suffolk County Fair Housing Task Force convened for the first time after its creation and after delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. Its meeting agenda included a discussion of the group’s mission, goals, and expectations. The Task Force is expected to hold public hearings to gather information from residents, experts, and advocates and thus, provide the legislature and County Executive with their report of findings. The Task Force is also expected to start its efforts to combat housing discrimination in Suffolk County. Thus, real estate brokers are reminded of their duty to supervise agents and to be prepared by ensuring that agents receive proper training and that they comply with Fair Housing and discrimination laws.

As background, the Task Force was formed by resolution after the results of a multi-year investigation by Newsday and testers found extensive evidence of impermissible steering of consumers based on race. As such, the Task Force was charged with the responsibility to conduct a comprehensive review of Suffolk County’s Human Rights Law and provide recommendations to improve and strengthen these regulations to more effectively and efficiently stop individuals from discriminating against potential buyers of homes in Suffolk County.

Real estate brokers should be aware that private discrimination claims can include claims for actual damages, punitive damages, statutory penalties, attorneys’ fees and costs, as well as, the suspension or revocation of real estate licenses. To prevent liability and ensure that your licensed associates are properly trained to comply with current Fair Housing and discrimination laws, contact Lieb Compliance HERE for on-demand custom digital trainings for your licensed associates.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Victim of Domestic Violence experiencing PTSD deemed Disabled and entitled to Reasonable Accommodation under ADA


In a recent New York City Civil Court decision, the Court held that disability due to domestic violence can entitle a tenant to a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Specifically, in Schuhab HDFC v. Delacruz (Case Number: 64402/17), the court held that the tenant’s post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from domestic violence should entitle her to a probationary order as reasonable accommodation. Under the Fair Housing Act, a landlord is required to provide a handicapped tenant with a reasonable accommodation for the tenant to keep the apartment (42 U.S.C.3605(f(3)(B)). In this case, such reasonable accommodation was in the form of a probationary stay – instead of the tenant getting evicted right away, she was allowed to stay subject to several conditions to prevent any adverse effect to other tenants and guests.

As background, the case was commenced as a holdover landlord-tenant eviction proceeding by Schuab HDFC against the tenant on the grounds that the tenant used or permitted the premises to be used for the distribution and/or sale of controlled substances. The tenant’s defense was that she neither knew of or acquiesced to the illegal activity. She also requested the court grant her a reasonable accommodation in the form of a probationary stay in the premises as a result of her disability from being a victim of domestic violence.

The Court’s decision narrates and incudes the instances of domestic violence that the tenant suffered from her former partner, the resulting PTSD, and the circumstances which led to her partner’s use of the premises for drug activity as testified by the tenant. While considering the tenant’s testimony and her psychiatrist’s input, the Court agreed in finding that the tenant suffers from PTSD and such disability should entitle her to a probationary stay under the Fair Housing Act.

Consequently, the Court granted the landlord a final judgment of possession against the tenant and other occupants, but also granted the probationary stay in the tenant’s favor as a reasonable accommodation under the FHA. The tenant is required to exclude her former partner from the premises, avoid and preclude others from participating in drug-related activity in the premises for a period of two (2) years. In the event of a breach, Petitioner may move for the issuance of a judgment of possession and warrant of eviction.

Real estate professionals should be aware of this decision in order to ensure compliance with the Fair Housing Act and limit exposure to claims of discrimination for refusing to provide reasonable accommodations.





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.



----
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. 

----
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. 

---
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, January 17, 2020

Enhanced Fair Housing Regulations Published in State Register - Make Your Comments IMMEDIATELY

On January 15, 2020, Enhanced Fair Housing Provisions (page 12) were officially announced for New York State in the State Register.

Public Comment period goes to March 15, 2020 - make your comments by email:
david.mossberg@dos.ny.gov - or forever hold your peace. 

The proposal includes additions to 19 NYCRR 175.28, 175.29 and 177.9.


Section 175.28. Notification of Fair Housing Laws requires real estate brokers to advise parties how to sue them for discrimination - BE WARNED - it states:

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.

e) A real estate broker shall be jointly liable for any violation of this section committed by any licensed individual associated with such broker.

---
Section 175.29. Posting of Fair Housing Laws requires new fair housing signs at offices, websites, & all open houses to advise parties how to sue them for discrimination - BE WARNED - it states:

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.

e) A real estate broker shall be jointly liable for any violation of this section committed by any licensed individual associated with such broker.

---
Section 177.9. Video Recording and Record Preservation requires schools to record their discrimination trainings - it states:

(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.


What Landlords & Brokers Can Discuss When Dealing With Tenants To Avoid Discrimination in Housing

Housing discrimination is very serious and exposes Landlords and Real Estate Brokers to major lawsuits for big money damages. Attorney Andrew Lieb, Esq. explains to real estate investors and brokers how to minimize exposure and not discriminate to potential tenants. Learn what to say and what not to say when dealing with prospective tenants to avoid getting sued.