If you’re a real estate agent, don’t even think about trying to sell a home in Rockland County’s Chestnut Ridge — New York’s Department of State just marked it as an agent “cease-and-desist zone.”
Earlier this year, the State Department filed a Notice of Adoption that makes the town of Chestnut Ridge a “cease-and-desist zone” for brokers, Realtors or real estate agents who wish to “solicit a homeowner within the zone.”
The change, according to a release sent by state officials this week, came after local residents filed numerous complaints about unwanted requests and solicitations from local agents. Located in Rockland County at the border of New Jersey, Chestnut Ridge is a town of approximately 8,000 people that has a high elderly population.
The new law, which makes Chestnut Ridge a homeselling professional “cease and desist” zone, comes into effect on July 1, 2018 and will remain in effect until July 2023.
“Sending solicitations to a homeowner that has registered with the Department can result in monetary fines, suspension or revocation of licensure,” the release issued by the State Department reads.
In September, the department will issue a list of homeowners who have requested to be in a similar “cease-and-desist zone.” Similar regulations could, theoretically, be passed to apply to any town that requested to ban agents from its area.
“We think it unfairly inhibits the ability of real estate professionals to conduct business in New York State,” Mike Kelly, director of government affairs for the New York State Association of Realtors, told Inman, adding that many of the unwanted solicitations Chestnut Ridge residents receive do not come from their members. “We don’t believe it accomplishes those goals [of decreasing unwanted solicitations] and decreases our numbers.”
While delivering a blow to local real estate agents, this type of cease-and-desist zone is not unprecedented in New York. Last year, the department passed policies banning agents in parts of the Bronx and Queens in New York City.
The adoption of regulations by the New York State Department, which went into effect on Oct. 1, includes the Country Club section of the Bronx and College Point, Malba, Whitestone and Bay Terrace in Queens, in addition to portions of Bayside and Auburndale in the same borough.
The regulations prohibit solicitation of any homeowner who registers with a State Department cease and desist list, which is updated monthly, and theoretically, would require real estate professionals in those areas to repeatedly monitor the State Department website for updates.