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Articles relating to "Florida Realtors Legal News":

Occupied property: How to sell homes with a tenant (8/18/2017)
Part 1 of 3: An owner wants to sell an investment home occupied by tenants. While this impacts a number of transaction details, the first step is a full discussion with the owner: Is there a lease? What does it say?

Does your criminal history policy discriminate? (8/18/2017)
Nixing renters with a criminal history doesn’t violate the Fair Housing Act, but a 2016 HUD announcement shows that blanket criminal bans indirectly impact protected groups. The advice: Create justified, fair policies that focus on people, not records.

What does dual variable rate commission mean? (8/18/2017)
Dear Anne: I’m curious. What does “dual variable rate commission” mean? I get a different answer every time I ask the question.

It’s sometimes OK for other Realtors to describe your listing (8/18/2017)
It’s not okay to advertise another broker’s listings, but it’s okay to highlight the fine points of hot properties in your area. Unfortunately, there’s often a fine, fine line between advertising and highlighting general points.

How well do you know RESPA? (8/18/2017)
Quiz: A broker and a mortgage lender split the cost of an ad and both use a half page. Is that a violation of the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA)? What if a lender gives a cruise to the agent who refers the most customers?

Estoppel certificate reforms now part of Fla. law (8/4/2017)
The days of unreasonable estoppel certificate fees are finally over, but broad public awareness can take time. In addition to a $250 fee cap (up to $500 depending on details),

RE licenses and service members: It’s easier now (8/4/2017)
Florida’s new “Occupational Opportunity Act” (OOA) makes it easier for some active-duty service members to keep their real estate license – and other licenses – current while putting dues and fees on hiatus.

CE credit for new licensees and Code of Ethics training (8/4/2017)
In the July 17 Florida Realtors Legal News, I listed educational courses available at the Florida Realtors Convention and Trade Expo (Aug. 16-17, 2017) on Wednesday. Here are some great options with a legal angle for the next day: Thursday, Aug. 17.

My former broker reduced my commission (8/4/2017)
When leaving a real estate company, sales associates and broker associates should thoroughly review their independent contractor agreement to find out what portion of commission, if any, they’ll be entitled to in the future.

Condo law changes went into effect July 1 (7/13/2017)
The Florida Legislature passed and Gov. Scott signed a handful of changes to Florida Chapter 718, the state statute governing condominiums. A unit renter in a condo, for example, now has the right to inspect and copy association bylaws and rules.

Dear Anne: More questions about pending sale status (7/13/2017)
We use “Temporarily off the Market” in the MLS for contracts that haven’t yet met contingencies. That’s okay, right? Or can we just use “contingency” as a status for these recently signed contracts?

FREC considers rules for team advertising (7/13/2017)
Concerns are rising regarding misleading advertising by real estate teams. As a result, FREC held an exploratory rule workshop last year and plans to propose new rules that regulate team advertising.

Need up-to-date legal information? Get it here (7/13/2017)
If you like legal news, you’ll love the 2017 Florida Realtors Convention & Trade Expo, which has two days (Aug. 16,17) of education classes that cover legal concerns from risk management to rental deposits. Three even offer CE credit.

Legal Q&A: Condo doc rewrites and wandering cats (6/29/2017)
A condo association may rewrite its governing documents, but what important issues should the considered? And if the board says it will remove feral cats, does it then have to remove domestic cats that many condo owners allow to roam the property?

Security deposit claim and refund timing (6/29/2017)
In the eyes of the law, a tenant’s security deposit is sacred. Florida Statutes spell out specific timing issues and must be followed if the landlord doesn’t want to refund the entire security deposit to the tenant.

MLS listings must be ‘pending’ if under contract – right? (6/29/2017)
A Realtor found a listing that “ticked all the boxes on my very picky buyer’s ‘must have’ list,” only to discover that the property had been under contract for a week. Doesn’t this go against MLS rules?

