The state has proposed creating a cease-and-desist zone in the village of Chestnut Ridge to protect homeowners from overly aggressive real estate sellers and home buyers.
A ruling from New York State’s Department of State comes more than a year after a hearing at which dozens of residents complained of being harassed and threatened to sell their homes. Some cited the rapid expansion of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community as a driving force behind the pressure they felt to sell.
Some speakers described the tactics as “blockbusting,” the practice of pressuring homeowners to sell by threatening that home values will drop as their neighborhoods change.
“A 44-year resident of the village described that the solicitations in the community have become so intense that: ‘it has been almost like a living hell in my home,’ ” according to the Department of State’s official listing on the ruling.
Another longtime resident described having a solicitor enter her home without consent, according to the state. She contacted the police, but never heard anything further about it.
Under a state-imposed cease and desist zone:
- Homeowners can be included on a list prohibiting solicitations from real estate brokers, salespeople and anyone else regularly engaged in the buying and selling of property.
- If the rule goes into effect, homeowners would be able to register via the Department of State website or by mail.
- The ruling covers one- , two- or three-family houses, including cooperative apartments and condominiums.
- This includes solicitation by telephone, mail, door-to-door communication, e-mail, text message or any other direct means.
- Sending solicitations to a homeowner who has registered for the list can result in monetary fines, suspension or license revocation.
The Department of State is accepting comments on the proposal for 60 days, after which the department could amend the proposal or adopt it as is. The regulations would go into effect July 1 and be in place until 2023.
Chestnut Ridge would become the third municipality in New York state with a cease-and-desist zone. Similar regulations went into effect last fall in portions of Queens and Bronx counties.
“I am pleased by the thorough review DOS conducted of concrete evidence collected and submitted by residents and its positive response to the numerous concerns they have raised,” said state Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, who sponsored the 2016 hearing and announced the proposal. “This ruling will send a strong message that hardworking homeowners are entitled to enjoy their homes free from harassment.”
Read the complete Journal News story here.
Cease and desist comments
The public has until April 16 to submit comments.
David A. Mossberg, Esq.,
New York State Department of State
Office of General Counsel
123 William Street, 20th Fl.
New York, NY 10038