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The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XXXII
REGULATION OF PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS
Chapter 475
REAL ESTATE BROKERS, SALES ASSOCIATES, SCHOOLS, AND APPRAISERS
View Entire Chapter
CHAPTER 475
CHAPTER 475
REAL ESTATE BROKERS, SALES ASSOCIATES, SCHOOLS, AND APPRAISERS
PART I
REAL ESTATE BROKERS, SALES ASSOCIATES, AND
SCHOOLS
(ss. 475.001-475.5018)
PART II
APPRAISERS
(ss. 475.610-475.631)
PART III
COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE SALES COMMISSION LIEN
ACT
(ss. 475.700-475.719)
PART IV
COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE LEASING COMMISSION LIEN
ACT
(ss. 475.800-475.813)
PART I
REAL ESTATE BROKERS,
SALES ASSOCIATES, AND SCHOOLS
475.001 Purpose.
475.01 Definitions.
475.011 Exemptions.
475.02 Florida Real Estate Commission.
475.021 Division of Real Estate.
475.03 Delegation of powers and duties; legal services.
475.04 Duty of commission to educate members of profession.
475.045 Florida Real Estate Commission Education and Research Foundation.
475.05 Power of commission to enact bylaws and rules and decide questions of practice.
475.10 Seal.
475.125 Fees.
475.15 Registration and licensing of general partners, members, officers, and directors of a firm.
475.161 Licensing of broker associates and sales associates.
475.17 Qualifications for practice.
475.175 Examinations.
475.180 Nonresident licenses.
475.181 Licensure.
475.182 Renewal of license; continuing education.
475.183 Inactive status.
475.215 Multiple licenses.
475.22 Broker to maintain office and sign at entrance of office; registered office outside state; broker required to cooperate in investigation.
475.23 License to expire on change of address.
475.24 Branch office; fees.
475.25 Discipline.
475.255 Determination of agency or transactional brokerage relationship.
475.2701 Short title.
475.272 Purpose.
475.274 Scope of coverage.
475.2755 Designated sales associate.
475.278 Authorized brokerage relationships; presumption of transaction brokerage; required disclosures.
475.279 Residential loan alternative agreements for the disposition of residential real property.
475.28 Rules of evidence.
475.2801 Rules.
475.31 Final orders.
475.37 Effect of reversal of order of court or commission.
475.38 Payment of costs.
475.41 Contracts of unlicensed person for commissions invalid.
475.42 Violations and penalties.
475.43 Presumptions.
475.451 Schools teaching real estate practice.
475.4511 Advertising by real estate schools.
475.453 Rental information; contract or receipt; refund; penalty.
475.455 Exchange of disciplinary information.
475.482 Real Estate Recovery Fund.
475.483 Conditions for recovery; eligibility.
475.4835 Commission powers upon notification of commencement of action.
475.484 Payment from the fund.
475.485 Investment of the fund.
475.486 Rules; violations.
475.5015 Brokerage business records.
475.5016 Authority to inspect and audit.
475.5017 Injunctive relief; powers.
475.5018 Facsimile signatures or writing accepted.
475.001 Purpose.The Legislature deems it necessary in the interest of the public welfare to regulate real estate brokers, sales associates, and schools in this state.
History.ss. 1, 42, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 10, ch. 91-89; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 1, ch. 93-261; s. 13, ch. 2000-332; s. 21, ch. 2003-164.
475.01 Definitions.
(1) As used in this part:
1(a) “Broker” means a person who, for another, and for a compensation or valuable consideration directly or indirectly paid or promised, expressly or impliedly, or with an intent to collect or receive a compensation or valuable consideration therefor, appraises, auctions, sells, exchanges, buys, rents, or offers, attempts or agrees to appraise, auction, or negotiate the sale, exchange, purchase, or rental of business enterprises or business opportunities or any real property or any interest in or concerning the same, including mineral rights or leases, or who advertises or holds out to the public by any oral or printed solicitation or representation that she or he is engaged in the business of appraising, auctioning, buying, selling, exchanging, leasing, or renting business enterprises or business opportunities or real property of others or interests therein, including mineral rights, or who takes any part in the procuring of sellers, purchasers, lessors, or lessees of business enterprises or business opportunities or the real property of another, or leases, or interest therein, including mineral rights, or who directs or assists in the procuring of prospects or in the negotiation or closing of any transaction which does, or is calculated to, result in a sale, exchange, or leasing thereof, and who receives, expects, or is promised any compensation or valuable consideration, directly or indirectly therefor; and all persons who advertise rental property information or lists. A broker renders a professional service and is a professional within the meaning of s. 95.11(4)(b). Where the term “appraise” or “appraising” appears in the definition of the term “broker,” it specifically excludes those appraisal services which must be performed only by a state-licensed or state-certified appraiser, and those appraisal services which may be performed by a registered trainee appraiser as defined in part II. The term “broker” also includes any person who is a general partner, officer, or director of a partnership or corporation which acts as a broker. The term “broker” also includes any person or entity who undertakes to list or sell one or more timeshare periods per year in one or more timeshare plans on behalf of any number of persons, except as provided in ss. 475.011 and 721.20.
(b) “Broker associate” means a person who is qualified to be issued a license as a broker but who operates as a sales associate in the employ of another.
(c) “Commission” means the Florida Real Estate Commission.
(d) “Customer” means a member of the public who is or may be a buyer or seller of real property and may or may not be represented by a real estate licensee in an authorized brokerage relationship.
(e) “Department” means the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
(f) “Fiduciary” means a broker in a relationship of trust and confidence between that broker as agent and the seller or buyer as principal. The duties of the broker as a fiduciary are loyalty, confidentiality, obedience, full disclosure, and accounting and the duty to use skill, care, and diligence.
