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Legal Hotline/Users/adamp/Desktop/Stuff for FAR/Magazine Assets/JUN08/Images/Legal

Disclosure
Q I’m representing a seller of vacant land. I want to use the FAR Seller Real Property Disclosure Statement, but much of the form doesn’t apply to vacant land. Is there a better form to use?

A FAR has a Vacant Land Disclosure Statement specifically designed for the disclosure of facts related to vacant land. The form may be downloaded from the Florida Association of Realtors® Web site. Go to www.floridarealtors.org, click on “Tools and Support,” and then scroll down to Forms. (You will need to enter your login ID and password.)

Disclosure
Q I’m the listing agent for bank-owned property. I want the bank to fill out the FAR Seller Real Property Disclosure Statement; however, a bank representative says this disclosure isn’t required by law since the bank never occupied the property. Is that true?

A The bank isn’t required to fill out the FAR Seller Real Property Disclosure Statement or a similar form because there is no legal requirement for a seller to give a buyer a written seller disclosure statement—not because the bank didn’t occupy the property.

However, a seller, whether a bank or an individual, is obligated to disclose to a buyer all known facts that materially affect the value of the property and that are not readily observable. The disclosure may be made orally.  

Licensing
Q I’m a real estate broker holding an active license. I want to do property management. Am I required to obtain a Community Association Management license in addition to my real estate license? 

A Community Association Management is defined in Section 468.431, Florida Statutes, as “any of the following practices requiring substantial specialized knowledge, judgment and managerial skill when done for remuneration and when the association or associations served contain more than 50 units or have an annual budget or budgets in excess of $100,000; controlling or disbursing funds of a community association; preparing budgets or other financial documents for a community association; assisting in the noticing or conduct of community association meetings; and coordinating maintenance for the residential development and other day-to-day services involved with the operation of a community association.”

If you’re conducting the types of activities outlined in the definition for compensation and the association served contains more than 50 units or has an annual budget in excess of $100,000, you would be required to obtain a CAM license in addition to your real estate license. This type of license may be obtained from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (Web site: www.myflorida.com/dbpr).

Mutual Recognition
Q Does Florida have reciprocity with Georgia? I would like to be compensated with a referral fee for referring a Florida buyer to a Georgia property. 

A Florida doesn’t have reciprocity but has mutual recognition with other states, including Georgia. Mutual recognition is an agreement the state of Florida enters into with another state to allow real estate license holders in those states to achieve Florida licensure by submitting an application with appropriate fee, fingerprinting and passing only the law portion of the exam.

Georgia would have similar requirements for Florida real estate licensees who wish to become licensed in Georgia. Pursuant to Section 475.25(1)(h), Florida Statutes, “a licensed broker of this state may pay a referral fee or share a real estate brokerage commission with a broker licensed or registered under the laws of a foreign state as long as the foreign broker doesn’t violate the law of this state.”

This means that a Florida broker may pay an out-of-state broker a referral fee as long as the out-of-state broker is active in that state and doesn’t violate the laws of Florida (i.e., conduct unlicensed activity in Florida by showing Florida property to a buyer coming from the other state). 

Georgia may have similar referral fee laws allowing you to be paid a referral fee for referring a Florida buyer to a Georgia broker as long as you don’t conduct unlicensed activity in Georgia by showing the Georgia property to your buyer.  

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