Understanding business, legal benefits of web accessibility for all

DR Legal News new 2016 masthead

In the September edition of DR Legal News for managing brokers, John Kauerauf of Sorling Northrup Attorneys shares some good reasons for making REALTOR® websites accessible to people with disabilities.

In Does the Law Require My Website to be Accessible to Those With Disabilities? he says Illinois REALTORS® who want all members of the community to become fully aware of available properties and services can show a good faith effort to enhance their websites.

Kauerauf says it is not clear whether the Americans with Disabilities Act would give a viable claim to Illinois consumers who claim their disabilities prevent full access to a broker’s website because no Illinois court has yet addressed this question. But anticipating that this could be on the legal horizon, he provides 12 guidelines brokers might consider. The guidelines are from the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium.

Read about this topic and more in the September DR Legal News.

D.R. Legal News is published online six times a year in a downloadable PDF format that is emailed to all Illinois REALTOR® members who are the Designated REALTOR® (or D.R.) for their real estate office. Be sure to watch and open all email from “Illinois REALTOR® Communications” or the “Illinois REALTORS®.”

NAR offers video about Aug. 29 drone rule changes

Window to the Law LesleyWalker screen capture

Did you know that on Monday, when new Federal Aviation Administration rules take effect, it will be cheaper for real estate professionals to operate a drone for commercial purposes?

According to a video produced by the National Association of REALTORS® (“Window to the Law: FAA Issues Drone Rules”), REALTORS® will be able to purchase a “Remote Pilot Certificate with a Small UAS Rating” for about $150 rather than pursuing a more expensive pilot’s license.

Other FAA rule changes will require drone operators to keep the device in sight at all times and prohibit night operation. Want to know more? See the presentation by Lesley Walker, senior counsel with the NAR.

Drone questions answered for REALTORS® during webinar

Il REALTORS Legal WebinarIs a remote pilot airman’s certificate required for the commercial use of drones in Illinois?

Illinois REALTORS® who listened to this morning’s member-only Legal Webinar were told that the certificate is required, were given a definition for commercial use and were reminded that state and local laws would also have to be followed, too. Legal Hotline Attorney Betsy Urbance and Transaction Helpline Attorney Jeffrey Baker said that in the city of Chicago, for example, when all the aspects of local laws involving drones (also known as small Unmanned Aircraft Systems) are considered, it is difficult to find places to legally operate drones commercially.

Tweaking TRID laws?

TRID iconBaker said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is proposing changes to “smooth out the wrinkles” in TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) law rather than to make other substantive changes. For example, although TRID initially focused more attention on the protection of private information, the CFPB recently clarified that lenders involved with real estate transactions could share closing disclosures with REALTORS®.

Baker noted that it could be awhile before the proposed changes become effective and REALTORS® notice changes taking full effect. They also provided historical perspective on the Gramm-Leach-Biley Act and its impact on preserving the confidentiality of non-public information.

For more information on these subjects, plus a review of the basics of contract law, REALTORS® can log in and download the webinar or listen to the audio-only version.

July magazine article reveals secrets to Legal Services’ growth

page 23 July magWhile Legal Hotline Attorney Betsy Urbance has been the most visible face of Illinois REALTORS®’ Legal Services for almost 22 years, she says teamwork has been a key part of helping association members during that time. Among those playing key roles is Jeffrey T. Baker, Transaction Helpline Attorney.

In the July issue of Illinois REALTOR®, Urbance credits numerous colleagues from Sorling Northrup, the association’s law firm, with providing answers for members’ questions. Read “Legal Services team uses Hotline, Helpline and more to reach members” to find out more about their colleagues, the resources they use and the way technology has helped them.

See a variety of photos from other REALTOR® events and activities, too. Read the July edition of Illinois REALTOR® magazine.

DR Legal News: HUD criminal background checks and legal case studies

Bigstock image

Bigstock

The July edition of DR Legal News is out, and this edition has a legal review of HUD guidelines for using criminal background checks for tenants; five legal case studies; and successes by the local GAD team in fighting proposed ordinances that would increase the cost of doing business and owning property in Illinois.

Bigstock Photo

Bigstock Photo

NOTE: A link to an article on FAA drone rules and their impact on real estate is currently unavailable due to a server issue, but will be available as soon as possible. Illinois REALTORS® apologizes for the inconvenience.