Florida REALTOR/BROKER Disciplinary Penalties

Jeffrey S. Howell Attorneys at Law can help defend Realtors and brokers from Florida's regulating agencies, potentially saving you costly fines or even license revocation.  

We have years of experience helping license professionals like you avoid stricter more costly penalties and discipline.

Let Jeffrey S. Howell Attorneys At Law Help You:

  • Review your Administrative Complaint and all other documentation
  • Prepare a legally sufficient response to your Administrative Complaint
  • Provide advice on what is required to be successful
  • Gather the necessary records
  • Represent you before FREC, professionally present your case and mitigating circumstances to lessen your discipline.

As a realtor/broker, you need to be able to find information on potential disciplinary issues you may face and the penalties associated with them. This page is here to help you navigate through some of the state statutes most often charged as violations by the Florida Real Estate Commission.

Section 455.227(1)(t)

Unfortunately, there may be times when you find yourself on the wrong side of the law. That arrest could lead to you making a plea deal with the prosecutor, or going all the way to trial and facing the reality of being found guilty of your crime. As a licensed real estate agent, your troubles do not end there. Did you report your plea deal or guilty conviction to the Florida Real Estate Commission? Depending on when you report or whether you report, your license could be in jeopardy.

The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) can take disciplinary action against your license if you fail to report to them that you have been convicted or found guilty of a crime anywhere. The law in particular states your license can be disciplined for:

Failing to report in writing to the board or, if there is no board, to the department within 30 days after the licensee is convicted or found guilty of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilty to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in any jurisdiction. A licensee must report a conviction, finding of guilt, plea, or adjudication entered before the effective date of this paragraph within 30 days after the effective date of this paragraph.

Section 455.227(1)(t), Florida Statutes requires you to report such conviction or plea. Note most importantly that you have 30 days to report to the Commission. No matter the type of crime, you must report it to FREC.

Penalties for failure to report are:

  • First Offense: $250 to $1,000 administrative fine and suspension to revocation
  • Second & Subsequent Offenses: $1,000 to $5,000 administrative fine and suspension to revocation

For a first offense, you could face an administrative fine of $250 up to $1,000. Your license could also be suspended, or revoked. If you have two or more offenses, you could face an administrative fine of $1,000 up to $5,000. Your license could also be suspended, or revoked. It is important to note that your license could be taken away from you for your first offense of this statute.

However, there are factors that the FREC could use in determining the penalty you face such as the degree of harm to the consumer or public, whether you have had prior disciplinary issues, and/or the degree of financial hardship to the consumer.

If you find that you have been served with an administrative complaint about a violation of this statute, you should contact the experienced and qualified attorneys of JEFFREY S. HOWELL, P.A., Attorneys at Law to handle your case. Call 850-877-7776 and ask for Jeffrey Howell or Rickey Strong for a FREE consultation.

Section 475.25(1)(f)

Have you found yourself in a situation with the law where you end up negotiating a plea deal for activities you were involved with as a real estate broker or sales associate? Even worse, have you found yourself on the wrong side of a criminal court conviction or being found guilty of a crime that relates to your practice of being a broker or sales associate? If you have, there is more for you to worry about than the plea deal or sentence given to you by the judge. The Florida Real Estate Commission will inquire or even issue an administrative complaint against your broker or sales associate license.

The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) can take disciplinary action against your license if you are found to have been:

Convicted or found guilty of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in any jurisdiction which directly relates to the activities of a licensed broker or sales associate, or involves moral turpitude or fraudulent or dishonest dealing. The record of a conviction certified or authenticated in such form as to be admissible in evidence under the laws of the state shall be admissible as prima facie evidence of such guilt.

This statute applies to you if you have been convicted or found guilty of, or enter a plea of no contest to, a crime. It involves both pleas and convictions. The crime could take place anywhere, not just in Florida. The crime could directly relate to the activities of a licensed broker or sales associate. So the crime is something that could go to the heart of your profession. Notice, however, that the crime could also involve moral turpitude or fraudulent or dishonest dealing, outside of the licensed broker/sales associate realm. It should also be noted that the record of a certified or authenticated conviction can be used against you in the same manner used in state court.

Penalties for crimes are:

  • First Offense: $250 to $1,000 administrative fine and 30-day suspension up to revocation
  • Second Offense: $1,000 to $5,000 administrative fine and suspension to revocation

If this is your first offense, you could face a $250 fine, up to $1,000 in fines. Your license could also be suspended for 30 days and possibly revoked. If this is your second offense or more, the fines range from $1,000 to $5,000. Your license can be suspended for a longer period of time and your license could also be revoked.

You should also be aware that there are certain factors that FREC could use in determining the penalty you face. These facts could reduce or enhance the penalties you face such as the degree of harm to the consumer or public or whether you have had prior discipline.

