Governmental Affairs Rochester Chapter

April 17, 2020

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

New York State Bills to watch!  Below are three bills that need your attention. They will have a game-changing impact on the business of the Commercial Real Estate industry for New York State. We have seen that even a law that is supposed to be limited to New York City eventually makes its way through the whole state.

Bill A10281
Commercial Rent control is almost here. Call your State representatives to make sure they know your thoughts on rent control!: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/A10281

Bill A8231
Vacant commercial property would incur a tax to the landlord: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/a8231

Bill S8140-A
Vouchers to pay for rent for people that cannot pay because of Cuomo's Executive Order: https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2019/S8140

If you’re not sure whom to contact, representatives are still taking calls and need to hear from their constituents.  Find your representatives for NYS Assembly at https://nyassembly.gov/mem/search.  Find your representatives for NYS Senator at https://www.nysenate.gov/find-my-senator


February 19, 2020

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

Here are several very significant issues that Realtors need to be aware of:

1099 vs W-2 Status:  The independent contractor status that many in the real estate sales and brokerage have enjoyed for years in New York may be in jeopardy. A well-founded concern is that, in California, a bill passed that made it mandatory for a worker to be classified as an employee if they are engaged in the same line of business as the employing company. Think of a graphic artist being an independent contractor for an illustration company.  By the new, current interpretation of this law, they cannot be classified as a contractor but have to be classified as an employee since they are both in the same line of business.  So, the independent contractor becomes a W-2, instead of a 1099. In New York, a similar effort is underway (S.6538 - Savino/A.8343 - Crespo).  NYSAR has met with the special counsel to Governor Cuomo regarding the concerns of loss of independent contractor status for real estate professionals.

Tenant Protection with Good Cause Eviction:  2019 saw the implementation of the Tenant Protection Act minus Good Cause Eviction. The New York Capital Region Apartment Association and Jaime Michelle Cain, Esq. of Boylan Code LLP, created the Under One Roof Coalition of Upstate New York to represent the interests of property owners. This year the Good Cause Eviction has come up again and has momentum (S.2892-A - Salazar/A.5030-A - Hunter). A primary concern is not being able to let a lease expire. If you have any business with multi-family or rental properties, please reach out to the Under One Roof Coalition of Upstate New York to learn more.

Local Municipality Activation of Commercial Rent Control:  Anyone who thought the Tenant Protection Act was a surprise, Bill No. A09622 by O'Donnell, states that for Commercial, it directly relates to allowing municipalities to enact Commercial rent control measures. NAR is presently watching this bill. The currently proposed legislation seems innocuous but opens up a precedent to expand rent control to Commercial properties. If you practice leasing or represent a property owner, this is a bill to watch.

NYSAR Opposes DOS Guidance Prohibiting Certain Real Estate Commissions:  Your action is needed - NYSAR opposes new guidance by the Department of State maintaining that a landlord's agent is now prohibited from collecting a Broker fee/commission from the tenant in rental transactions Statewide under its interpretation of the 2019 Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act passed last June. If enforced, this would have devastating effects on Realtors engaging in rental transactions. Read more and TAKE ACTION NOW! DOS Guidance Prohibits Certain Real Estate Commissions.

Please make sure to review and update yourself regarding whom you are represented by in the State Assembly. Check your Rep. If you have not called to let them know you are still in business, it's time you remind them. The theme that has been echoed by politicians is if they do not hear from the industry practitioners, they assume practitioners do not oppose or support the legislation.


January 24, 2020

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

Under One Roof coalition of responsible landlords statewide who operate small businesses, provide quality housing to other hardworking New Yorkers and serve as economic drivers in their local communities. We’re invested in improving the apartment industry for all.

BE HEARD

We are compiling data to share with legislators on the unintended consequences of the Housing Stability & Tenant Protection Act of 2019.​

Take our short survey to help us keep this issue at the forefront.


January 3, 2020

*NEW!* Changes in Continuing Education Course Requirements for License Renewal and Date Change for Those Grandfathered

Previously, the State instituted the deadline of July 2020 to remove the grandfather clause regarding Continuing Education.  For any of you that are grandfathered, the date has been moved to July 2021.  So, if you are grandfathered, you have one more year before Continuing Education will need a requirement.

Here is the text from the DOS website:

What are the Continuing Education Requirements?

All licensees submitting a renewal prior to July 1, 2021 are required to successfully complete 22.5 hours of approved continuing education, including at least 3 hours of instruction pertaining to fair housing and/or discrimination in the sale or rental of real property or an interest in real property 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 within the two-year period immediately preceding a renewal.

Any salesperson who successfully completes an approved broker qualifying course (which requires passing the final exam), within their current term, will receive continuing education credit for completion of that course. Please note: The broker course does not satisfy the mandatory 3 hour fair housing requirement.

Exemptions prior to July 1, 2021:

Either of the below are exempt from the continuing education requirements:

  • Any licensed real estate broker who is engaged full time in the real estate business and who has been licensed prior to July 1, 2008 for at least 15 consecutive years and has maintained continuous licensure (no breaks in licensure for reasons such as late renewal submission) or
  • An attorney admitted to the New York State Bar who holds a real estate broker's license.

What are the Newly Adopted Continuing Education Requirements effective July 1, 2021?

All licensees will be required to successfully complete 22.5 hours of approved continuing education.  The education must include at least 2.5 hours on the subject of ethical business practices, at least I hour of recent legal matters, at least 3 hours of instruction pertaining to fair housing and/or discrimination in the sale or rental of real property or an interest in real property and at least 1 hour of instruction pertaining to the law of agency except in the case of the initial two-year licensing term for real estate salespersons, 2 hours of agency related instruction must be completed within the two-year period immediately preceding a renewal.

For the purposes of implementing the changes, the new requirements are effective on the actual date the license expires rather than the date the renewal application is submitted for processing. If the expiration date printed on your license is on or after July 1, 2021, you must meet the new requirement before you can renew. To review the actual bill text, please click here.

If you have any questions, please feel free to submit your inquiry to eAccessNY@dos.ny.gov.

View 2019 Governmental Affairs Archive