(g) “Involuntarily inactive status” means the licensure status that results when a license is not renewed at the end of the license period prescribed by the department.
(h) “Principal” means the party with whom a real estate licensee has entered into a single agent relationship.
(i) “Real property” or “real estate” means any interest or estate in land and any interest in business enterprises or business opportunities, including any assignment, leasehold, subleasehold, or mineral right; however, the term does not include any cemetery lot or right of burial in any cemetery; nor does the term include the renting of a mobile home lot or recreational vehicle lot in a mobile home park or travel park.
1(j) “Sales associate” means a person who performs any act specified in the definition of “broker,” but who performs such act under the direction, control, or management of another person. A sales associate renders a professional service and is a professional within the meaning of s. 95.11(4)(b).
(k) “Single agent” means a broker who represents, as a fiduciary, either the buyer or seller but not both in the same transaction.
(l) “Transaction broker” means a broker who provides limited representation to a buyer, a seller, or both, in a real estate transaction, but does not represent either in a fiduciary capacity or as a single agent. In a transaction broker relationship, a buyer or seller is not responsible for the acts of a licensee. Additionally, the parties to a real estate transaction are giving up their rights to the undivided loyalty of a licensee. This aspect of limited representation allows a licensee to facilitate a real estate transaction by assisting both the buyer and the seller, but a licensee will not work to represent one party to the detriment of the other party when acting as a transaction broker to both parties.
(m) “Voluntarily inactive status” means the licensure status that results when a licensee has applied to the department to be placed on inactive status and has paid the fee prescribed by rule.
(2) The terms “employ,” “employment,” “employer,” and “employee,” when used in this chapter and in rules adopted pursuant thereto to describe the relationship between a broker and a sales associate, include an independent contractor relationship when such relationship is intended by and established between a broker and a sales associate. The existence of such relationship shall not relieve either the broker or the sales associate of her or his duties, obligations, or responsibilities under this chapter.
(3) Wherever the word “operate” or “operating” as a broker, broker associate, or sales associate appears in this chapter; in any order, rule, or regulation of the commission; in any pleading, indictment, or information under this chapter; in any court action or proceeding; or in any order or judgment of a court, it shall be deemed to mean the commission of one or more acts described in this chapter as constituting or defining a broker, broker associate, or sales associate, not including, however, any of the exceptions stated therein. A single such act is sufficient to bring a person within the meaning of this chapter, and each act, if prohibited herein, constitutes a separate offense.
(4) A broker acting as a trustee of a trust created under chapter 689 is subject to the provisions of this chapter unless the trustee is a bank, state or federal association, or trust company possessing trust powers as defined in s. 658.12.
History.s. 1, ch. 12223, 1927; CGL 4062; s. 1, ch. 29983, 1955; s. 1, ch. 59-199; s. 1, ch. 59-197; s. 1, ch. 59-438; ss. 30, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 75-112; s. 7, ch. 75-184; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-239; s. 1, ch. 77-355; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 1, ch. 78-215; s. 1, ch. 78-366; ss. 2, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, 5, ch. 80-405; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 5, 38, ch. 82-1; ss. 18, 45, ch. 82-179; ss. 1, 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 1, ch. 89-368; s. 10, ch. 90-228; s. 10, ch. 90-341; s. 13, ch. 90-345; ss. 2, 10, ch. 91-89; s. 1, ch. 91-289; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 2, ch. 93-261; s. 134, ch. 94-119; s. 159, ch. 94-218; s. 1, ch. 94-337; s. 1, ch. 97-42; s. 361, ch. 97-103; s. 1, ch. 98-250; s. 1, ch. 99-384; s. 1, ch. 2002-233; ss. 1, 22, ch. 2003-164; s. 78, ch. 2004-5; s. 2, ch. 2022-178; s. 13, ch. 2023-15.
1Note.

A. Section 29, ch. 2023-15, provides that “[t]his act shall not be construed to impair any right under an insurance contract in effect on or before [March 24, 2023]. To the extent that this act affects a right under an insurance contract, this act applies to an insurance contract issued or renewed after [March 24, 2023].”

B. Section 30, ch. 2023-15, provides that “[e]xcept as otherwise expressly provided in this act, this act shall apply to causes of action filed after [March 24, 2023].”

475.011 Exemptions.This part does not apply to:
(1) Any person acting as an attorney in fact for the purpose of the execution of contracts or conveyances only; as an attorney at law within the scope of her or his duties as such; as a certified public accountant, as defined in chapter 473, within the scope of her or his duties as such; as the personal representative, receiver, trustee, or general or special magistrate under, or by virtue of, an appointment by will or by order of a court of competent jurisdiction; or as trustee under a deed of trust, or under a trust agreement, the ultimate purpose and intent whereof is charitable, is philanthropic, or provides for those having a natural right to the bounty of the donor or trustor.
(2) Any individual, corporation, partnership, trust, joint venture, or other entity which sells, exchanges, or leases its own real property; however, this exemption shall not be available if and to the extent that an agent, employee, or independent contractor paid a commission or other compensation strictly on a transactional basis is employed to make sales, exchanges, or leases to or with customers in the ordinary course of an owner’s business of selling, exchanging, or leasing real property to the public.
(3) Any employee of a public utility, a rural electric cooperative, a railroad, or a state or local governmental agency who acts within the scope of her or his employment, for which no compensation in addition to the employee’s salary is paid, to buy, sell, appraise, exchange, rent, auction, or lease any real property or any interest in real property for the use of her or his employer.
(4) Any salaried employee of an owner, or of a registered broker for an owner, of an apartment community who works in an onsite rental office of the apartment community in a leasing capacity.
(5) Any person employed for a salary as a manager of a condominium or cooperative apartment complex as a result of any activities or duties which the person may have in relation to the renting of individual units within such condominium or cooperative apartment complex if rentals arranged by the person are for periods no greater than 1 year.
