The temporary restraining order (TRO) requiring tenants to continue paying broker fees will remain in place until at least the end of October.
By way of background, the New York Department of State (DOS) issued a document in early February known as “Guidance for Real Estate Professionals” relating to the implementation of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act (HSTPA) of 2019. Based on their interpretation of the HSTPA, the Guidance shifted the responsibility for the payment of the fee from the tenant to the owner where the broker is the building owner’s “agent.”
The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) and New York State Association of Realtors (NYSAR) immediately filed an Article 78 Petition in the New York State Supreme Court seeking to overturn the Guidance. The Court ultimately issued a TRO that halted the Guidance issued by DOS and would require tenants to continue paying broker fees until further notice.
REBNY and NYSAR were expected back in court on March 13th. State Attorney General Letitia James subsequently requested an extension on March 6th to respond to the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) and New York State Association of Realtors’ (NYSAR) Article 78 Petition which further delayed the hearing in court until June 12th.
However, the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic on the State’s court system pushed back the hearing once again until September 25th. Furthermore, in late August, the hearing was once again pushed back to October 23rd at the State’s request. As a result, the TRO continues to remain in effect.
Pending any further delays, we hope to have an update on this lawsuit in the November issue of the RSA Reporter.