April 2021

Weekly Report for April 30, 2021

Hundreds of Realtors® advocate virtually during NYSAR’s annual Lobby Day
NYSAR held its annual Lobby Day virtually this Tuesday, April 27, providing hundreds of Realtors® across the state with the opportunity to speak directly to their respective state lawmakers. Senator James Skoufis, Chair of the Senate Committee on Investigations and Government Operations, provided opening remarks to Lobby Day attendees, highlighting NYSAR’s efforts to advance additional fair housing legislation this year. NYSAR Director Mike Kelly provided attendees with a breakdown of the current political landscape and an overview of the association’s legislative priorities. NYSAR 2021 President David Legaz, Vice President Jennifer Vucetic and Secretary/Treasurer John Vernazza held meetings with legislative leaders Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and Assembly Minority Leader William Barclay. You can watch the Lobby Day morning remarks here.

State lawmakers expected to extend eviction moratorium; NYSAR opposes measure
State lawmakers are expected to vote Monday to extend the state’s moratorium on residential evictions and foreclosures an additional four months until Aug. 31 for those experiencing financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. NYSAR opposes this legislation and Realtors® expressed concerns with the extension during its annual Lobby Day earlier this week on Tuesday, April 27. Another extension of the eviction moratorium will lead to more debt for both tenants and housing providers and will increase the already lengthy backlog of court cases. To read NYSAR’s full memo in opposition, click here.. Additionally, New York State has yet to release a process for tenants and landlords to apply for recently approved emergency rent relief, which $2.4 billion in federal and state funding is available. Read more here.

New York loses one Congressional seat
Following the release of the U.S. 2020 Census Bureau count, New York State is set to lose one of its seats in the House of Representatives beginning in the 2022 elections, dropping its congressional delegation to 26 members. New York has lost at least two congressional seats every Census since 1950. Overall, New York’s population grew to 20.2 million, a 4.2% increase since 2010. Governor Cuomo recently announced that he is asking state Attorney General Letitia James to review legal options potentially challenging the loss of the state’s congressional seat.

 Weekly Report for April 23, 2021

NYSAR’s 2021 Virtual Lobby Day this Tuesday, April 27
NYSAR is holding its 2021 Virtual Lobby Day on April 27, beginning at 9 a.m. NYSAR will be advocating for the allowance of licensed real estate professionals to continue telemarketing business practices during states of emergency, additional fair housing measures, including transparency in the cooperative housing transaction, and the need for more affordable housing throughout the state, among other issues. NYSAR will also be expressing concerns with a state proposal to impose “good cause” eviction measures across the state. You can view NYSAR’s full list of Legislative Priorities and NYSAR’s Lobby Day FAQ’s for more information.

NYSAR and GCAR launch campaign opposing Albany good cause eviction bill
NYSAR is working with the Greater Capital Association of REALTORS® to launch a campaign in opposition to Local Law F in the Albany Common Council, which would impose a good cause eviction standard in the city of Albany. The campaign includes the launching of a website, Call for Action, direct mail and video production. The city of Albany proposal would prohibit landlords from evicting tenants except under strict circumstances, even when a tenant’s lease has expired. It would also restrict the amount a property owner could increase their rent. If your local government is considering similar legislation, please contact your local REALTOR® board or contact NYSAR’s Government Affairs Department. Visit for more information and please Take Action here if you an Albany resident.

Division of Human Rights webinar on source of income: April 29, 3:30 p.m.
In recognition of Fair Housing month, The New York State Division of Human Rights is hosting a live webinar on source of income discrimination on April 29 at 3:30 p.m. The webinar will look at statewide issues with an emphasis on the Greater NYC Metro area. Register for the webinar here.

Weekly Report for April 16, 2021

NYSAR’s 2021 Virtual Lobby Day on April 27
NYSAR is holding its 2021 Virtual Lobby Day on April 27, beginning at 9 a.m. NYSAR will be advocating for the allowance of licensed real estate professionals to continue telemarketing business practices during states of emergency, additional fair housing measures, including transparency in the cooperative housing transaction, and the need for more affordable housing throughout the state, among other issues. NYSAR will also be expressing concerns with a state proposal to impose “good cause” eviction measures across the state. You can view NYSAR’s full list of Legislative Priorities and NYSAR’s Lobby Day FAQ’s for more information.

Judge overturns state guidance to allow broker fees on rentals
On April 9, 2021, the Supreme Court of the State of New York published the decision in the lawsuit NYSAR and others filed against the Department of State (DOS) in February 2020.  The court ruled in favor of NYSAR’s position that the Tenant Protection Act (TPA) of 2019 does not apply to a landlord’s agent being paid commission by a tenant. As such, a landlord’s agent may continue to collect commissions from the tenant. The court ruled the state misinterpreted that portion of the act and erred in issuing guidance early last year that sought to restrict brokers from collecting fees or a commission from renters when acting on behalf of a landlord. Read more here.

