New Year Checklist

Jan 28, 2020

The beginning of the year is a good time to review best practices to protect against legal liability.  The following are some risk management tips to start off the New Year!

Be sure you are using the most up to date Agency Disclosure Forms.  If you use outdated forms, the DOS will fine you.  The most updated forms can be found at the DOS website.

Independent Contractor Agreements must be signed every 12 – 15 months and failure to do so can result in a determination that an agent is an employee instead of an independent contractor, thereby resulting in certain tax and legal consequences.  All real estate professionals practicing in New York City must have Independent Contractor Agreements that comply with New York City Administrative Code.  NYSAR drafted an Independent Contractor Agreement that complies with the Code and can be found at http://www.nysar.com/docs/default-source/members-pdfs/nys-nyc-independent-contractor-relationship-agreement-rev-5-17.pdf?sfvrsn=2

Be sure to follow the DOS Advertising Guidelines.  The guidelines can be found at https://www.nysar.com/legal/advertising-regulations

Associate brokers and licensed salespersons are not permitted to use corporate titles such as “vice president”, “senior vice president”, “managing director” or other such types of executive terms.  The DOS has stated that under New York law neither an associate broker nor a licensed salesperson can hold an ownership interest in a brokerage.  As a result, they may not use corporate titles for marketing or other purposes. 

Real Estate Professionals collect personal information from clients/customers throughout the course of their business.  Laws require you to protect the security, confidentiality, integrity and proper disposal of this information to prevent fraud, identity theft, or similar crimes.  Create a Data Security Program for your business.  Go to https://www.nar.realtor/data-privacy-security/nars-data-security-and-privacy-toolkit for a Data Security and Privacy Toolkit to help get started.

Know how to comply with the New York State and City Sexual Harassment Laws. For information on the City Law go to https://www1.nyc.gov/site/cchr/law/stop-sexual-harassment-act.page and for information on the State Law go to https://www.ny.gov/programs/combating-sexual-harassment-workplace