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New Fair Housing & Real Estate Advertising Regulations

May 15, 2020

Governor Cuomo has introduced a Fair Housing Enforcement Program in order to mitigate discrimination in rental and home sale transactions. The Governor has also directed the Division of Human Rights and the Department of State to add new regulations furthering these initiatives. Effective on June 20, 2020, real estate brokers will be required to provide any prospective purchaser, tenant, seller, or landlord upon first substantive contact, a disclosure notice containing the provisions of the New York State Human Rights Law. Within the disclosure, the provision will provide information including how Human Rights Law complaints can be filed.

Further, a real estate broker now must possess in every office and branch office the substantive provisions of the New York State Human Rights Law regarding housing conditions. The notice must also contain information on how to file Human Rights Law complaints. These provisions must be on display in the window of every location so that it is visible to persons from the sidewalk adjacent to the office. The provisions must also be located on the homepage of the applicable website, must include a link to the Department’s notice, and must also be visible at every open house and showing of real estate property. Those entities that are approved to provide instruction on fair housing and/or discrimination in the sale or rental of property must have a recording created of each course and include both audio and video. The recording must be kept for a minimum of one year following the date the course was provided to an enrolled student.

In addition, on November 2, 2020, new advertising requirements will also go into effect. The enactment of these regulations will provide clearer disclosures for internet advertising by requiring those brokers who use programs such as Zillow, to ensure the listing agent is disclosed and that any advertisement contains language to clearly indicate it as such. Specifically, the new regulations set out that any advertisement must clearly and conspicuously disclose the name of the executive listing broker. Further, any broker or real estate salesperson that pays a third-party for advertising involving property subject to a listing agreement of another broker, must include the word “advertisement” immediately following the broker or real estate salesperson’s name.

This post is not to be construed as legal advice but is merely a brief overview of the changes in the law. If you have any questions about your situation, please call our offices today at 716-636-7600.