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Photo via Shutterstock
Photo via Shutterstock

Bayside, Whitestone, College Point and Flushing residents once again have the power to stop real estate brokers from hounding them to sell their homes, a local lawmaker announced Wednesday.

The Department of State (DOS) has reinstated regulations allowing certain northeast Queens residents the ability to say ‘no’ to unwanted real estate proposals, state Senator Tony Avella reported on July 26.

In 1989, DOS declared the entirety of Queens a “cease and desist zone,” allowing homeowners to file their names and addresses on a list barring real estate brokers or salespeople from approaching their residences with unsolicited sale or leasing proposals. However, when the regulations expired in 2014, the practice returned, leaving local residents and civic leaders feeling disempowered.

The newly-declared cease and desist zones in northeast Queens expire on September 1, 2022. However, Avella has sponsored a bill that, if passed, would both designate the entirety of Queens county a cease and desist zone and double the order from five to 10 years. The bill is currently in committee in the New York State Senate.

“Though I wish that the cease and desist zone covered the entire borough of Queens, I think we have taken a very big step towards protecting homeowners from the predatory tactics of real estate agents that became a norm in our neighborhoods,” Avella said. “These new zones will also help to promote a better relationship between homeowners and real estate agents who work and live in the community. The creation of these zones is a common sense solution to the aggressive real estate industry campaign to bully homeowners into thinking it is time to sell their home.”

Homeowners can file for the cease and desist protections by visiting this DOS webpage. DOS will be accepting public comment on these regulations for 45 days from July 26.

Photo via Twitter/@TonyAvella

Photo via Twitter/@TonyAvella

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