Governmental Affairs Rochester Chapter

September 15, 2021

From the Desk of Christopher McCarthy, RAC NYSCAR Governmental Affairs Chair:

ICSC Opposes New Legislation Establishing Commercial Rent Control:  ICSC is working with the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) to oppose new proposals that would establish Commercial rent control and have a detrimental effect on small businesses, the real estate industry and New York City overall.

The two bills in question each create some form of commercial rent control in New York City:

  • Intro 1796 establishes a commercial rent guidelines board of seven Mayoral political appointees tasked with setting annual rent increases for certain commercial tenants including retail stores and offices of 10,000 square feet or less.
  • Intro 2299  establishes an automatic right-to-renewal process that would allow a tenant the option to extend their lease in certain cases for up to one year with not more than a 10% rent increase.

“ICSC opposes this new legislation establishing Commercial rent control, which would have a detrimental effect on small businesses, the real estate industry and New York City. These are precisely the areas that have been hit hardest by the pandemic and the ones that need the most support,” stated Tom McGee, President & CEO of ICSC. “Both bills encourage landlords to deprioritize smaller tenant spaces which typically are more supportive and aligned with the unique needs of a neighborhood. They are examples of government encroachment into the free market system and ignore negotiated contractual agreements. They will take an even greater toll on the marketplaces industry and will have the opposite effect of what is intended.”

The City Council will hold a virtual hearing on these bills on September 17 at 10 am. ICSC General Counsel & Senior Vice President Lesley Campbell is slated to testify.

How you can help?  Click here to email your local councilmembers.
ICSC will continue to work with REBNY and keep members posted on new developments.
For more information contact ICSC Global Public Policy at

September 2, 2021

From the Desk of Christopher McCarthy, RAC NYSCAR Governmental Affairs Chair:

New York State Extends Eviction Moratorium; Expands Rent Relief:  The State Legislature on September 1, 2021, extended New York’s eviction moratorium to January and expanded the provisions of the federal rent relief program Wednesday, ensuring a safety net for tenants and landlords as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on. 

The Legislature, reconvened by Gov. Kathy Hochul this week, addressed the matter of the Aug. 31 expiration of the original residential and commercial eviction and foreclosure moratoria, which were put in place as public health measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

An extension was needed because the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program, meant to keep tenants and landlords afloat amid job losses and other financial ramifications of COVID-19, has been slow to distribute funds, Hochul said Tuesday.  Continue reading ...

More details on Senate Bill S50001

July 29, 2021

From the Desk of Christopher McCarthy, RAC NYSCAR Governmental Affairs Chair:

The New York State Independent Redistricting Commission invites you to attend a Virtual Meeting on Thursday, August 12, 2021 at 2:00 PM for the Finger Lakes and Western NY Region.  Here's Why YOU Want to Participate in This Meeting:  The New York State Independent Redistricting Commission is proud to serve on New York’s first bipartisan Commission responsible for drawing our State’s district lines after the 2020 Census.  We want you to know that we need your help.  We are committed to drawing New York’s maps based on input from the Public.  To do that, we need you to tell us about your community as well as how your district lines can be improved.  We urge you to either submit information through our website/via mail or attend one of the many hearings we will be holding virtually and all across the state; please sign up to testify on the meetings page.  This process will only succeed with your input, so please make your voice heard!

July 26, 2021

From the Desk of Christopher McCarthy, RAC NYSCAR Governmental Affairs Chair:

City of Albany Passes Local "Good Cause" Eviction Law.  On Monday, July 19, 2021, the Albany Common Council voted 9 to 2 approving a measure (Local Law F) that creates the first local “good cause” eviction law in the State. The new law caps annual rent increases in the City of Albany at five percent, provides for automatic renewal of tenant leases who are current on rent payments, even if that lease has expired, and prohibits evictions unless the landlord has established one of ten possible conditions as a good cause for removal. The new law does not apply to owner-occupied buildings with three units or less. NYSAR, along with the Greater Capital Association of REALTORS® launched a public campaign in opposition to the proposal. There is potential for a legal challenge to the law. NYSAR will be closely monitoring the issue. Learn more.