If you find that you have been served with an administrative complaint about a violation of this statute, you should contact the experienced and qualified attorneys of JEFFREY S. HOWELL, P.A., Attorneys at Law to handle your case. Call 850-877-7776 and ask for Jeffrey Howell or Rickey Strong for a FREE consultation.

Chapter 475.25(1)(e)

The administrative complaint process can be tricky to maneuver around. There are certain statutes that are so broad in nature that you can very easily find yourself on the receiving end of an administrative complaint charging you with a violation of them. What should you do if you find yourself being charged with a violation of a statute so broad you don’t really know what you are being accused of doing? You should contact an experienced and qualified attorney to defend your license and help you through the process.

The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) could discipline your license under a very broad statute. This statute is Section 475.25(1)(e), Florida Statutes. The statutes state that your license could be disciplined if you are found to have:

Violated any of the provisions of this chapter or any lawful order or rule made or issued under the provisions of this chapter or chapter 455.

Your license could be disciplined under this particular statute for violating any provision of Chapter 475 of the Florida Statutes. That is a lot of area for the Commission to work within charging your license. The statute does not end there, however. Your license could be disciplined under this statute for violating any lawful order or rule issued by the Commission under Chapter 475 and Chapter 455 of the Florida Statutes. Have you been disciplined before and now have an administrative complaint against you for failing to comply with the final order from that case? You were most likely charged under this statute.

Penalties can vary depending up the seriousness of the facts and the number of prior offenses:

  • First Offense: $250 to $1,000 administrative fine and suspension up to revocation
  • Second Offense: $1,000 to $5,000 administrative fine and suspension up to revocation

These penalties you could face are very important to understand. If this is your first offense, you could face a $250 fine, up to $1,000 in fines. Your license could also be suspended and possibly revoked. If this is your second offense or more, the fines range from $1,000 to $5,000. Your license can be suspended and your license could also be revoked. The consequences can be serious.

You should also be aware that there are certain factors that FREC could use in determining the penalty you face. These facts could reduce or enhance the penalties you face such as the degree of harm to the consumer or public or whether you have had prior discipline.

If you find that you have been served with an administrative complaint about a violation of this statute, you should contact the experienced and qualified attorneys of JEFFREY S. HOWELL, P.A., Attorneys at Law to handle your case. Call 850-877-7776 and ask for Jeffrey Howell or Rickey Strong for a FREE consultation.

Section 475.25(1)(b)

You are in the middle of a transaction discussion with a client and you verbally agree with the client to perform a duty in the listing contract. Time goes by and you mistakenly forget to carry out the duty you agreed to perform. Could your license be at stake because you forgot? Or what if you were about to close on a real estate transaction and you forget to perform a duty imposed on you by the law, what then? The life of a real estate broker or sales associate can be tricky when situations like this arise. But when it happens you must be proactive. The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) could end up taking disciplinary action against your license.

The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) can take disciplinary action against your license for violating Section 475.25(1)(b), Florida Statutes. That statute states that disciplinary action may be taken if a licensee:

Has violated a duty imposed upon her or him by law or by the terms of a listing contract, written, oral, express, or implied, in a real estate transaction

This part of the statute is part of a much larger overall statute. Many licensees find themselves on the end of an administrative complaint based on this part of the statute. First, this statute can be used against you if you have violated a duty imposed on you by law. This would apply if the law told you must do something regarding a real estate transaction and you do not do it. But, this statute also applies if you have violated a duty imposed on you by the terms of a listing contract. It does not matter if that duty was written, oral, express, or implied. If the duty is imposed upon you and you violate it, you could be held liable under this statute. Note though that this duty you have has to apply to a real estate transaction. This can be tricky for you to navigate, especially if you are accused of violating an implied duty.

If you are found to have violated this statute, the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) can penalize you for the violation and can vary.

The penalties you face could be severe. For a first offense, you could be fined $1,000 up to $2,500. Your license could be suspended up to 30 days and could possibly be revoked. After the first offense, you could face fines from $2,500 to $5,000. Your license could be suspended up to 6 months and could possibly be revoked. If you are found to have violated this statute, it is possible your license could be revoked!

You should also be aware that there are certain factors that FREC could use in determining the penalty you face. These facts could reduce or enhance the penalties you face such as the degree of harm to the consumer or public or whether you have had prior discipline.

Section 475.25(1)(b), Part 2

Honesty and trustworthiness are qualities the State of Florida requires of licensed real estate brokers and sales associates. That is why the state legislature made an entire statute dedicated to it. Not only could you find yourself on the wrong side of the law with a conviction of fraud or of another dishonest act, you could find yourself facing stiff penalties from Florida Real Estate Commission.