New York House Delegation urges White House to repeal SALT deduction cap
On Tuesday, Democrats in New York’s House delegation sent a letter to House leaders urging for the repeal of the $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions as negotiations with the White House over President Biden’s infrastructure package continue. In the letter, House Democrats say they will oppose any tax legislation that does not fully restore the SALT deduction. Read more here.

NAR opposes DOL independent contractor action
NAR submitted comment opposing the Department of Labor’s proposed withdraw of the final rule on independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). NAR continues to resist any efforts by federal regulators or legislators that threatens real estate professionals’ ability to classify as an independent contractor. Additionally, NYSAR continues to engage state lawmakers to protect independent contractor status for real estate licensees at the state level.

Weekly Report for April 9, 2021

 Register for NYSAR’s 2021 Virtual Lobby Day to be held on April 27
The first 300 members that register will receive a Lobby Day package in the mail from NYSAR. There is no cost to register, but any member or staff that wishes to participate in Lobby Day must register for the meeting. While registering for Lobby Day, members will also be able to register for the RPAC “School for Spies” virtual escape room event with a cost of $50. Anyone wishing to participate in the RPAC event must register before Friday, April 23.   For more information and updates including Lobby Day FAQ’s visit the NYSAR Lobby Day page here.

State Legislature passes $212 billion state budget
On April 7, the State Legislature passed a $212 billion state budget, reflecting an $18 billion increase over last year. The budget raises taxes by about $4 billion on high income earners and corporations in New York, increasing personal income tax rates for individuals earning more than $1 million per year and joint filers making more than $2 million, and increasing the corporate franchise tax rate for the next three years.

This year’s budget also includes nearly $3 billion in combined federal and state funding for rent and homeowner relief. NYSAR will continue to review this portion of the budget and provide additional details to members. The application process is expected to begin in May according to lawmakers.

One measure that was not included in the budget was a proposal that would have created a new pied-a-terre property tax on second homes in New York City valued at over 5 million. NYSAR, along with other interested groups, opposed this measure.

The state budget also includes the following:

  • $1 billion small business, arts, entertainment and restaurant relief package to help businesses and other organizations recover from the impacts of the pandemic;
  • $3 billion Environmental Bond Act pending voter approval in the 2022 general election;
  • Requiring internet service providers to offer affordable high-speed internet for low-income households;
  • Provides a real property tax relief credit for homeowners earning $250,000 if their total property tax exceeds a fixed percentage of their income;
  • A record $29.5 billion in school funding;
  • $2.1 billion to establish an “excluded worker” relief fund for undocumented immigrants facing hardships from the pandemic;
  • Legalization of mobile sports betting;
  • Maintaining $400 million in scheduled tax cuts for middle income earners;
  • $100 million for another round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative

For further details on measures in the state budget, click here. The Governor’s summary of the budget can be found here.

Weekly Report for April 2, 2021

NYSAR-supported legislation introduced this week to allow telemarketing and increase broker qualifying course requirements
NYSAR-supported legislation that would allow licensed real estate professionals to continue telemarketing business practices during states of emergency (A.6756) was introduced this week by Assemblymember Michael Cusick of Staten Island. Also introduced this week was legislation that would increase the necessary course hours for real estate brokers applying for a license from 120 hours to 150 hours and increase the number of years under the supervision of a broker from two to five years (S.5982). The bill, which was introduced by Senator James Skoufis of the Hudson Valley would also require six hours of instruction pertaining to fair housing for real estate salespersons applying for a license.

NYSAR works with coalition in support of expediting release of aid for landlords and tenants
On March 30, NYSAR signed on to a coalition letter urging state lawmakers and officials to expedite the distribution of rent relief assistance for landlords and tenants. Landlords are finding it increasingly difficult to cover costs for utilities and maintenance in addition to the already burdensome obligations they have including payment of property taxes. Furthermore, the letter seeks to clarify that protection for non-payment evictions should not extend to a refusal to pay current and future rent past the coverage period of the assistance. Read the full letter here.

State Division of Human Rights to host “Source of Income” webinar April 7 and housing discrimination webinar April 5
The New York Division of Human Rights, in conjunction with NYSAR, is hosting an online webinar on housing discrimination and questions regarding “Source of Income” on April 7 at 10:30 a.m. Register here.

DHR will also be holding a virtual discussion on housing discrimination and state enforcement as part of a state Fair Housing Month campaign on April 5 at 1 p.m. Register here.

Reasonable Modification and Accommodation Notice not enforced at this time
On March 3, a new law went into effect requiring landlords, managing agents and real estate licensees to provide a Reasonable Modification and Accommodation Notice to all prospective and current tenants of a “housing accommodation.”  Until the state promulgates regulations however, you are not required to take any action. NYSAR will notify you when the regulations will be in effect and enforcement will commence.

CDC extends eviction moratorium through June 30
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that the federal eviction moratorium has been extended through June 30. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission said they had also started investigating “deceptive and unfair” eviction practices, focusing on the actions of multistate landlords, private-equity firms and eviction-management services. Last month, the Biden administration extended the foreclosure moratorium for homeowners through June 30, 2021. You can also read NAR’s Coronavirus: Housing Providers FAQs.