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Legal Hotline
Disclosure

Q I represent a bank that has foreclosed on a mortgage. They want me to sell the foreclosed property (a condominium), and they say they’re not required to provide the condominiumdisclosure since the bank isn’t a traditional seller. Is this true?
A No. The disclosure required by Chapter 718.503, Florida Statutes, applies to all sellers of condominium property. Banks aren’t exempt from this requirement.

Q I represent an investor who is selling a property. He tells me that since he’s never lived in the property, he isn’t required to provide the buyer with a disclosure statement. Is this true?
A Yes and no. A seller isn’t required to fill out a seller’s disclosurestatement regardless of whether the seller occupied the property or not.

However, pursuant to the Florida Supreme Court case Johnson vs. Davis, a seller is required to disclose known latent facts that materially affect value. That disclosure requirement exists whether or not the seller occupied the property.

Broker Business

Q I know I’m prohibited from being employed as a broker-associatefor one brokerage while I’m a broker for my own brokerage. How can I be a broker for the company I work for if there’s already a broker of record?
A A brokerage may have more than one broker act as the broker as long as every broker is an officer or director of the brokerage.

The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) considers all brokers in a brokerage equally liable regardless of whether the broker is the broker of record, the qualifying broker or an additional broker for the brokerage. You may be a broker for the brokerage as long as you are an officer or director of the brokerage, even if that brokerage already has a broker of record.  
 
Q I’m a broker and sole proprietor, and my principal office is in my home. My business has been growing recently, and I would like to have a sales associate work for me. Am I allowed to have a sales associate licensed under me if I work out of my home?
A Yes. If the sales associate is going to operate and meet clients out of his/her home, the sales associate must register his or her home as a branch office (as long as local zoning rules allow the operation of a business out of that location).

License Law

Q What are the requirements for the monthly maintenance of a broker’s records?
A As set forth in Section 61J2-14.012, Florida Administrative Code (FAC), the broker must prepare a written statement comparing the broker’stotal liability with the reconciled bank balances of all trust accounts.

The broker’s trust liability is defined as the sum total of all deposits received, pending and being held by the broker at any point in time.

The minimum information to be included in the monthly statement-reconciliation shall be the date the reconciliation was undertaken, the date used to reconcile the balances, the name of the bank(s), the names of the accounts, the account numbers, the account balances, the dates, deposits in transit, outstanding checks identified by date and check number, an itemized list of the broker’s trust liability and any other items necessary to reconcile the bank account balance(s) with the broker’s checkbook(s) and other trust account books and records disclosing the date of receipt and source of funds. The broker must review, sign and date the monthly statement-reconciliation.

Q My broker has a multiple broker license and is the broker for three separate and distinct brokerages. I’m a sales associate registered under one of those brokerages. Since my broker is the same broker for all three companies, may I work for any or all of those brokerages?
A No. Chapter 61J2-6.006, FAC, states that a sales associate or a broker-associate may be employed only by one broker or by one owner-developer. The title of that provision of the rules is “Employment by More Than One Entity.”  FREC interprets this provision to allow a sales associate to be employed by only one entity or one brokerage even if the same broker is the broker for several entities.

Search through more Q&As online in the Legal Center at floridarealtors.org.