Disciplinary Actions for Florida Real Estate Brokers
The real estate industry depends on trustworthy brokers to help homeowners sell their properties while assisting buyers with finding the homes of their dreams. When dealing with such transactions, the highest degree of honesty and trust is required. A home is the biggest asset for most people, and they want to make sure they are treated fairly throughout the transaction.
This means real estate brokers are held to the highest standards. If they are convicted of a crime—even one not related to the real estate industry— they could face severe punishment. They could face prison time, pay hefty fines and even lose their license.
Even receiving an administrative complaint can be a scary situation for a real estate broker. What does this mean? Will you still be able to work in the real estate industry?
What Type of Discipline Could I Face?
Under Florida Statutes Section 475.25, a real estate broker can face various forms of discipline for engaging in dishonest transactions, fraud, false promises, negligence, breach of trust, schemes or any other crime that can jeopardize the person’s license. A broker can also face fines and suspensions for failing to perform administrative duties. The order of penalties, ranging from mildest to most severe, are reprimand, fine, probation, suspension and revocation or denial of license.
This means many things. The Florida Real Estate Commission can issue a Letter of Guidance. They can deny an application for a first-time real estate license or the renewal of an existing license. They can suspend a license for up to 10 years. In extreme situations, they also have the right to revoke a license permanently. The board can also ask the person to take additional courses or impose a fine of up to $5,000 for each offense. The board also has the legal right to impose any combination of these penalties.
These penalties are not set in stone, however. The Florida Real Estate Commission has the power to impose the penalties it sees fit. The commission can lessen or increase the penalties based on the circumstances. The commission will take into consideration numerous factors, such as the degree of harm to the public, the number of offenses in the complaint, the criminal and/or disciplinary history of the broker, the status of the license when the act was committed and the extent of any financial hardship the broker may face if they are fined or have their license suspended. Given the various elements involved, you have a good chance of getting your penalties reduced or even eliminated altogether by contacting a lawyer who specializes in professional licenses.
Keep Your License with Help From a Tampa Real Estate Broker License Lawyer
As a real estate broker, it’s important that you do what you can to keep your license. If you are convicted of a crime or caught engaging in an unethical act, you could face a variety of penalties, including license loss.
If you are a Florida real estate broker or salesperson who is in this situation, seek legal help right away. You don’t have to fight this battle on your own. The Law Offices of David P. Rankin, P.A. can help you keep your license. I have several decades of experience representing real estate brokers and other licensed professionals. I have represented several hundred real estate licensees (brokers and sales associates) in investigations and after formal proceedings have been commenced. I have been the attorney for the Greater Tampa Realtors since 2002. For a consultation, contact me at (813) 968-6633 or fill out the online form.