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SEBAR Legal News Update for February featuring News that's Relevant to YOUR Business!

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HUD Releases New Guidance on Assistance Animals

On Tuesday, January 28, 2020, HUD released new guidance on "Assessing a Person's Request to Have an Animal as a Reasonable Accommodation Under the Fair Housing Act." This supersedes the previous guidance issued in 2013. The rule outlines what information a housing provider can request and consider when deciding to grant a reasonable accommodation.
Assistance animals can be incredibly helpful to people with disabilities. But in recent years there has been a significant uptick in people abusing this part of the Fair Housing Act by trying to pass their pet off as an assistance animal. HUD is attempting to address this fraud, and ensure that the accommodations are available for those who need them.

The guidance includes a kind of flow chart for the decision process a housing provider may use to make the determination. It includes language that the licensed medical professional should have personal knowledge of the individual and their disability. HUD also states that if the animal is not a common household pet, "the requestor has the substantial burden of demonstrating a disability-related therapeutic need for the specific animal or the specific type of animal." Lastly, the guidance confirms that the assistance animal must be needed to address a disability that "substantially limits at least one major life activity or major bodily function."

Click HERE to read HUD's Press Release dated January 28, 2020

Click HERE for a copy of HUD's Guidance dated January 28, 2020

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

Copyright Infringement

Creative works are protected by copyright. Don't use another person's copyrighted photograph, painting, music or words without permission because doing so could result in liability for copyright infringement. Many real estate professionals own websites that feature an IDX display, and infringing materials may inadvertently appear on those websites through the IDX display. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") protects website owners from copyright infringement liability for content posted to a website by a third party provided the website owner complies with the necessary requirements.

Watch this VIDEO to learn more on How to Avoid Copyright Infringement

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

Michigan REALTORS ® Legal News

Legal Lines – Question of the Month 
I represent buyers who terminated a purchase contract aer discovering black mold in the house. I now have another interested buyer who would like to make an offer on the same home. e listing agent said that I cannot tell my buyer about the prior buyers’ discovery of mold because I obtained that information during a prior agency relationship. Is this true?
NO. As a buyer’s agent you have a fiduciary duty to notify your current client of any issues that you know of about the property. While most buyers’ agency agreements expressly provide that the agent will not disclose confidential information learned through another agency relationship, the information about the discovery of black mold is not “confidential” as to the first buyer. Information known to both a seller and a potential buyer is not "confidential" as to either.

Click HERE to access the Michigan REALTORS ® l egal library, Q&A and video transcripts.

Source: Michigan REALTORS®

Michigan REALTORS ® Legal Hotline


The Michigan Realtors® Legal Hotline allows members to have direct, toll-free access to a qualified attorney who can provide information on real estate law and other related matters. This service is only available to Michigan Realtors® members and is not a public service. The service is provided through members’ dues.The Legal Hotline number is 800.522.2820. It is operated 9 a.m.– 3 p.m., Monday – Friday. This makes the Michigan Realtors® Legal Hotline available to Members approximately 250 workdays per year. Recognized holidays are excluded. If the Legal Hotline is busy; an answering machine will take calls. Calls are returned within 24 hours, usually during the same day.
National Center for Dispute Settlement (NCDS)

The National Center for Dispute Settlement (NCDS) is the endorsed provider for arbitration services for Michigan Realtors®.

NCDS offers real estate firms, independent agents, home buyers and home sellers an experienced administrator to resolve residential real property disclosure disputes. NCDS provides the real estate industry with a single source for efficient and responsive resolution of buyer-seller disputes.

For information pertaining to the services provided by NCDS, please contact:
Debbie Lech
Operations Manager
12900 Hall Road, Suite 401
Sterling Heights, MI 48313
586.226.2470 x. 113
800.777.8119 x. 113
586.226.2559 fax

You may click HERE to access the NCDS website.

Source: Michigan REALTORS®
Thank you to our 2020 SEBAR Affiliate Partners ...

Diamond Partners
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Rick Smith, Adam Drobet, Julie Wery
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Hondros College
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Insideout Inspections Plus
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2-10 Home Buyers Warranty
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America's Preferred Home Warranty
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Lawyers Title of Monroe
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Seagate Inspections Inc.
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State Bank
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Turn Key Title Agency LLC
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Union Home Mortgage
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We are grateful for your continued support of SEBAR!

Southeastern Border Association of REALTORS®
Shannon Harner, RCE, e-PRO, CEO/Association Executive
Donna Birkner, Downriver Office Manager
Lisa Horvath, MLS Specialist
Jessica Lapp, Membership & Administrative Manager

Monroe County Office
125 Cole Road
Monroe, MI 48162

Downriver Office
Horizon Business Center West
20600 Eureka Road, Suite 510
Taylor, MI 48180

Both Offices are Open Monday - Friday / 8:30 am to 4:30 pm