BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
The Department of State’s (DOS) cease-and-desist list, which would provide homeowners with a choice to opt out of receiving unwanted real estate solicitation at their homes, has designated northeast Queens a “cease- and-desist zone.”
The list currently has 1,033 properties in Bay Terrace as well as portions of Auburndale, Bayside, College Point, Malba, Murray Hill, northern Flushing and Whitestone.
According to state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), the DOS will continue to accept new submissions and update the list monthly, adding more neighborhoods to the list.
The new cease-and-desist zones expire on Sept. 1, 2022. However, a bill by Avella would designate the entirety of Queens County as a cease-and-desist zone and extend the nonsolicitation orders from the current period of five years to 10 years.
“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,” said Avella. “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 commonsense solution to the aggressive real estate industry campaign to bully homeowners into thinking it is time to sell their home.”
Real estate solicitation had been plaguing the community since 2014, forcing Avella, local civic associations and community boards to take action to contact the DOS. Following a hearing in 2016 during which a number of residents provided testimonials, the DOS agreed that there was enough evidence to reinstate the regulations.
The regulations state that “no licensed real estate broker or salesperson shall solicit the sale, lease or the listing for sale or lease of residential property from an owner of residential property located in a designated cease-and-desist zone if such owner has filed a cease-and-desist notice with the Department of State indicating that such owner or owners do not desire to sell, lease or list their residential property and do not desire to be solicited to sell, lease or list their residential property.”
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144, firstname.lastname@example.org or @reporter_ariel.