BPI Blog

Broker’s Obligation to Disclose Status of Illegal Property

June 26, 2018 | By Charles Botensten

Q: I am a real estate broker and I am listing a rental apartment that I am concerned may not have the proper permits. Am I obligated to confirm the legal status of an apartment before marketing it to the public? A: Yes, the New York State Department of State ("DOS") recently confirmed, in an Opinion letter, that real estate brokers ("Brokers") must make a reasonable effort into verifying the legal status of the properties they market and must disclose, including in advertisements, any knowledge of a property’s illegal status to potential purchasers or tenants.

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ADA Compliant Websites

June 25, 2018 | By Charles Botensten

Q: I am a real estate broker and I have been informed that real estate brokers who maintain websites may be subject to lawsuits if such websites are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). Should I ensure that my website complies with the ADA? A: Yes, real estate brokers ("Brokers") that utilize a website for business purposes should ensure that their website complies with the ADA. Legal action may be sought against Brokers who maintain websites that are not properly accessible to persons with disabilities.

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The Roommate Law

June 22, 2018 | By Charles Botensten

Q: After reading last week’s Question of the Week on the New York City Occupancy Standard, I am curious about how this law interacts with the New York State Roommate law. Can you please provide a brief FAQ on the Roommate Law and explain how it is limited by the New York City Occupancy Standard? FAQs:

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Occupancy Standards in New York City

June 21, 2018 | By Charles Botensten

Q: I am a real estate salesperson and I am representing the owner/landlord of a residential building who, in order to prevent overcrowding, would like to prevent a couple and their teenage son from moving into an apartment containing 400 square feet, excluding hallways, bathrooms, and foyers. May the owner/landlord restrict their occupancy in this manner? A: No, in New York City landlords and owners must comply with the occupancy standard set by the New York City Housing Maintenance Code ("the Code"). According to the Code, "every person occupying an apartment in a class A or class B mult

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What is the Difference between a Sublease (Sublet) and a License?

June 20, 2018 | By Charles Botensten

Q: I am a licensed real estate salesperson and I am representing a commercial tenant who is leasing out an entire floor of an office building. Initially, the tenant is not going to need all of the leased space and would like to rent out the unused portion. Should the tenant sublease the unused space or should the tenant grant a license for the unused portion? A: Generally, a tenant in this situation should license the extra space rather than subleasing it. Although the terms "license" and "sublease (or sublet)" are often used interchangeably, they are distinct legal concepts.

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Duty to Disclose Crime Committed at a Property - Stigmatized Property Law

June 19, 2018 | By Charles Botensten

Q: I am a real estate broker and I currently have an exclusive listing for a property where an infamous crime (including a murder) took place a number of years ago. Must I disclose this fact to potential buyers? A: No, a seller’s agent is prohibited from disclosing this information to a prospective buyer without the consent of the seller. A seller’s agent must disclose to prospective buyers "all facts known to the agent materially affec

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June 18, 2018 | By Charles Botensten

Q: I am a licensed New York real estate broker and I have the following questions regarding the incentives I may provide to a buyer or seller in a real estate transaction: 1. May I advertise the incentive in order to attract new clients? 2. May the incentive come in the form of a gift card?

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