Community activists gathered outside state Senator Tony Avella’s office Thursday afternoon to call for an extension of the state’s “cease-and-desist” law, which empowers Queens homeowners to prohibit unwanted solicitations from real estate brokers.
The original law, which expired in August 2014, allowed homeowners to register with New York’s Department of State on a list banning brokers from sending advertisements to the registered addresses.
Once the law expired, Avella stated, local property owners became inundated with “predatory real estate solicitations.” During the most recent legislative session, he introduced a bill extending the cease-and-desist law and strengthening it by expediting the registration process for homeowners. The bill would also designate Queens as a “non-solicitation zone” and double its length of protection to 10 years.
“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,” Avella said. “We must bring back the common-sense law that expired last year and pass my real estate ‘cease-and-desist’ legislation.”
Numerous civic activists in the area demonstrated their support for the legislation at Thursday’s press conference.
“Sometimes, the [brokers] are particularly aggressive and call or even visit the homeowners repeatedly to try to broker a deal,” Henry Euler of the Auburndale Improvement Association said. “The ads often promise that the homeowners can get huge amounts of money for their homes and give examples of homes in the neighborhood and what they are selling for or have sold for recently.”