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An Albany judge sided with the real estate industry Friday, declaring New York state regulators’ attempt to ban tenants from paying landlords’ broker fees an “error of law.”

The decision comes more than a year after the Department of State issued guidance banning the practice. That guidance offered regulators’ interpretation of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act, which became law in June 2019.

After lengthy delays and several postponed hearings, Albany Supreme Court Judge Susan Kushner issued her decision on Friday.

“The guidance was issued in error of law and represents an unlawful intrusion upon the power of the Legislature and constitutes an abuse of discretion,” Kushner wrote in her court order.

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