Get up-to-date information on legal and regulatory issues affecting New York State's REALTORS and the latest on court decisions affecting the industry.

Second Quarter 2018

Supreme Court finds brokerage is entitled to half a commission as ‘selling agent’
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a real estate brokerage firm that was trying to recover a commission under a co-brokerage agreement. The court found that the real estate broker was the procuring case of the sale, and that it had performed according to the terms of the agreement, ultimately awarding half of the entire commission to said brokerage. 

New York City landlords not required to accept tenants with LINC Vouchers
The New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division ruled that owners of a limited profit housing complex were not required to accept tenants with Living in Communities (LINC) rent vouchers due to the fact that the program required the landlords to renew the tenants’ leases for up to five years “at a minimum increase specifically tied to other New York City rent regulatory programs to which the housing units were not subject to at the time of the application.”  

Brokers should exercise caution in referring clients and customers to their attorney spouses
A recent ethics opinion issued by the New York State Bar Association stated that an attorney who is married to a real estate licensee, may receive referrals from their licensee spouse only if the licensee spouse is not involved in the specific real estate transaction that they are sending the referral for. 

Read the latest articles of interest from the National Association of REALTORS:
Agency structure violates antitrust law
The Federal Trade Commission has determined that the State of Louisiana failed to actively supervise its real estate appraisal board, which contained a super-majority of market participants prior to 2017. The state’s remedial measures taken after the FTC filed its complaint were insufficient to demonstrate that the state would actively supervise the board in the future.
Licensee testimony improperly excluded
North Carolina’s highest court ruled that the lower court erroneously relied upon the state statute for appraisals when it denied the admission of testimony from a real licensee about the value of land taken by the state for a road project, finding that the court should have instead of used the rules for admitting or excluding expert testimony.
Challenge to MLS access dismissed
The Michigan federal court dismissed a lawsuit filed by an attorney seeking MLS access without joining a REALTOR association. The court found that the membership requirement isn’t a restraint on competition and it is reasonable for associations to tie membership to MLS access.

Click here for the most recent DOS decisions.

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     Related Documents: NYSBA Ethics Opinion 993, NYSBA Ethics Opinion 882NYSBA Ethics Opinion 817 

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