Log In   ·   Become A Member

Where Does New York Law Stand With Respect To Transgender Persons And Victims Of Domestic Violence?

John A. Viteritti

The governor has also established a task force "to study the impact of source of income on access to housing including, but not limited to, any sex-based impact." (Photo: www.facebook.com)

In October 2015, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the New York State Division of Human Rights adopted new regulations that ban discrimination and harassment against transgender people. The announcement stated: "All public and private employers, housing providers, businesses, creditors, and others should know that discrimination against transgender persons is unlawful and will not be tolerated anywhere in the State of New York." New York enacted its first Human Rights Law in 1945. Under the new regulations regarding gender identity, the Human Rights Commission may award jobs, housing, and other benefits, as well as civil fines and penalties.

Another New York law that became effective on January 19th, 2016 prohibits discrimination in housing based upon domestic violence victim status. According to S. Anthony Gatto and Liz Celeone, General Counsel and Associate Counsel for the New York State Association of Realtors, Section 227-D of the Real Property Law states: "No person, firm, or corporation or agent of any such entity, owning or managing a building used for dwelling purposes, (referred to as landlords for purposes of this article), shall refuse to rent a residential unit to a person because such person's or their family member's domestic violence victim status, when rental would not have been denied had such status not existed." Gatto and Celeone go on to say, "A violation of any of the provisions of the law, in addition to potential criminal liability, a landlord might also be subject to civil liabilities."

The governor has also established a task force "to study the impact of source of income on access to housing including, but not limited to, any sex-based impact."

It should be recognized that state and local governments may add protected classes in addition to federal fair housing laws, and offenders can be prosecuted for all three simultaneously. Suffolk County Human Rights Law already addresses "source of income" as well as transparency in applications for the purchase of shares in a residential cooperative, not currently included in New York Fair Housing Laws. And while there are some exceptions to federal, state, and local fair housing laws for homeowners, they never apply to real estate licensees.

Violation of fair housing laws may result in forced compliance by a court as well as the award of actual and punitive damages to the victim. Even absent actual damages, a court may award punitive damages which by law cannot be covered by insurance.

In addition, if a real estate agent is involved in violation of fair housing laws, it subjects the agent to revocation of their real estate license by the New York Department of State as well as fines and penalties. For the consumer and the real estate professional, ignorance of the law is never an acceptable defense.

John is a St. John's University graduate, licensed Real Estate broker, DOS Certified Instructor, lecturer, teaches real estate license classes at Cook Maran Real Estate School, and is a well-respected consultant to the real estate industry. He previously taught at LIU and NYU. www.johnaviteritti.com

Related Articles:

Be the first to comment on this article. (Just fill out the form below)

Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
What color is a firetruck?
(For spam prevention, thanks)
Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home
We pay less,and so do you.With over 1,000 stores in our buying group, we can get the lowest prices from the best flooring manufacturers — and pass the savings on to you.Visit our other locations: Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home, 675 North Sea Road,Southampton, NY 11968

Southampton Masonry-Visiting the Southampton or the Wainscott locations is an exciting experience.
Southampton Masonry has been serving Long Island's masonry and tile needs since 1975. Delivering quality products from Manhattan to Montauk for over three decades. The company's continued success is due primarily to their number one priority: customer satisfaction, with a promise of prompt and courteous service from the professional, knowledgeable staff. Southampton Masonry has the largest inventory on the east end. As direct importers they can offer a large variety of the finest quality products at the most competitive pricing for both your interior and exterior projects.

Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 33 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field.
Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 34 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field. Trusted, experienced and successful, Andrea has solidified herself as the go-to broker of the Hamptons and a wholehearted advocate for her clients. A pioneer in the real estate industry on the East End of Long Island, she is driven by her passion for the business. Andrea is based in the Bridgehampton office of Brown Harris Stevens as a licensed real estate associate broker and consultant. Formerly, a principal partner and Senior Director at Brown Harris Stevens, Andrea now assists in developing their corporate strategy for the Hamptons region, advising other brokers and sales associates, as well as being one of the top producers and listors.

Southrifty Drug 54 Jagger Lane, Southampton Village
Southrifty Drug is a small, neighborhood pharmacy with limited shelf space, and we have to be very selective about which over-the-counter items we carry. As a result you'll find a no nonsense concentration of very effective, high quality and useful products on our shelves. In this new section, we feature a number of these products that we feel are especially worthy of your consideration.

Burner Law Group, P.C.
Burner Law Group, P.C. are full service elder law attorneys concentrating in the areas of Estate Planning, Trust and Estate Administration and Litigation, Special Needs Planning, Guardianship and Elder Law. Offices in East Setauket‚ NY, Westhampton Beach, NY, and New York, NY.

Suburban Propane in Bridgehampton, New York has been serving proudly supporting our community for 90 years.
Suburban Propane has been serving the energy needs for home owners and business in the Hampton’s for decades. We offer friendly service by local professionals you know and trust, plus the peace of mind that comes from knowing we are among the leaders in the industry for safety.

WordHampton Public Relations
We build client revenues and reputations. Our reputation is built on delivering a strong media presence and, as a result, demand for our clients' offerings, resulting in a positive impact on sales. Successful campaigns start with understanding the goals of our clients and developing a customized strategy that will achieve those objectives.

SGF Acupuncture, PLLC. Is owned and operated By Sandra Geehreng Foster.
SGF Acupuncture, PLLC. Is owned and operated By Sandra Geehreng Foster. Her treatments are based on five element acupuncture. She also offers Far Infrared Sauna treatments. PEMF cellular excerise.

Spanish Maven was founded by Marisa Ramirez.
Spanish Maven was founded by Marisa Ramirez after she experienced learning English as a second language upon relocating to New York.