(6) Any person, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity which, for another and for compensation or other valuable consideration, sells, offers to sell, advertises for sale, buys, offers to buy, or negotiates the sale or purchase of radio, television, or cable enterprises licensed and regulated by the Federal Communications Commission pursuant to the Communications Act of 1934. However, if the sale or purchase of the radio, television, or cable enterprise involves the sale or lease of land, buildings, fixtures, and all other improvements to the land, a broker or sales associate licensed under this chapter shall be retained for the portion of the transaction which includes the land, buildings, fixtures, and all other improvements to the land.
(7) Any full-time graduate student who is enrolled in a commission-approved degree program in appraising at a college or university in this state, if the student is acting under the direct supervision of a licensed broker or a licensed or certified appraiser and is engaged only in appraisal activities related to the approved degree program. Any appraisal report by the student must be issued in the name of the supervising individual.
(8)(a) An owner of one or part of one or more timeshare periods for the owner’s own use and occupancy who later offers one or more of such periods for resale.
(b) An exchange company, as that term is defined by s. 721.05(15), but only to the extent that the exchange company is engaged in exchange program activities as described in and is in compliance with s. 721.18.
(9) Any person registered, licensed, or certified by the department under part II as an appraiser or trainee appraiser performing appraisals in accordance with that part.
(10) Any person who appraises under the unit-rule method of valuation a railroad or railroad terminal company assessed for ad valorem tax purposes pursuant to s. 193.085.
(11) Any person, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity which, for another and for compensation or other valuable consideration, rents or advertises for rent, for transient occupancy, any public lodging establishment licensed under chapter 509.
(12) Any dealer registered under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or any federally insured depository institution and any parent, subsidiary, or affiliate thereof, in connection with the sale, exchange, purchase, or rental of a business enterprise to or by a person who is an accredited investor as defined by 15 U.S.C. s. 77b, the Securities Act of 1933, or any regulation adopted thereunder. This exemption applies whether stock or assets of the business enterprise are purchased or sold. The exemption does not apply to a sale, exchange, purchase, or rental of land, buildings, fixtures or other improvements to the land which is not made in connection with the sale, exchange, purchase, or rental of a business enterprise. Any reference to rental in this subsection includes a lease transaction.
(13) Any property management firm or any owner of an apartment complex for the act of paying a finder’s fee or referral fee to an unlicensed person who is a tenant in such apartment complex provided the value of the fee does not exceed $50 per transaction. Nothing in this subsection authorizes an unlicensed person to advertise or otherwise promote the person’s services in procuring or assisting in procuring prospective lessees or tenants of apartment units. For purposes of this subsection, “finder’s fee” or “referral fee” means a fee paid, credit towards rent, or some other thing of value provided to a person for introducing or arranging an introduction between parties to a transaction involving the rental or lease of an apartment unit. It is a violation of s. 475.25(1)(h) and punishable under s. 475.42 for a property management firm or any owner of an apartment complex to pay a finder’s fee or a referral fee to an unlicensed person unless expressly authorized by this subsection.
History.ss. 3, 42, ch. 79-239; ss. 1, 5, ch. 80-307; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 31, 45, ch. 82-179; s. 3, ch. 85-84; ss. 1, 2, ch. 85-215; s. 1, ch. 86-107; s. 1, ch. 87-205; ss. 2, 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 2, ch. 89-368; ss. 3, 10, ch. 91-89; s. 2, ch. 91-289; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 3, ch. 93-261; s. 135, ch. 94-119; s. 2, ch. 94-337; s. 362, ch. 97-103; s. 2, ch. 98-250; s. 2, ch. 99-384; s. 7, ch. 2001-179; ss. 2, 23, ch. 2003-164; s. 85, ch. 2004-11; s. 33, ch. 2004-279.
475.02 Florida Real Estate Commission.
(1) There is created within the department the Florida Real Estate Commission. The commission shall consist of seven members who shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate. Four members must be licensed brokers, each of whom has held an active license for the 5 years preceding appointment; one member must be a licensed broker or a licensed sales associate who has held an active license for the 2 years preceding appointment; and two members must be persons who are not, and have never been, brokers or sales associates. At least one member of the commission must be 60 years of age or older. The current members may complete their present terms unless removed for cause.
(2) Members shall be appointed for 4-year terms.
(3) Notwithstanding s. 112.313, any member of the commission who is a licensed real estate broker or sales associate and who holds an active real estate school permit, school instructor permit, or any combination of such permits issued by the department, to the extent authorized pursuant to such permit, may offer, conduct, or teach any course prescribed or approved by the commission or the department.
History.ss. 2, 3, ch. 12223, 1927; CGL 4063, 4064; ss. 30, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 4, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 6, 38, ch. 82-1; s. 22, ch. 87-172; ss. 3, 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 10, ch. 91-89; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 4, ch. 93-261; s. 160, ch. 94-218; s. 24, ch. 2003-164; s. 35, ch. 2010-106; s. 9, ch. 2012-208.
475.021 Division of Real Estate.
(1) All services concerning this chapter, including, but not limited to, recordkeeping services, examination services, legal services, and investigative services, and those services in chapter 455 necessary to perform the duties of this chapter shall be provided by the Division of Real Estate. The commission may, by majority vote, delegate a duty or duties to the appropriate division within the department. The commission may, by majority vote, rescind any such delegation of duties at any time.
(2) The Division of Real Estate shall be funded by fees and assessments of the commission, and funds collected by the commission shall be used only to fund real estate regulation.
History.s. 1, ch. 82-1; s. 2, ch. 87-50; ss. 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 121, ch. 98-166; s. 181, ch. 2000-160.