Brokers: How free are you to run your own business? (6/29/2017)
Florida’s real estate statutes explain a broker’s oversight responsibilities within a company, but they say little about how a broker should do it.

FORM CHANGE: Florida Realtors ‘tweaks’ current forms (6/29/2017)
A number of forms have small changes to make them current with new laws or to clarify details, such as new sections for agent names, commissions or attorney fees.

Warning: Don’t get between sellers and another listing company (6/14/2017)
A seller has a listing agreement with a competitor and asks you to look it over. Should you? Short answer: No. Advising the seller about rights and obligations could be an ethical violation and even illegal as an unauthorized practice of law.

Is a general inspection of the property enough? (6/14/2017)
All Florida Realtors’ residential contracts contain language regarding the buyer’s ability to conduct an inspection, but it’s not quite that simple – and the clock is ticking.

Zillow Instant Offers Q&A: What you should know (6/14/2017)
NAR has received many calls from local and state Realtor associations about Zillow’s recent “Instant Offers” announcement. What is it? Why did Zillow roll out this new program? Does the Realtor association have an opinion?

FREC swaps its two-day meeting agenda (6/14/2017)
Planning to attend a FREC meeting? The Florida Real Estate Commission continues to meet on the third Tuesday and Wednesday each month, but each day’s agenda switches starting now.

Help find a dream community without breaking the law (6/14/2017)
There’s a fine line between “advising” and “unlawful conduct” under the Fair Housing Act, and it’s easy to accidentally violate the Act if buyers want neighborhood recommendations. The penalty for a mistake? It could set you back $19,000 or more.

You find this buyer purchase contract clause confusing (5/30/2017)
In the Florida Realtors/Florida Bar contract, paragraph 8(a) doesn’t stop the buyer from applying for a mortgage. If 8(a) is selected rather than 8 (b), however, it puts the buyer’s deposit at risk if he can’t close the transaction because of funding.

Conditional vs. unconditional termination: What’s the difference? (5/30/2017)
The Florida Realtors Modification to Listing Agreement provides two options for parties who agree to an early termination of the listing agreement.

Where does a listing go once it’s in the MLS? Syndication 2.0 (5/30/2017)
Ever discover one of your listings on a real estate website and wonder how it got there? Is it legit? Did you do something automatically? Do you want it there?

How do proxies work with condo association votes? (5/30/2017)
Condo Q&A: Under Florida law, condo owners can’t use a general proxy, which would empower the proxy holder to use discretion when voting. Also: Could an over-18-only rule over pool use run afoul of the Fair Housing Act?

Escrow fights: A need-to-know about interpleader actions (5/10/2017)
When two parties fight over escrow funds, the person holding the money is caught in the middle. In an interpleader action, the escrow holder turns the money over to the courts, making it a civil action. The downside? Attorneys’ fees and court costs.

Open house? Take precautions to limit liability (5/10/2017)
What if you host an open house and someone gets hurt? Even if you’re not found liable, a lawsuit consumes time and money. The good news: There are several precautions brokers and associates can take to minimize open-house risk.

What should you do about medical marijuana? (5/10/2017)
The use of medical marijuana is illegal at the federal level, approved in limited form at the state level and, as a fair housing concern, confusing on every level. What should a property manager or real estate investor in Florida do?

FREC to consider new ad rules for real estate teams (5/10/2017)
On May 23, 2017, at 1 p.m., an open Florida Real Estate Commission workshop in Orlando will focus on possible rule requirements for team advertising under Rule 61J2-10.025.

Complaints happen. How you deal with it counts. (4/27/2017)
At times a customer will complain, and while it should be a rare occurrence for conscientious, detail-minded agents, the complaint is usually less important than the way it’s handled. Top recommendation: Create a standard office policy.

That’s unethical! But is it? (4/27/2017)
People sometimes behave badly, but not every questionable behavior violates the Realtor Code of Ethics. It’s not enough to get angry and say: “That’s not right.” To be a violation, the Realtor Code of Ethics must specifically address the issue.

