Garden City, NY asked in Real Estate Law for New York

Q: Re: N.Y. Real Estate License Law of November 2014, a property manager collecting money must have a real estate license

I found out that the property management company managing the building where I own a tiny, basic 1-bedroom co-op apartment in New York City is founded and headquartered on another continent and has no real estate license in New York or any other state, for that matter. My maintenance was raised by over 20% and monthly assessments charged for about 2 years are almost double my maintenance. Also, our building is poorly managed.

I was told by an acquaintance of an acquaintance who sued her landlord as well as an attorney that New York State property management companies that collect any type of monies must have a New York real estate license or else forfeit the right to collect any monies which legitimate, licensed property management companies would have a right to collect. This acquaintance of an acquaintance got all her rent money back.

Where do I find the citation in the New York Real Estate License Law about the forfeiture of money if the company has no real estate license?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: Under New York law, property management companies involved in collecting rent or maintaining rental properties typically need to be licensed as real estate brokers. This requirement is outlined in the New York Real Property Law and the regulations set by the New York State Department of State.

If a property management company is operating without the necessary license, they may be violating state regulations. You can find specific legal requirements and potential penalties in the New York Real Property Law, particularly Article 12-A, which governs the licensing and activities of real estate professionals in New York State.

To confirm the licensing status of the company and explore your options, consider contacting the New York State Department of State, Division of Licensing Services. They oversee real estate licensing and can provide guidance on how to proceed if a property management company is unlicensed. If the company is indeed operating without a license, you may have legal recourse, including potentially recovering fees paid to them.

Consulting with an attorney experienced in real estate law can provide you with tailored advice for your specific situation.

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