475.03 Delegation of powers and duties; legal services.
(1) Any of the duties and powers of the commission, except disciplinary powers and the power to adopt rules, may be delegated, by resolution, to any member; but the chair may exercise such duties and powers without such resolution.
(2) Subject to the prior approval of the Attorney General, the commission may retain independent legal counsel to provide legal advice to the commission on a specific matter.
(3) No attorney employed or utilized by the commission shall prosecute a matter and provide legal services to the commission with respect to the same matter.
History.s. 4, ch. 12223, 1927; CGL 4065; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 5, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 7, 38, ch. 82-1; ss. 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 363, ch. 97-103.
475.04 Duty of commission to educate members of profession.
(1) The commission shall foster the education of brokers, broker associates, sales associates, and instructors concerning the ethical, legal, and business principles which should govern their conduct.
(2) For the purpose of performing its duty under subsection (1) to educate persons holding a license or permit, the commission may conduct, offer, sponsor, prescribe, or approve real estate educational courses for all persons licensed or permitted by the department as brokers, broker associates, sales associates, or instructors; and the cost and expense of such courses shall be paid as provided in s. 475.125.
(3) The commission may also publish and sell, at a reasonable price intended to cover costs, a handbook on this chapter and other publications intended to be textbooks or guidelines for study and guidance of students, applicants, licensees, certificateholders, and permitholders, and members of the general public, copyright of which shall be the property of the state.
History.s. 5, ch. 12223, 1927; CGL 4066; s. 1, ch. 59-200; s. 1, ch. 75-184; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 6, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 8, 38, ch. 82-1; ss. 4, 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 11, ch. 90-228; s. 11, ch. 90-341; s. 14, ch. 90-345; s. 4, ch. 91-89; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 25, ch. 2003-164.
475.045 Florida Real Estate Commission Education and Research Foundation.
(1)(a) There is established a Florida Real Estate Commission Education and Research Foundation, hereinafter referred to as the “foundation,” which shall be administered by the commission.
(b) The purposes, objectives, and duties of the foundation are as follows:
1. To create and promote educational projects to expand the knowledge of the public and real estate licensees in matters pertaining to Florida real estate.
2. To augment the existing real estate programs by increasing the number of teaching personnel and real estate courses in the state in degree-granting programs in universities and colleges in this state.
3. To conduct studies in all areas that relate directly or indirectly to real estate or urban or rural economics and to publish and disseminate the findings and results of the studies.
4. To assist the teaching program in real estate offered by the universities, colleges, and real estate schools registered pursuant to this chapter in the state, when requested to do so.
5. To develop and from time to time revise and update materials for use in the courses in real estate offered by the universities, colleges, and real estate schools registered pursuant to this chapter in the state, when requested to do so.
6. To make studies of, and recommend changes in, state statutes and municipal ordinances; provided, however, that such studies are requested by the Governor or the presiding officers of the Legislature. The foundation shall maintain political nonadvocacy.
7. To periodically review the progress of persons conducting such research and studies. The results of any research project or study shall not be published or disseminated until it has been reviewed and approved in writing by the commission or its designated representative.
8. To prepare information of consumer interest concerning Florida real estate and to make the information available to the public and appropriate state agencies.
(c) The foundation may make a charge for its publications and may receive gifts and grants from foundations, individuals, and other sources for the benefit of the foundation.
(d) A report of the activities and accomplishments of the foundation shall be published annually.
(e) On or before January 1 of each year, the commission shall file with the Governor, the presiding officer of each house of the Legislature, and the secretary of the department a complete and detailed written report accounting for all funds received and disbursed by the foundation during the preceding year.
(2)(a) The commission shall solicit advice and information from real estate licensees, the commission, universities, colleges, real estate schools registered pursuant to this chapter and the general public for the purpose of submitting proposals for carrying out the purposes, objectives, and duties of the foundation.
(b) The commission shall select the proposals that shall be funded and shall give priority to projects with the greatest potential for direct or indirect benefit to the public.
(c) The commission shall select the university or college within the state or qualified full-time faculty member of a university or college within the state with the consent of the institution to perform the education study, research study, or other project in accordance with the purposes, objectives, and duties of the foundation. In those instances where no university or college within the state, or qualified full-time faculty member of a university or college within the state with the consent of the institution, submits an acceptable proposal, a qualified person or persons may be selected in accordance with law to perform the education study, research study, or other project in accordance with the purposes, objectives, and duties of the foundation.
(3)(a) The director of the Division of Real Estate of the department, hereinafter referred to as the “director,” or her or his designated representative shall submit to the commission, in advance of each fiscal year, a budget for expenditures of all funds provided for the foundation in a form that is related to the proposed schedule of activities for the review and approval of the commission.
(b) The director shall submit to the commission all proposals received for its review and approval in developing an educational and research agenda at the beginning of each fiscal year and shall continuously inform the commission of changes in its substance and scheduling.
(4) The commission shall have the power and authority to adopt all rules necessary to administer this section.
(5) The foundation may not fund or offer educational courses designed to qualify persons for licensure or the renewal of licenses pursuant to this chapter.
(6) The foundation may not expend any funds for the purpose of employing staff.
(7) The Chief Financial Officer shall invest $3 million from the portion of the Professional Regulation Trust Fund credited to the real estate profession, under the same limitations as applied to investments of other state funds, and the income earned thereon shall be available to the foundation to fund the activities and projects authorized under this section. However, any balance of such interest in excess of $1 million shall revert to the portion of the Professional Regulation Trust Fund credited to the real estate profession. In the event the foundation is abolished, the funds in the trust fund shall revert to such portion of the Professional Regulation Trust Fund.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 85-199; ss. 5, 29, 31, ch. 88-20; s. 12, ch. 90-228; s. 12, ch. 90-341; s. 15, ch. 90-345; s. 10, ch. 91-89; s. 3, ch. 91-289; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 5, ch. 93-261; s. 161, ch. 94-218; s. 65, ch. 95-144; s. 42, ch. 96-418; s. 1118, ch. 97-103; s. 25, ch. 99-333; s. 52, ch. 2000-356; s. 505, ch. 2003-261.
