News & Media
law books
Halit Olmez / EyeEm / Getty Images

Division of Real Estate Reporting Duties Go Beyond Felonies

Chapter 475 oversees real estate licensees, but Florida licensees also have other obligations under Chapter 455. It’s a growing problem for licensees called before FREC because “I didn’t know I had to report that” doesn’t carry much weight.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Are you aware of your obligations under Chapter 455 of the Florida Statutes? Most Realtors® understand they must comply with Chapter 475, but many don’t understand that there are additional compliance requirements under Chapter 455, including criminal activity.

Having attended several Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) meetings, it’s evident that one of the most commonly misunderstood provisions under the chapter requires a licensee’s obligation to self-report to the department, within 30 days, if they’re convicted, found guilty or entered a plea of nolo contender or guilty, to a crime in any jurisdiction.

Chapter 455.227(1)(t) requires licensees to report to the department in writing within 30 days after being convicted or found guilty of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere (no contest) or guilty to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in any jurisdiction.

If this is new information to you and you’re called before FREC, claiming “I didn’t know about that rule” isn’t going to help your case.

Non-compliance can result in fines and additional education requirements.

Overall, Chapter 455 details general provisions for business and professional regulation, and they apply to all types of Florida licensees. Some examples of Chapter 455 violations include:

  • Practicing or offering to practice beyond the scope they’re permitted to do under the law
  • Accepting and performing professional responsibilities the licensee knows, or has reason to know, they’re not competent to perform
  • Making or filing a report that the licensee knows to be false

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) has an online form to comply with the self-reporting requirement.

Meredith Caruso is Associate General Counsel for Florida Realtors

Note: Advice deemed accurate on date of publication