Fee vs. deposit: What’s the difference? (4/27/2017)
Have you ever seen someone reference a “nonrefundable deposit” and wonder whether it’s a deposit or a fee? “Nonrefundable deposit” doesn’t make much sense to those of us working Florida Realtors Legal Hotline either.

Can the seller terminate my listing agreement? (4/27/2017)
What are the broker’s rights if a seller wants to cancel a residential listing agreement?

Hoarders: Building safety vs. fair housing (4/27/2017)
How should a property manager deal with tenants who hoard possessions? It can be tricky. It’s a recognized disorder protected under the Fair Housing Act but safety codes still apply.

Fake ‘Board’ still trying to scam you (4/13/2017)
Bills keep arriving in Realtors’ mailboxes for membership dues payable to a fake organization, only the crooks took the word “Realtor” out.

Why use an HOA addendum for a condo sale? (4/12/2017)
Legal Q&A: You represent the buyer of a condo, and the listing agent wants a signed homeowner’s association addendum as part of the deal. Does this make sense? Do you have to do it?

Meet the Florida Real Estate Commission (4/12/2017)
Seven people make up the Florida Real Estate Commission, and Chip Boring, Florida Realtors 1999 president, serves as chairman.

Flipping property? Legal details can be challenging (4/12/2017)
If a customer wants to use some type of unfamiliar transfer method, such as property “flips” or “simultaneous closings,” it can be intimidating for you – and potentially risky – unless you know the issues your customer might face during the transaction.

That cheap offer for Zillow leads isn’t from Zillow (4/12/2017)
Fraud warning: Online scammers have a single goal: They want you to send them financial info so they can steal your identity or credit. The latest to target the real estate industry? Fake emails that offer $5 Zillow leads paid for with a credit card.

Join the fight against scammers who steal listings (3/30/2017)
The last thing Realtors want to find is one of their listings posted on a website without permission,

Assignability of Contract: What does that even mean? (3/30/2017)
Assignability? Which contract option should your customer choose? As a Realtor, it’s your job to understand what assignability means if A) your buyer wants the option to do so, or B) your seller

RESPA violation? The CFPB is watching (3/30/2017)
On Jan. 31, the U.S. consumer watchdog bureau charged two real estate brokers outside Florida with RESPA violations

FloridaRealtor/FloridaBar contract change: Q&As (3/30/2017)
When it comes to the new financing clause in the FloridaRealtor/FloridaBar contract that debuts April 4, most Realtors’ questions focus on timing:

Why can’t lawyers give a straight answer? (3/30/2017)
A lawyer can almost always make multiple arguments on either side after hearing a set of facts. It’s just a question of how strong those arguments would be if the lawyer had to make them in a court of law.

Test your ethics: Are these Realtors right or wrong? (3/15/2017)
There’s often a fine line between ethical and unethical behavior. Are these Realtors right or wrong?

4 simple ways to avoid legal trouble (3/15/2017)
If you’re not an attorney, don’t give legal advice. If you’re not a tax consultant, don’t point out legal tax deductions.

Closing costs – What are they really? (3/15/2017)
Here’s one common pitfall on the road to a smooth closing:

Property management: A legal overview (3/15/2017)
Most Realtors feel confident about the future, and many are actively growing their businesses. For some that means property management.

You received a FREC complaint. What’s next? (3/2/2017)
If you receive a letter from the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) stating that someone has filed a complaint about your service, you need to respond quickly and appropriately to avoid potential penalties.

What is a listing’s protection period? When does it apply? (3/2/2017)
This question often pops up on Florida Realtors Legal Hotline. A protection period isn’t a legal concept; however, it’s defined by the language in each specific form.

FAR/BAR update: Changes worth your attention (3/2/2017)
What has changed in the FloridaRealtors/FloridaBar contract that debuts April 4?

Brokers’ top three legal issues today (3/2/2017)
Certain risks never go away, but new issues sometimes don’t even register on brokers’ radar until it’s too late.