• Thu. Feb 22nd, 2024

    Understanding Your Obligations as a Florida Real Estate Licensee

    ByNuala Hafner

    Jan 30, 2024
    Understanding Your Obligations as a Florida Real Estate Licensee

    Florida real estate licensees are not only responsible for complying with Chapter 475, but they also have additional obligations under Chapter 455 of the Florida Statutes. These requirements, often misunderstood by many Realtors®, are essential to maintaining professional conduct and accountability.

    One key provision under Chapter 455 is the obligation for licensees to self-report any criminal activity within 30 days of being convicted, found guilty, or entering a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to a crime in any jurisdiction. This requirement, outlined in Chapter 455.227(1)(t), applies regardless of adjudication.

    Attending FREC meetings, it becomes evident that many licensees are unaware of their reporting obligations. Ignorance of the rule is not a valid defense if called before the Florida Real Estate Commission. Claiming “I didn’t know” will not help your case.

    Non-compliance with Chapter 455 can result in fines and additional education requirements. It’s crucial for licensees to understand that these provisions are applicable to all types of Florida licensees, not just real estate professionals.

    Among the various violations under Chapter 455 are practicing beyond the scope permitted by law, accepting professional responsibilities that the licensee knows they are not competent to perform, and filing false reports. These violations undermine the integrity of the real estate industry and can have serious consequences for licensees.

    To ensure compliance, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) has established an online form for licensees to fulfill the self-reporting requirement. By promptly reporting any criminal activity, real estate professionals can demonstrate their commitment to ethical conduct and accountability.

    In conclusion, understanding your obligations as a Florida real estate licensee is crucial. Complying with Chapter 455 alongside Chapter 475 not only protects your professional reputation but also upholds the integrity of the real estate industry as a whole. Stay informed, stay compliant, and contribute to a thriving and trustworthy real estate market in Florida.

    Note: The information provided in this article is accurate as of the publication date.

    FAQ Section:

    1. What are the additional obligations for Florida real estate licensees?
    Florida real estate licensees have additional obligations under Chapter 455 of the Florida Statutes, which are essential to maintaining professional conduct and accountability.

    2. What is the self-reporting requirement for licensees?
    Under Chapter 455, licensees are required to self-report any criminal activity within 30 days of being convicted, found guilty, or entering a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to a crime in any jurisdiction. This requirement applies regardless of adjudication.

    3. What happens if licensees fail to comply with Chapter 455?
    Non-compliance with Chapter 455 can result in fines and additional education requirements. It is important for licensees to understand that these provisions apply to all types of Florida licensees, not just real estate professionals.

    4. What are some violations under Chapter 455?
    Some violations under Chapter 455 include practicing beyond the scope permitted by law, accepting professional responsibilities that the licensee knows they are not competent to perform, and filing false reports. These violations can have serious consequences for licensees and undermine the integrity of the real estate industry.

    5. How can licensees fulfill the self-reporting requirement?
    The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) has established an online form for licensees to fulfill the self-reporting requirement. Licensees should promptly report any criminal activity to demonstrate their commitment to ethical conduct and accountability.

    Definitions:
    – Realtors®: Real estate licensees who are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and adhere to its code of ethics.
    – Adjudication: The legal process of resolving a dispute and delivering a final judgment or decision.

    Suggested Related Links:
    Florida Department of State
    State of Florida Official Website