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Landlord/Tenant/Users/adamp/Desktop/FEB images/LegalHotline

Q A landlord wishes to cancel his property management agreement with one broker and enter into a new property management agreement with another. What must the broker do with the security deposit he’s holding on behalf of the landlord and the tenant?

A Pursuant to Section 83.49(7), Florida Statutes, upon a change in the designated rental agent of the property, the security deposits or advanced rents being held shall be transferred to the new rental agent.

Broker Business
Q A broker wants to set up a referral company. Must this company be registered as a real estate brokerage, and must the broker apply for a multiple license?

A Yes. The broker must set up the company as a real estate brokerage since being paid for the referral of real estate business falls within the definition of real estate activity pursuant to Section 475.01(1)(a), Florida Statutes.

The broker must apply for a multiple license if he or she is planning to be the broker for several real estate brokerages.

Q May a broker be liable for the negligent acts of a sales associate?

A Yes. A broker may be disciplined, pursuant to Section 475.25(1)(u), Florida Statutes, for failing to adequately direct, supervise, control or manage a broker-associate or a sales associate.

Q A broker, licensed in another state, wants to close his Florida office but remain active in Florida. Must the broker maintain his principal office in the state of Florida?

A No. Pursuant to Section 475.22(2), Florida Statutes, a broker may have his or her principal office out of state as long as, prior to registering such an office or any branch office, the broker has agreed in writing to cooperate with any investigation initiated in accordance with this statute or commission rules.

This includes, but is not limited to, the broker promptly supplying any documents requested by any authorized representative of the department and personally appearing at any designated office of the department or other location in the state or elsewhere as reasonably requested by the department.

Further, the broker, if no longer living in the state of Florida, needs to comply with the nonresident license requirements under Section 475.180(2)(a),  Florida Statutes, which states that the broker must file an irrevocable consent that suits and actions may be commenced against her or him in any county of this state in which a plaintiff having a cause of action or suit against her or him resides, and that service of any process or pleading in suits or actions against her or him may be made by delivering the process or pleading to the Division of Real Estate.   

License Law
Q I am a sales associate thinking of doing property management on my own without going through my broker. Is that OK?

A It depends on the activities in which you are going to engage. If you’re to conduct any activity enumerated in the definition of broker contained in Section 475.01, Florida Statutes, you must conduct the activity through your broker.

If you will simply collect rents and arrange repairs of an already leased property, you don’t have to go through the broker as that activity doesn’t require a license. However, your broker may have a policy that requires you to conduct all property management related activity through the brokerage.  In that case, you would be required to conduct all the property management activity through your broker.

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