by Barbara Castillo, RCE, CIPS
Although DPOR no longer publishes an official publication of violations and disciplinary actions, the Real Estate Board meeting minutes are public record and it’s quite easy to research and compile. While assembling this years’ violations, Escrow continues to be the number 1 infraction!
In total, DPOR looked into approximately 200 complaints from April 2018-March 2019, and found violations for 131 agents. Fines ranged from $150-$4000, and most individuals were ordered to complete 2-6 hours of remedial classroom education in addition to their fine. Read a summary of the infractions here.
§ 54.1-2132. A.4
Licensees engaged by buyers shall exercise ordinary care.
There were 19 disciplinary actions found, with fines ranging from $300-$1150, and remedial education required including 4 hours agency, 4 hours contracts, and 12 hours escrow.
§ 54.1-2133.A .1,4
Licensees engaged by landlords to lease property shall Perform in accordance with the terms of the brokerage agreement and exercise ordinary care.
There were 2 disciplinary actions found, with fines of $550-$650, and remedial education required including 4 hours of property management.
§ 54.1-2137. B
Commencement and termination of brokerage relationships: Brokerage agreements shall be in writing.
There were 2 disciplinary actions found, with monetary penalties ranging from $200-$350, and remedial education required including 3 hours Contracts and 2 hours Agency.
Grounds for disciplinary action, the board has the power to fine any licensee or certificate holder and to suspend or revoke any license or certificate issued under the provisions of Chapter 21.
There were 5 disciplinary actions found, with fines from $500-$2650. Additionally, 2 were given 2 years’ probation, and one license was revoked.
Maintenance and Management of Financial Records. Failing to retain for a period of three years from the date of closing or from ratification, if the transaction fails to close, a complete and legible copy of each executed contract of sale, any executed release from contract, any executed lease agreement, any executed property management agreement, and each settlement statement related to a real estate transaction, in the broker’s control or possession unless prohibited by law.
There were 3 disciplinary actions found, with fines ranging from $500-$1000.
Advertising by Licensees. Failing to obtain the written consent of the seller, landlord, optionor or licensor prior to advertising a specific identifiable property.
There were 2 disciplinary actions found, both with a $450 fine, and 3 hours remedial education in Agency and Ethics.
Disclosure of Interest. If a licensee knows or should have known that he, any member of his family, his firm, any member of his firm, or any entity in which he has an ownership interest, is acquiring or attempting to acquire or is selling or leasing real property through purchase, sale, or lease and the licensee is a party to the transaction, the licensee must disclose in writing that he is a licensee and that he, any member of his family, his firm, any member of his firm, or any entity in which he has an ownership interest has or will have an ownership interest to the other parties to the transaction. This disclosure shall be made to the purchaser, seller, lessor, or lessee upon having substantive discussions about specific real property.
There were 9 disciplinary actions found, with 4 receiving 2 years’ probation, one license revocation, remedial education of 3 hours Ethics, 3 hours Agency, and fines ranging from $1000- $2500.
Provision of Records to the Board. a licensee of the Real Estate Board shall produce to the board or any of its agents within 10 days of the request evidence of signature cards or bank records, any document, book, or record concerning any real estate transaction in which the licensee was involved, or for which the licensee is required to maintain records for inspection and copying by the board or its agents.
There was 1 violation found, with a fine of $300 and license probation.
Response to Any Inquiry of the Board. A licensee must respond to an inquiry by the board, other than requested under 18VAC135-20-240, or its agents within 21 days.
There was 1 violation found, with a fine of $2050, and license revocation.
Prohibited Acts. Furnishing substantially inaccurate or incomplete information to the board in obtaining, renewing, reinstating, or maintaining a license.
There were 5 violations, with fines ranging from $150-$1500, and 1 license revocation. 2 hours remedial education in Property Management and Broker Management was also ordered.
Prohibited Acts. Signing an experience verification form without direct supervision or actual knowledge of the applicant’s activities.
There were 4 violations, with 1 license suspension and 2 license revocations, and a fine of $150.
Prohibited Acts. Having been convicted or found guilty regardless of the manner of adjudication in any jurisdiction of the United States of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, sexual offense, drug distribution or physical injury, or any felony, there being no appeal pending therefrom or the time for appeal having elapsed.
There were 12 violations, 3 receiving probation, and 7 license revocations. Fines ranged from $150-$1200.
Prohibited Acts. Failing to inform the board in writing within 30 days of pleading guilty or nolo contendere or being convicted or found guilty regardless of adjudication of any convictions as stated in subdivision 6 of this section.
There were 2 violations, with fines ranging from $150-$500.
Prohibited Acts. Having been found in a court or an administrative body of competent jurisdiction to have violated the Virginia Fair Housing Act, the Fair Housing Laws of any jurisdiction of the United States, including without limitation Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (82 Stat. 73), or the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (14 Stat. 27), there being no appeal therefrom or the time for appeal having elapsed.
There was 1 violation, with a fine of $1150, and 3 hours Ethics and 3 hours agency education ordered.
Prohibited Acts. Actions constituting failing to act as a real estate broker or salesperson in such a manner as to safeguard the interests of the public, including but not limited to the following; A broker failing to account for or remit any moneys coming into a licensee’s possession that belong to another, A licensee failing to submit to the broker in a timely manner, all earnest money deposits, contracts, listing agreements, deeds of lease, or any other documents for which the broker has oversight responsibility, A licensee practicing real estate with an inactive or expired license.
There were 34 violations, with fines ranging from $250-$1900, and most violators required to complete 3 hours of remedial escrow education.
Prohibited Acts. Actions constituting engaging in improper, fraudulent, or dishonest conduct, including but not limited to the following: A licensee representing in offers he received the earnest money deposit when he has not or he knows the check is worthless.
There were 7 violations, with fines ranging from $150-$2650. Additional penalties included probation for 1 licensee, and revocation for 1.
Conflict of Interest. Performing regulated activities as a standard agent, limited service agent, or independent contractor for any client outside the licensee’s brokerage firm(s) or sole proprietorship(s).
There were 3 violations, with the penalty being license revocation for 2. All violators received a fine of $1150.
Improper Dealing. Offering real property for sale or for lease without the knowledge and consent of the owner or the owner’s authorized representative, or on any terms other than those authorized by the owner or the owner’s authorized representative.
There was 1 violation, with a $550 fine imposed.
Misrepresentation/Omission. Failing as a licensee to tender promptly to the buyer and seller every written offer, every written counteroffer, and every written rejection to purchase, option or lease obtained on the property involved.
There was 1 violation, with a $650 fine and 3 hours of remedial education in contracts ordered.
Improper Delivery of Instruments. Failing to make prompt delivery to each principal to a transaction, complete and legible copies of any written disclosures required by the Code of Virginia, listings, lease, offers to purchase, counteroffers, addenda and ratified agreements, and other documentation required by the agreement.
Improper Delivery of Instruments. Failing to provide in a timely manner to all principals to the transaction written notice of any material changes to the transaction.
There were 17 violations, with fines ranging from $200-$1150, and remedial education of 3 hours escrow, 3 hours contracts or 3 hours escrow ordered for most violators.