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Brokerage Disclosure Law
Q I’m a broker and I manage residential property for a landlord. I’ve been told that the disclosure requirements of the “Brokerage Relationship Disclosure Act” don’t apply to rentals. Is this true?
A Yes. The disclosure requirements of the Brokerage Relationship Disclosure Act don’t apply to the rental or leasing of real property unless, the law states: “an option to purchase all or a portion of the property improved with four or fewer residential units is given. …”

Q I’m a new sales associate who’s confused about who signs the agency disclosure notices. Do I sign them or does the seller or buyer sign them?
A The potential buyer or seller should sign the agency disclosures required by Section 475.278, Florida Statutes.

Commissions
Q I’m a sales associate who listed a property for a seller. We’ve closed the sale, but the seller is refusing to pay me my commission. May I sue the seller for my commission?
A No. Under Section 475.42(1)(d), Florida Statutes, a sales associate is not allowed to “… commence or maintain any action for commission or compensation in connection with a real estate brokerage transaction against any person except a person registered as her or his employer at the time the sales associate performed the act or rendered the service for which the commission or compensation is due.”

Therefore, in order to enforce the listing agreement, your broker will need to file the lawsuit against the seller.

Escrow
Q I’m a broker of my own office, and I was recently asked by a large real estate company with an escrow account to become its broker.  My current office doesn’t have an escrow account, so I’m unfamiliar with the escrow accounting procedures. I’m concerned that I’ll be held responsible by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) for the management of this escrow account. Is there a legal requirement for me, as the broker, to be responsible for these accounts?
A Yes. Rule 61J2-14.012, Florida Administrative Code (FAC), requires a broker to cause to be written, review, sign and date a reconciliation statement of all brokerage trust accounts once a month.

Also, as of July 1, 2006, Section 475.25(1)(v), Florida Statutes, makes it a violation for a broker to fail to review the brokerage trust accounting practices in order to ensure compliance with Florida Statute 475.

Real Estate License Law
Q I have an opportunity to become a broker of a large real estate office. However, my broker’s license has been involuntarily inactive for 10 months. May I still reactivate it?
A Yes. Per Section 475.183(2)(a), Florida Statutes, a licensee may reactivate a license that has been involuntarily inactive for 12 months or less by satisfactorily completing at least 14 hours of a Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) prescribed continuing education course.

Q I pled nolo contendere to felony forgery, and I was told that adjudication was withheld. Must I still report it to FREC?
A Yes. It doesn’t matter whether adjudication is withheld. Section 475.25(1)(p), Florida Statutes, makes it a violation for a real estate licensee to fail to report in writing within 30 days after pleading guilty to, nolo contendere to or being convicted or found guilty of any felony. 
 
Q I’m applying for my sales associate license. A friend, who recently took the exam, said I could get fingerprinted at the real estate school. Someone else told me that I must go to an approved site to get electronic fingerprinting. Is this true?
A Yes. As of July 1, 2006, Section 475.175(1)(a), Florida Statutes, states that electronic fingerprinting is mandatory for real estate applicants. A list of electronic fingerprinting sites is located on the DBPR’s Web site: www.MyFlorida.com/dbpr.

Q Due to the slow market, the owner of one of my listings wants to auction the property. As a broker, am I allowed to conduct an auction?
A Yes. Section 475.01(1)(a), Florida Statutes, defines broker, in part, as a person who auctions real property. And Section 468.383(7), Florida Statutes, exempts auctions conducted as part of the sale of real property by a real estate broker from needing a licensed auctioneer.
 
Q Will FREC report a licensee’s real estate–related criminal activity to the proper authorities, such as the State Attorney’s office?
A Yes. Section 475.25(7), Florida Statutes, now requires FREC to promptly report to the proper prosecuting authority any criminal violation of any statute relating to the practice of the real estate profession regulated by the commission.