475.05 Power of commission to enact bylaws and rules and decide questions of practice.The commission may enact bylaws for its own government and adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of law conferring powers or duties upon it. The commission may decide questions of practice arising in the proceedings before it, having regard to this chapter and the rules then in force. Printed copies of rules, or written copies under the seal of the commission, shall be prima facie evidence of their existence and substance, and the courts shall judicially notice such rules.
History.s. 6, ch. 12223, 1927; CGL 4067; s. 2, ch. 59-199; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 7, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 9, 38, ch. 82-1; ss. 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 146, ch. 98-200; s. 4, ch. 2002-9.
475.10 Seal.The commission shall adopt a seal by which it shall authenticate its proceedings. Copies of the proceedings, records, and acts of the commission, and certificates purporting to relate the facts concerning such proceedings, records, and acts, signed by the chair, the custodian of such records, or another person authorized to make such certification and authenticated by such seal, shall be prima facie evidence thereof in all the courts of this state.
History.s. 11, ch. 12223, 1927; CGL 4072; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 8, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 10, 38, ch. 82-1; ss. 19, 45, ch. 82-179; s. 92, ch. 83-218; ss. 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 364, ch. 97-103.
475.125 Fees.
(1) The commission by rule may establish fees to be paid for application, examination, reexamination, licensing and renewal, certification and recertification, reinstatement, and recordmaking and recordkeeping. The fee for initial application and examination may not exceed $100. The initial license fee and the license renewal fee may not exceed $50 for each year of the duration of the license. The commission may also establish by rule a late renewal penalty. The commission shall establish fees which are adequate to ensure its continued operation. Fees shall be based on estimates made by the department of the revenue required to implement this chapter and other provisions of law relating to the regulation of real estate practitioners.
(2) Application and license fees shall be refunded upon a determination by the commission that the state is not entitled to the fees or that only a portion of the resources have been expended in the processing of the application, or if for any other reason the application is not completely processed. The commission shall implement this provision by rule.
History.ss. 9, 42, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 11, 38, ch. 82-1; s. 56, ch. 83-329; ss. 6, 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
475.15 Registration and licensing of general partners, members, officers, and directors of a firm.Each partnership, limited liability partnership, limited liability company, or corporation which acts as a broker shall register with the commission and shall renew the licenses or registrations of its members, officers, and directors for each license period. However, if the partnership is a limited partnership, only the general partners must be licensed brokers or brokerage corporations registered pursuant to this part. If the license or registration of at least one active broker member is not in force, the registration of a corporation, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, or partnership is canceled automatically during that period of time. The commission shall adopt rules that allow a brokerage to register a broker on a temporary, emergency basis if a sole broker of a brokerage dies or is unexpectedly unable to remain a broker.
History.s. 16, ch. 12223, 1927; CGL 4077; s. 4, ch. 59-199; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 10, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 12, 38, ch. 82-1; ss. 7, 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 136, ch. 94-119; s. 3, ch. 98-250; s. 1, ch. 2015-54.
475.161 Licensing of broker associates and sales associates.The commission shall license a broker associate or sales associate as an individual or, upon the licensee providing the commission with authorization from the Department of State, as a professional corporation, limited liability company, or professional limited liability company. A license shall be issued in the licensee’s legal name only and, when appropriate, shall include the entity designation. This section shall not operate to permit a broker associate or sales associate to register or be licensed as a general partner, member, manager, officer, or director of a brokerage firm under s. 475.15.
History.s. 26, ch. 2003-164; s. 1, ch. 2006-210.
475.17 Qualifications for practice.
(1)(a) An applicant for licensure who is a natural person must be at least 18 years of age; hold a high school diploma or its equivalent; be honest, truthful, trustworthy, and of good character; and have a good reputation for fair dealing. An applicant for an active broker’s license or a sales associate’s license must be competent and qualified to make real estate transactions and conduct negotiations therefor with safety to investors and to those with whom the applicant may undertake a relationship of trust and confidence. If the applicant has been denied registration or a license or has been disbarred, or the applicant’s registration or license to practice or conduct any regulated profession, business, or vocation has been revoked or suspended, by this or any other state, any nation, or any possession or district of the United States, or any court or lawful agency thereof, because of any conduct or practices which would have warranted a like result under this chapter, or if the applicant has been guilty of conduct or practices in this state or elsewhere which would have been grounds for revoking or suspending her or his license under this chapter had the applicant then been registered, the applicant shall be deemed not to be qualified unless, because of lapse of time and subsequent good conduct and reputation, or other reason deemed sufficient, it appears to the commission that the interest of the public and investors will not likely be endangered by the granting of registration. The commission may adopt rules requiring an applicant for licensure to provide written information to the commission regarding the applicant’s good character.
(b) An application may be disapproved if the applicant has acted or attempted to act, or has held herself or himself out as entitled to act, during the period of 1 year next prior to the filing of the application, as a real estate broker or sales associate in the state in violation of this chapter. This paragraph may be deemed to bar any person from licensure who has performed any of the acts or services described in s. 475.01(3), unless exempt pursuant to s. 475.011, during a period of 1 year next preceding the filing of the application, or during the pendency of the application, and until a valid current license has been duly issued to the person, regardless of whether the performance of the act or service was done for compensation or valuable consideration.