The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) can take disciplinary action against your license for a variety of acts dealing with honesty and trust. Section 475.25(1)(b), Florida Statutes addresses states that there can be license discipline if a licensee has:

Has been guilty of fraud, misrepresentation, concealment, false promises, false pretenses, dishonest dealing by trick, scheme, or device, culpable negligence, or breach of trust in any business transaction in this state or any other state, nation, or territory.

Section 475.25(1)(b), Florida Statutes is just one part of the statute. The entire statute is much broader.  However, you could find yourself the subject of an administrative complaint charging you with violating this part of the statute. You would have to have been found guilty of fraud, misrepresentation, concealment, false promises, or false pretenses. However, you could also have been found guilty of dishonest dealing by trick, scheme, or device. If you breach the applicable standard of care and are found guilty of culpable negligence, you could be disciplined under this statute. Furthermore, you could be disciplined for being found guilty of a breach of trust. This statute is broad in applicability as the guilty action could have taken place in Florida, in any state outside of Florida, in any nation and any territory.

If you are found to have violated the statute, the Florida Real Estate Commission may penalize your license. The penalties could be quite severe.

The penalties are found in the Florida Administrative Code:

  • First offense: $1,000 to $2,500 administrative fine and 30-day suspension up to revocation
  • Second and Subsequent Offenses: $2,500 to $5,000 administrative fine and 6-month suspension up to revocation

The penalties you face could be severe. For a first offense, you could be fined $1,000 up to $2,500. Your license could be suspended up to 30 days and could possibly be revoked. After the first offense, you could face fines from $2,500 to $5,000. Your license could be suspended up to 6 months and could possibly be revoked. If you are found to have violated this statute, it is possible your license could be revoked!

You should also be aware that there are certain factors that FREC could use in determining the penalty you face. These facts could reduce or enhance the penalties you face such as the degree of harm to the consumer or public or whether you have had prior discipline.

If you find that you have been served with an administrative complaint for a violation of this statute, you should contact the experienced and qualified attorneys of JEFFREY S. HOWELL, P.A., Attorneys at Law to handle your case. Call 850-877-7776 and ask for Jeffrey Howell or Rickey Strong for a FREE consultation.

Section 475.25(1)(d)

As a licensee, you are entrusted to keep property for clients. There are also times when you must give an account to someone of the property in your trust. Other times, you will have to deliver that property to the person who is entitled to have it. If someone is entitled to $50,000 and you mistakenly give them $45,000, can your license be held liable? If someone entrusts their mortgage to you to keep until the closing of the real estate transaction, what happens if you do not deliver it back to them in time? What happens if you do not give a share of a real estate commission to someone who has obtained a civil judgment against you? These are questions that can have a profound impact on your license and the ability to practice.

The Florida Real Estate Commission can take disciplinary action against your license for violating Section 475.25(1)(d), Florida Statutes. That statute state that a licensee can face discipline if that licensee:

Has failed to account or deliver to any person, including a licensee under this chapter, at the time which has been agreed upon or is required by law or, in the absence of a fixed time, upon demand of the person entitled to such accounting and delivery, any personal property such as money, fund, deposit, check, draft, abstract of title, mortgage, conveyance, lease, or other document or thing of value, including a share of a real estate commission if a civil judgment relating to the practice of the licensee’s profession has been obtained against the licensee and said judgment has not been satisfied in accordance with the terms of the judgment within a reasonable time, or any secret or illegal profit, or any divisible share or portion thereof, which has come into the licensee’s hands and which is not the licensee’s property or which the licensee is not in law or equity entitled to retain under the circumstances.

To be charged with this statute, you must have failed to account or deliver to any person, any personal property. You must have failed to account or deliver this personal property at an agreed-upon time or a time required by law. If there is not an agreed-upon time or time in law, you must have not delivered it upon demand of the person entitled to the accounting or delivery. The personal property itself could be anything. It could be money, a fund, deposit, a check, a draft, even a mortgage, conveyance, a lease, a document or anything of value.  You should also consider that this statute could be violated if you do not deliver or account a share of a real estate commission from a civil judgment obtained against you in the practice of your profession.

If you are found to have violated this statute, the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) can penalize your license. The penalties could be quite severe if you do not have adequate representation.

These penalties you could face are very important to understand. If this is your first offense, you could face a $250 fine, up to $1,000 in fines. Your license could also be suspended and possibly revoked. If this is your second offense or more, the fines range from $1,000 to $5,000. Your license can be suspended and your license could also be revoked. l.

There are certain factors that FREC could use in determining the penalty you face. These facts could reduce or enhance the penalties you face such as the degree of harm to the consumer or public or whether you have had prior discipline.

