Last Update: 04/18/16
Florida buyers and sellers are victims of the wrongful acts of real estate agents every day. Don’t be a victim; educate yourself.
The real estate industry works hard to promote its own as professionals worthy of the public trust as people buy and sell their homes, condos, and other real property. Most real estate brokers and real estate agents do act with professionalism; however, as with any profession, there are a lot of bad acts done by real estate professionals all the time here in Florida.
It’s important not to assume that the real estate agent you are working with during buying or selling your home or condo is immune to doing something wrong. Consider the following examples of wrongful acts done by real estate agents and real estate brokers for which they were disciplined by their licensing board.
Examples of Wrongdoing by Florida Real Estate Agents
These examples appear in the public listing from the 2012 Disciplinary Proceedings Before the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC). The following are only a selection of the complete 23 page listing of serious wrongs done in a single year by people working in the Florida real estate industry:
1. Real estate agent took but did not deliver a security deposit; license was revoked.
2. Real estate agent lost their license after they failed to report to the FREC that they had entered a guilty plea for third degree felony grand theft; license was suspended.
3. License was suspended for six months after real estate agent failed to notify the FREC that he had pled guilty in a criminal matter to a felony charge that involved a crime of moral turpitude or fraudulent or dishonest dealing.
4. Real estate agent failed to deliver escrow funds pursuant to a property management agreement; the FREC banned this real estate professional from working in property management in the State of Florida forever.
5. Unlicensed real estate agent worked as a licensed real estate associate, misled the seller that the buyer had placed money into escrow; her lapsed license was revoked.
6. Unlicensed real estate broker worked with property management and leased property to the detriment of landlord and tenant; lapsed license was revoked.
7. Licensed real estate agent operated as a broker, collected a commission without notification or consent of her registered broker. License was revoked.
8. Licensed real estate agent failed to deliver rents paid by tenants. License was revoked.
9. Unlicensed broker collected commissions on real estate transactions. License was revoked.
10. Real estate broker, after demand of the person entitled to such accounting and delivery, failed to deliver to them money, check, and/or draft in violation of Florida Statute 475.25(1)(d)1. License revoked.
11. Real estate broker intermingled escrow funds with funds in the brokerage’s management account. License revoked.
12. Real estate broker failed to account for security deposit held in escrow; failed to properly submit the dispute to the FREC; failed to produce requested documentation of the property transaction and proof that the security deposit still being held in escrow. License revoked.
13. Real estate agent filed documentation with false or unauthorized information into public real estate records; as well as failed to reveal to the buyer the identity of a corporation as owner of subject property. License revoked.
14. Real estate agent filed a false lien on a residence in an attempt to coerce payment of funds for which she was not entitled.
15. Unlicensed real estate broker misrepresented herself as a broker and held out her brokerage as a legal real estate business entity under Florida law.
If you are having a problem with a Florida real estate agent, a good piece of advice is to speak with an experienced Florida real estate lawyer to learn about your rights. Most real estate lawyers, like Larry Tolchinsky, offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in person, whichever you prefer) to answer your questions.
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