(2)(a)1. In addition to other requirements under this part, the commission may require the satisfactory completion of one or more of the educational courses or equivalent courses conducted, offered, sponsored, prescribed, or approved pursuant to s. 475.04, taken at an accredited college, university, or community college, at a career center, or at a registered real estate school, as a condition precedent for any person to become licensed or to renew her or his license as a broker, broker associate, or sales associate. The course or courses required for one to become initially licensed shall not exceed a total of 63 classroom hours of 50 minutes each, inclusive of examination, for a sales associate and 72 classroom hours of 50 minutes each, inclusive of examination, for a broker. The satisfactory completion of an examination administered by the accredited college, university, or community college, by a career center, or by the registered real estate school shall be the basis for determining satisfactory completion of the course. However, notice of satisfactory completion shall not be issued if the student has absences in excess of 8 classroom hours.
2. A distance learning course or courses shall be approved by the commission as an option to classroom hours as satisfactory completion of the course or courses as required by this section. The schools authorized by this section have the option of providing classroom courses, distance learning courses, or both. However, satisfactory completion of a distance learning course requires the satisfactory completion of a timed distance learning course examination. Such examination shall not be required to be monitored or given at a centralized location.
3. Such required course or courses must be made available by correspondence or other suitable means to any person who, by reason of hardship, as defined by rule, cannot attend the place or places where the course or courses are regularly conducted or does not have access to the distance learning course or courses.
(b) A person may not be licensed as a real estate broker unless, in addition to the other requirements of law, the person has held:
1. An active real estate sales associate’s license for at least 24 months during the preceding 5 years in the office of one or more real estate brokers licensed in this state or any other state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States or in any foreign national jurisdiction;
2. A current and valid real estate sales associate’s license for at least 24 months during the preceding 5 years in the employ of a governmental agency for a salary and performing the duties authorized in this part for real estate licensees; or
3. A current and valid real estate broker’s license for at least 24 months during the preceding 5 years in any other state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States or in any foreign national jurisdiction.
(c) A person who has been licensed as a real estate sales associate in Florida during the preceding 5 years may not be licensed as a real estate broker unless, in addition to the other requirements of law, she or he has completed the sales associate postlicensure educational requirements, if these requirements have been prescribed by the commission pursuant to paragraph (3)(a).
(3)(a) The commission may prescribe a postlicensure education requirement in order for a person to maintain a valid sales associate’s license, which shall not exceed 45 classroom hours of 50 minutes each, inclusive of examination, prior to the first renewal following initial licensure. If prescribed, this shall consist of one or more commission-approved courses which total at least 45 classroom hours on one or more subjects which include, but are not limited to, property management, appraisal, real estate finance, the economics of real estate management, marketing, technology, sales and listing of properties, business office management, courses teaching practical real estate application skills, development of business plans, marketing of property, and time management. Required postlicensure education courses must be provided by an accredited college, university, or community college, by a career center, by a registered real estate school, or by a commission-approved sponsor.
(b) Satisfactory completion of the postlicensure education requirement is demonstrated by successfully meeting all standards established for the commission-prescribed or commission-approved institution or school. However, notice of satisfactory completion shall not be issued if the student has absences in excess of 10 percent of the required classroom hours or has not satisfactorily completed a timed distance learning course examination.
(c) The license of any sales associate who does not complete the postlicensure education requirement prior to the first renewal following initial licensure shall be considered null and void. Such person wishing to again operate as a real estate sales associate must requalify by satisfactorily completing the sales associate’s prelicensure course and passing the state examination for licensure as a sales associate.
(d) A sales associate who is required to complete any postlicensure education requirement must complete any postlicensure education requirement and hold a current and valid license in order to be eligible for licensure as a broker.
(4)(a) The commission may prescribe a postlicensure education requirement in order for a person to maintain a valid broker’s license, which shall not exceed 60 classroom hours of 50 minutes each, inclusive of examination, prior to the first renewal following initial licensure. If prescribed, this shall consist of one or more commission-approved courses which total at least 60 classroom hours on one or more subjects which include, but are not limited to, advanced appraisal, advanced property management, real estate marketing, business law, advanced real estate investment analyses, advanced legal aspects, general accounting, real estate economics, syndications, commercial brokerage, feasibility analyses, advanced real estate finance, residential brokerage, advanced marketing, technology, advanced business planning, time management, or real estate brokerage office operations. Required postlicensure education courses must be provided by an accredited college, university, or community college, by a career center, by a registered real estate school, or by a commission-approved sponsor.
(b) Satisfactory completion of the postlicensure education requirement is demonstrated by successfully meeting all standards established for the commission-prescribed or commission-approved institution or school. However, notice of satisfactory completion shall not be issued if the student has absences in excess of 10 percent of the required classroom hours or has not satisfactorily completed a timed distance learning course examination.
(c) The license of any broker who does not complete the postlicensure education requirement prior to the first renewal following initial licensure shall be considered null and void. If the licensee wishes to operate as a sales associate, she or he may be issued a sales associate’s license after providing proof that she or he has satisfactorily completed the 14-hour continuing education course within the 6 months following expiration of her or his broker’s license. To operate as a broker, the licensee must requalify by satisfactorily completing the broker’s prelicensure course and passing the state examination for licensure as a broker.
(5)(a) The commission may allow an additional 6-month period after the first renewal following initial licensure for completing the postlicensure education courses for sales associates and brokers who cannot, due to individual physical hardship, as defined by rule, complete the courses within the required time.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (4), sales associates and brokers are not required to meet the 14-hour continuing education requirement prior to the first renewal following initial licensure.
(c)1. A distance learning course or courses shall be approved by the commission as an option to classroom hours as satisfactory completion of the postlicensure education course or courses as required by this section. The schools or sponsors authorized by this section have the option of providing classroom courses, distance learning courses, or both. However, satisfactory completion of a distance learning postlicensure education course or courses requires the satisfactory completion of a timed distance learning course examination. Such examination shall not be required to be monitored or given at a centralized location.
