New York – Rockland County’s Village of Chestnut Ridge has joined portions of Queens and the Bronx on the state’s list of official cease and desist zones, making it illegal for real estate professionals to approach registered homeowners about selling their property as of July 1st.
The designation as an official cease and desist zone was created in response to complaints of “unwanted, intense and repeated solicitations from homeowners” at a public hearing which concluded that homeowners were in need of protection from aggressive real estate brokers
according to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office.
Legislation regarding state enforced cease and desist zones was first passed in 1989 to prevent homeowners from being harassed by real estate brokers according to The Daily News. The law survived lengthy legal challenges and was upheld in a 2002 decision, giving homeowners
in the designated zones the ability to register their residences with New York State’s Division of Licensing Services in order to avoid unwanted solicitations from those who are regularly engaged in the buying and selling of homes.
Once created via public hearing, cease and desist zones remain in effect for five years, with the state publishing updated lists of registered properties on the first of every month. Violators can face a variety of punishments ranging from reprimands, to fines of up to $1,000, to suspension and revocation of their licenses.
Chestnut Ridge joins the College Point, Malba, Whitestone, Bay Terrace, Bayside, Auburndale, Murray Hill and North Flushing sections of Queens and the Country Club section of the Bronx on the state list. The Queens and the Bronx areas were designated as protected zones last October, with over 1,100 Queens homeowners and 59 Bronx properties listed on the state registry.
In recent years, Chestnut Ridge has seen an upsurge of Orthodox Jewish and Chasidic residents homebuyers, with residents complaining of realtors utilizing aggressive tactics to encourage them to sell their homes, as reported by The Journal News.
While Chestnut Ridge, which is located within the Town of Ramapo, is the first village in Rockland County to apply for the designation as a cease and desist zone, the Village of Airmont and the towns of Clarkstown, Haverstraw, Orangetown and Stony Point have all created “no knock” registries to prevent unwanted solicitations.
The cease and desist zone applies equally to single and multi-family residential homes and does not affect commercial properties.