Real estate license violations

Get information about real estate license violations and complaints. Learn more about what happens with reported violations.

California requires that anyone selling real estate has to have a real estate license. Getting such a license requires meeting certain specifications. To keep the license, an agent must abide by specific rules and ethics. When a real estate agent violates a rule, he or she may face punishment of some type. Find out more about complaints, violations and the process of handling these issues.

For what can an agent receive a citation?

The California Department of Real Estate explains citations may occur for any violation of the laws regulating real estate agents. These include not only administrative rules but also ethical rules. Specifically, citations occur due to breaking any of the rules in the Real Estate and Subdivided Lands Law. An unlicensed person may also receive a citation for practicing without a license.

What happens with a citation?

An agent will usually have to pay a fine if he or she receives a citation. The first step, though, is a correction order to stop or fix the behavior that led to the citation.

What if a person ignores the citation?

The Department of Real Estate will take further action against an individual if he or she does not comply with a citation. This could lead to a person losing his or her real estate license. Unpaid fines may land a person in court or lead to a negative mark on his or her credit report.

Can a person object to a citation?

Yes. The Department of Real Estate allows for a hearing request within 30 days of the citation. Upon an objection, there is a review of the issues at hand to determine legitimacy.

How are complaints filed against agents?

The Department of Real Estate requires a written complaint using Form RE 519. A person may also file a complaint online using the Department's system. The documents must include an explanation of the issue, identifying information for all parties and any witnesses. The person must also include any documentation to back up his or her claim.

What will the Department of Real Estate do with a complaint?

Once received, the Department conducts an investigation to gather the facts. After the investigation, it may issue a citation or take other steps. If the complaint is invalid, then the Department closes the matter.

Having a complaint filed against an agent is serious. It could stop him or her from being able to work or carry out any duties. If you face a licensing issue, you should contact an attorney, such as the Law Office of Ethan A. Glaubiger.