May 12, 2021

From the Desk of Christopher McCarthy, RAC NYSCAR Governmental Affairs Chair:

New Bill Would Mandate Retail Lease Renewals in New York City. A new bill seeks to reform the lease renewal process for retailers by giving businesses the opportunity to extend their leases -- regardless of what their landlord says.  Read more ...

NAR Counters Proposal Limiting 1031-Exchanges to $500K. Under President Biden’s proposal, 1031 like-kind exchanges only defer $500K from taxation. NAR says not to panic, though. There’s time before any decisions are made. Read more ...
Fair Housing Reminder! Every Real Estate Licensee is to provide a New York State Housing and Anti-Discrimination Disclosure Form to every prospective purchaser, tenant, seller or landlord (for all types of transactions: residential, Commercial, vacant land, new construction, etc.) at first substantive contact (the same as the Agency Disclosure Form). The new law requires every broker's office and branch office to post the Fair Housing Notice to in an exterior window, visible to persons on the adjacent sidewalk.

February 26, 2021

From the Desk of Christopher McCarthy, RAC NYSCAR Governmental Affairs Chair:

The following bills are now on the State Senate floor calendar:

  • Senate Bill S1448:  Requires certain signatures on real estate documents.  More details
  • Senate Bill S538B:  Requires Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons to receive implicit bias training as part of their license renewal process.  More details
  • Senate Bill S2131A (A new active version: A):  Relates to requiring the secretary of state to promulgate regulations requiring Real Estate Brokers to institute standardized operating procedures for the prerequisites prospective homebuyers shall meet.  More details
  • Senate Bill S2132B (A new active version: B):  Increases required training for Real Estate Brokers and Real Estate Salespeople to prevent discrimination.  More details
  • Senate Bill S69:  Makes provisions regarding small claims jurisdiction where claimant is a tenant or lessee of real property owned by defendant that is situated within certain limits.  More details
  • Senate Bill S290:  Exempts a debtor's interest in his or her rent-stabilized lease from bankruptcy proceedings.  More details

What this Means:
The Senate floor calendar is the list of bills that are eligible for a vote before the entire Senate membership. Each bill on the floor calendar is assigned a unique number (a “calendar number”) which determines the order in which the bills are considered.

What Happens Next:
According to legislative rules, all bills must be “read” by the clerk three times over the course of three session days before the bill is eligible for a vote. The rule is in place to guarantee Senators an adequate amount of time to read and analyze each bill they will have to vote on. Informally, this process is sometimes called “aging.”

This three-stage process starts with bills on “First Report”; it is followed by the “Second Report”; it concludes with the “Third Reading.” These steps advance automatically on successive legislative session days. In rare, urgent circumstances, the Governor can issue a “Message of Necessity”. This will add a new bill directly to the Third Reading calendar, bypassing the aging process and allowing for an immediate vote after a bill has been placed on the floor calendar.

What Can I Do?
All members of the Senate welcome legislative feedback from constituents at When you use the New York State Senate website to officially support or oppose this bill, your feedback will be shared directly with your senator.

February 8, 2021

From the Desk of Christopher McCarthy, RAC NYSCAR Governmental Affairs Chair:

Credit reports may be off-limits in the near future for residential rentals.  New York A4681, a current bill being considered in the New York Assembly, relates to rental discrimination based upon consumer credit history; prohibits a person from refusing to rent or lease or otherwise to deny to or withhold from any person or group of persons housing accommodations because of the consumer credit history of such person or persons, or to represent that any housing accommodation is not available for rental or lease when in fact it is so available; defines consumer credit history.  Track it here.

Here is another resource available to track Legislative bills in process.

January 14, 2021

1/14/21 Update! New York Assembly Bill A2220 referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee 
Read more on The COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2020

View 2020 Governmental Affairs Archive