2. The commission shall provide for postlicensure education courses to be made available by correspondence or other suitable means to any person who, by reason of hardship, as defined by rule, cannot attend the place or places where courses are regularly conducted or does not have access to the distance learning courses.
(6) The postlicensure education requirements of this section, and the education course requirements for one to become initially licensed, do not apply to any applicant or licensee who has received a 4-year degree, or higher, in real estate from an accredited institution of higher education.
(7) The commission may not approve prelicensure or postlicensure distance learning courses for brokers, broker associates, and sales associates by correspondence methods, except in instances of hardship pursuant to subparagraphs (2)(a)3. and (5)(c)2.
History.s. 18, ch. 12223, 1927; CGL 4079; s. 1, ch. 24090, 1947; s. 1, ch. 57-244; s. 2, ch. 59-200; ss. 2, 3, ch. 69-378; s. 1, ch. 74-343; s. 1, ch. 75-106; s. 1, ch. 75-117; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-116; s. 1, ch. 77-238; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 11, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; s. 206, ch. 79-400; ss. 2, 4, 5, ch. 80-405; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 13, 38, ch. 82-1; s. 57, ch. 83-329; ss. 8, 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 26, ch. 88-392; s. 1, ch. 89-76; s. 13, ch. 90-228; s. 13, ch. 90-341; s. 16, ch. 90-345; s. 10, ch. 91-89; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 6, ch. 93-62; s. 6, ch. 93-261; s. 137, ch. 94-119; s. 365, ch. 97-103; s. 1, ch. 98-116; s. 4, ch. 98-250; s. 1, ch. 2002-9; s. 27, ch. 2003-164; s. 51, ch. 2004-357; s. 26, ch. 2008-240; s. 2, ch. 2015-54.
475.175 Examinations.
(1) A person shall be entitled to take the license examination to practice in this state if the person:
(a) Submits to the department the appropriate signed or electronically authenticated application, digital fingerprint data, and fee. The digital fingerprints shall be forwarded to the Division of Criminal Justice Information Systems within the Department of Law Enforcement for purposes of processing the fingerprints to determine if the applicant has a criminal history record. The fingerprints shall also be forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for purposes of processing the fingerprints to determine if the applicant has a criminal history record. The information obtained by the processing of the fingerprints by the Department of Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall be sent to the department for the purpose of determining if the applicant is statutorily qualified for examination.
(b) Submits at the time of examination the certificate specified in subsection (2), the examination admissions authorization letter, and proof of identification.
(2) Each accredited college, university, community college, or registered real estate school shall notify the commission of the names of all persons who have satisfactorily completed the educational requirements provided for in s. 475.17(2), (3), and (4) in a manner prescribed by the commission. Furthermore, each such educational institution shall provide to each person satisfactorily completing the educational requirements provided for in s. 475.17(2), (3), and (4) a certificate as proof of such satisfactory completion.
History.ss. 12, 42, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 14, 38, ch. 82-1; s. 58, ch. 83-329; ss. 9, 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 14, ch. 90-228; s. 14, ch. 90-341; s. 17, ch. 90-345; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 366, ch. 97-103; s. 141, ch. 99-251; s. 28, ch. 2003-164; s. 16, ch. 2009-195; s. 36, ch. 2010-106.
475.180 Nonresident licenses.
(1) Notwithstanding the prelicensure requirements set forth under ss. 475.17(2) and (6) and 475.175, the commission in its discretion may enter into written agreements with similar licensing authorities of other states, territories, or jurisdictions of the United States or foreign national jurisdictions to ensure for Florida licensees nonresident licensure opportunities comparable to those afforded to nonresidents by this section. Whenever the commission determines that another jurisdiction does not offer nonresident licensure to Florida licensees substantially comparable to those afforded to licensees of that jurisdiction by this section, the commission shall require licensees of that jurisdiction who apply for nonresident licensure to meet education, experience, and examination requirements substantially comparable to those required by that jurisdiction with respect to Florida licensees who seek nonresident licensure, not to exceed such requirements as prescribed in ss. 475.17(2) and (6) and 475.175.
(2)(a) Any resident licensee who becomes a nonresident shall, within 60 days, notify the commission of the change in residency and comply with nonresident requirements. Failure to notify and comply is a violation of the license law, subject to the penalties in s. 475.25.
(b) All nonresident applicants and licensees shall comply with all requirements of commission rules and this part. The commission may adopt rules necessary for the regulation of nonresident licensees.
History.s. 138, ch. 94-119; s. 367, ch. 97-103; s. 12, ch. 98-246; s. 10, ch. 2012-208.
475.181 Licensure.
(1) The department shall license any applicant whom the commission certifies, pursuant to subsection (2), to be qualified to practice as a broker or sales associate.
(2) The commission shall certify for licensure any applicant who satisfies the requirements of ss. 475.17, 475.175, and 475.180. The commission may refuse to certify any applicant who has violated any of the provisions of s. 475.42 or who is subject to discipline under s. 475.25. The application shall expire 2 years after the date received if the applicant does not pass the appropriate examination. Additionally, if an applicant does not pass the licensing examination within 2 years after the successful course completion date, the applicant’s successful course completion is invalid for licensure.
(3) The department may not issue a license to any applicant who is under investigation in any other state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States or any foreign national jurisdiction for any act that would constitute a violation of this part or chapter 455 until such time as the investigation is complete and disciplinary proceedings have been terminated.
History.ss. 13, 42, ch. 79-239; s. 351, ch. 81-259; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 15, 38, ch. 82-1; s. 59, ch. 83-329; ss. 27, 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 10, ch. 91-89; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 7, ch. 93-261; s. 139, ch. 94-119; s. 4, ch. 94-337; s. 122, ch. 98-166; s. 3, ch. 99-384; s. 182, ch. 2000-160; s. 29, ch. 2003-164; s. 2, ch. 2006-210.
