Current as of: 2010
§ 446-c. Contracts; fees; reporting procedures. 1. Every apartment information vendor licensed under this article shall furnish customers with a contract prepared on a form approved by the secretary of state. Such contract shall include in plain language form a statement setting forth the sources of information concerning the location and availability of real property, including apartment housing, which may be leased, rented, shared or sublet as a private dwelling, abode, or place of residence.
1-a. Each listing of real property furnished by the apartment information vendor shall cite the source of information for each property in plain language form, provided, however, that the failure to provide such information shall not constitute a violation of this article but shall be grounds for license suspension pursuant to section four hundred forty-six-e of this article.
2. No apartment information vendor shall claim, demand, charge, receive, collect or contract for an advance fee from a customer except as set forth in subdivision five of this section. In no event shall the fee charged to the customer or legal occupant exceed one month's rent.
3. Notwithstanding the above, an apartment information vendor may at any time accept a fee from the current legal occupant of real property including apartment housing available to share or sublet.
4. Each apartment information vendor shall file a quarterly report with the secretary containing such information as the secretary may require.
5. (a) An apartment information vendor may retain not more than fifteen dollars out of any advance fee for administrative services. The balance of any advance fee shall be placed in an account similar to that required by subdivision six of section four hundred forty-six-b of this article, except that it need not be interest bearing and moneys from such account may be withdrawn as provided in paragraph (b) of this subdivision. The balance of the advance fee shall continue to be the property of the person paying the advance fee and shall be held in trust by the apartment information vendor. Such balance may be mingled with other moneys in such account and any interest thereon shall be the property of the apartment information vendor. Such vendor shall notify in writing each person paying an advance fee giving the name and address of the banking organization in which the advance fee is deposited.
(b) If the customer pays an advance fee, the contract with the apartment information vendor shall contain a provision stating that the customer may, under the circumstances set forth in this paragraph, recover his advance fee less the amount deducted for administrative services. The vendor shall be entitled to his fee when a customer has leased or rented a private dwelling, abode or place of residence through the information provided by the vendor. Within ten days of the receipt by the apartment information vendor of written notice stating that the customer paying an advance fee has not leased or rented a private dwelling, abode or place of residence through the information supplied by the vendor and does not intend to rent any such private dwelling, abode or place of residence, the vendor shall refund the advance fee, less the fee for administrative services, to such customer. The vendor shall also be required to refund any portion of the advance fee in excess of one month's rent to a customer who has leased or rented a private dwelling, abode or place of residence through the information supplied by the vendor.
(c) Notwithstanding anything in this subdivision five to the contrary, if the services to be rendered by the apartment information vendor to a particular customer relate exclusively to acting as an apartment sharing agent, the vendor may retain the full advance fee, whether or not the
customer leases or rents a private dwelling, abode or place of residence through the information provided by the vendor, and the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subdivision five shall not be applicable to such transaction.
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