By Tom Momberg
Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) joined borough residents and civic leaders in Bayside last week to renew their request that the state Legislature pass his bill to amend the real property law for the borough.
The bill calls for the reissuing of the five-year order that designated certain Queens neighborhoods as cease-and-desist zones for real estate solicitation. It also proposes extending the duration of the order to 10 years and allowing it to include the entire borough.
The rally came in response to several complaints Avella said he received from his constituents following the expiration of the five-year order in August 2014.
Avella said many homeowners have been receiving solicitation fliers. He also said some solicitations have been reported as a relentless block-busting effort, in which realtors attempt to pressure homeowners to sell their homes below market value.
“These aren’t just nuisance fliers, but an aggressive campaign to bully homeowners into thinking it’s time to sell, and time to sell low. We must bring back the common-sense law that expired last year and pass my real estate ‘Cease and Desist’ legislation,” Avella said in a statement.
The new extension bill was introduced by Avella during the last session of the state Senate as S.1379-2015 and as A.7931 in the state Assembly.
The bill would apply and expand the same protections as the previous law, and would expedite the process for residents wishing to have their names and addresses on a “cease and desist” list, actively protecting them from such solicitations for a period of 10 years.
“We support Senator Tony Avella’s call for a law that will protect homeowners not interested in selling, while allowing for vital services for people who want or need to sell their homes. We therefore urge that homeowners once again be given an opportunity to self-identify, through a state maintained registry, that they do not wish to receive such solicitations either in person, by mail or electronically,” Bellerose Commonwealth Civic Association’s Richard Hellenbrecht said in a statement.
The bill was referred to the state Senate Judiciary Committee in January, but has since been inactive.
The real estate solicitations cease-and-desist program for Queens residents was originally introduced in 1989, but was cut back in 2009 to only allow residents of a few select neighborhoods to be added to the list.
If passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo this fall, the act would go into effect on the 13th day after it becomes law.
Reach reporter Tom Momberg by e-mail at tmomb