Section 475.25(1)(k)

Your client has entrusted $25,000 to you in your capacity as a broker. Three weeks later, you discover the check in your briefcase as you get ready to go home for the night. Will the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) take disciplinary action against you for forgetting to place the money in an escrow account? You work for a major real estate company as a sales associate and a client hands you a check for $7,500 for a big deal about to go down. 2 days later, you discover the check still on your desk. Will your license be disciplined for not giving that check to your employer? These are questions that could have serious implications. Your license could be affected by these actions.

The Florida Real Estate Commission can take disciplinary action against your license for violating Section 475.25(1)(k), Florida Statutes. That statute states in particular that a licensee can be disciplined if that licensee:

Has failed, if a broker, to immediately place, upon receipt, any money, fund, deposit, check, or draft entrusted to her or him by any person dealing with her or him as a broker in escrow with a title company, banking institution, credit union, or savings and loan association located and doing business in this state, or to deposit such funds in a trust or escrow account maintained by her or him with some bank, credit union, or savings and loan association located and doing business in this state, wherein the funds shall be kept until disbursement thereof is properly authorized; or has failed, if a sales associate, to immediately place with her or his registered employer any money, fund, deposit, check, or draft entrusted to her or him by any person dealing with her or him as agent of the registered employer.

This statute is one that applies to both brokers and sales associates. If you are a broker, you could be found to have violated this statute if you fail to immediately place, upon receiving, any money, fund, deposit, check, or draft entrusted to you by anyone dealing with you in your capacity as a broker in escrow. You should place whatever was given to you in escrow with a title company, banking institution, credit union, or savings and loan association located and doing business in this state. Remember that you must use a company located and doing business in Florida. Remember, also, that the funds shall be kept there until disbursement is properly authorized. If you are a sales associate, this statute could be violated by you if fail to immediately place anything given to you as an agent of your registered employer, with your registered employer. If you are charged with a violation of this statute, it is important that you contact an experienced attorney who can handle the situation effectively.

If you are found to have violated this statute, the Florida Real Estate Commission can penalize your license.

These penalties could be quite severe depending on the facts of your case.

  • First offense: $250 to $1,000 administrative fine and suspension to revocation
  • Second and subsequent offenses: $1,000 to $5,000 administrative fine and suspension to revocation

These penalties you could face are very important to understand. If this is your first offense, you could face a $250 fine, up to $1,000 in fines. Your license could also be suspended and possibly revoked. If this is your second offense or more, the fines range from $1,000 to $5,000. Your license can be suspended and your license could also be revoked. The consequences can be serious. You should also be aware that there are certain factors that FREC could use in determining the penalty you face. These facts could reduce or enhance the penalties you face such as the degree of harm to the consumer or public or whether you have had prior discipline.

Section 475.25(1)(u)

You are a successful real estate broker employing a group of people. You have to leave for a conference that will last for two weeks. When you return, you find out that the sales associate you hired last month hasn’t complied with a requirement of law. You also find that the broker associate you hired 2 years ago has been charged with a crime related to the practice of your profession. Then you get an administrative complaint from the Florida Real Estate Commission. Is your license really in jeopardy? It wasn’t you who did any of these things. Depending on the circumstances, your license could be in real trouble.

The Florida Real Estate Commission can take disciplinary action against your license for violating Section 475.25(1)(u), Florida Statutes. That statute states that disciplinary action can be taken against a licensee, if that licensee:

Has failed, if a broker, to direct, control, or manage a broker associate or sales associate employed by such broker. A rebuttable presumption exists that a broker associate or sales associate is employed by a broker if the records of the department establish that the broker associate or sales associate is registered with that broker. A record of licensure which is certified or authenticated in such form as to be admissible in evidence under the laws of the state is admissible as prima facie evidence of such registration.

The statute itself is fairly simple. You can be found to have violated the statute if, as a broker, you fail to direct, control, or manage a broker associate or sales associate employed by you.

If you are found to have violated this statute, the Florida Real Estate Commission can penalize your license. These penalties could be quite severe based on the circumstances of your case.

These penalties you could face are very important to understand. If this is your first offense, you could face a $250 fine, up to $1,000 in fines. Your license could also be suspended and possibly revoked. If this is your second offense or more, the fines range from $1,000 to $5,000. Your license can be suspended and your license could also be revoked.

There are certain factors that FREC could use in determining the penalty you face. These facts could reduce or enhance the penalties you face such as the degree of harm to the consumer or public or whether you have had prior discipline.

If you find that you have been served with an administrative complaint for a violation of this statute, you should contact the experienced and qualified attorneys of JEFFREY S. HOWELL, P.A., Attorneys at Law to handle your case. Call 850-877-7776 and ask for Jeffrey Howell or Rickey Strong for a FREE consultation.
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