475.182 Renewal of license; continuing education.
(1)(a) The department shall renew a license upon receipt of the renewal application and fee. The renewal application for an active license as broker, broker associate, or sales associate shall include proof satisfactory to the commission that the licensee has, since the issuance or renewal of her or his current license, satisfactorily completed at least 14 classroom hours of 50 minutes each of a continuing education course during each biennium of a license period, as prescribed by the commission. Approval or denial of a specialty course must be based on the extent to which the course content focuses on real estate issues relevant to the modern practice of real estate by a real estate licensee, including technology used in the real estate industry. The commission may accept as a substitute for such continuing education course, on a classroom-hour-for-classroom-hour basis, any satisfactorily completed education course that the commission finds is adequate to educate licensees within the intent of this section, including an approved distance learning course. However, the commission may not require, for the purpose of satisfactorily completing an approved correspondence or distance learning course, a written examination that is to be taken at a centralized location and is to be monitored.
(b) The commission may accept as a substitute for 3 classroom hours, one time per renewal cycle, attendance at one legal agenda session of the commission. In order to obtain credit, the licensee must notify the division at least 7 days in advance of his or her intent to attend. A licensee may not earn any continuing education credit for attending a legal agenda session of the commission as a party to a disciplinary action.
(2) The department shall adopt rules establishing a procedure for the renewal of licenses at least every 4 years.
(3) Any license that is not renewed at the end of the license period prescribed by the department shall automatically revert to involuntarily inactive status. Such license may subsequently be renewed only if the licensee meets the other qualifications specified in s. 475.183.
(4) Sixty days before the end of the license period and automatic reversion of a license to inactive status, the department shall mail a notice of renewal and possible reversion to the last known address of the licensee.
History.ss. 14, 42, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 5, ch. 80-307; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 16, 38, ch. 82-1; ss. 32, 45, ch. 82-179; s. 93, ch. 83-218; ss. 10, 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 10, ch. 91-89; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 8, ch. 93-261; s. 140, ch. 94-119; s. 5, ch. 94-337; s. 368, ch. 97-103; s. 2, ch. 2002-9; s. 30, ch. 2003-164; s. 5, ch. 2007-86.
475.183 Inactive status.
(1) A license which has become voluntarily inactive may be renewed pursuant to s. 475.182 upon application to the department. The commission shall prescribe by rule continuing education requirements, not to exceed 12 classroom hours for each year the license was inactive, as a condition of renewing a voluntarily inactive license. The commission shall substitute for such continuing education requirements, on a classroom-hour-for-classroom-hour basis, any satisfactorily completed education course approved in the manner specified in s. 475.182(1). A person whose license is voluntarily inactive and who renews the license may elect to continue her or his voluntarily inactive status.
(2)(a) A licensee may reactivate a license that has been involuntarily inactive for 12 months or less by satisfactorily completing at least 14 hours of a commission-prescribed continuing education course. Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 455.271, a licensee may reactivate a license that has been involuntarily inactive for more than 12 months but fewer than 24 months by satisfactorily completing 28 hours of a commission-prescribed education course.
(b) Any license that has been involuntarily inactive for more than 2 years shall automatically expire. Once a license expires, it becomes null and void without any further action by the commission or department. Ninety days prior to expiration of the license, the department shall give notice to the licensee. The commission shall prescribe by rule a fee not to exceed $100 for the late renewal of an involuntarily inactive license. The department shall collect the current renewal fee for each renewal period in which the license was involuntarily inactive in addition to any applicable late renewal fee.
(3) The commission shall adopt rules relating to voluntarily inactive and involuntarily inactive licenses, and for the renewal of such licenses.
(4) The commission may reinstate the license of an individual whose license has become void if the commission determines that the individual failed to comply because of illness or economic hardship, as defined by rule. The individual must apply to the commission for reinstatement within 6 months after the date that the license becomes void. Such individual must meet all continuing education requirements prescribed by law, pay appropriate licensing fees, and otherwise be eligible for renewal of licensure under this section.
History.ss. 15, 42, ch. 79-239; s. 352, ch. 81-259; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 17, 38, ch. 82-1; ss. 33, 45, ch. 82-179; s. 108, ch. 83-329; ss. 11, 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 369, ch. 97-103; s. 5, ch. 98-250; s. 3, ch. 2006-210; s. 3, ch. 2015-54.
475.215 Multiple licenses.
(1) A licensed broker may be issued upon request additional licenses as a broker, but not as a sales associate or as a broker associate, whenever it is clearly shown that the requested additional licenses are necessary to the conduct of real estate brokerage business and that the additional licenses will not be used in a manner likely to be prejudicial or harmful to any person, including a licensee under this chapter. The commission may also deny a multiple license request pursuant to s. 475.17(1)(a). A final order of discipline rendered against a broker for a violation of this part or s. 455.227(1) applies to the primary license of the broker as well as any multiple licenses held by that broker at the time the final order becomes effective.
(2) A sales associate or broker associate shall have no more than one registered employer at any one time.
History.ss. 20, 45, ch. 82-179; ss. 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 10, ch. 91-89; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 9, ch. 93-261; s. 31, ch. 2003-164; s. 1, ch. 2013-144.
475.22 Broker to maintain office and sign at entrance of office; registered office outside state; broker required to cooperate in investigation.
(1) Each active broker shall maintain an office, which shall consist of at least one enclosed room in a building of stationary construction. Each active broker shall maintain a sign on or about the entrance of her or his principal office and each branch office, which sign may be easily observed and read by any person about to enter such office. Each sign must contain the name of the broker, together with the trade name, if any. For a partnership or corporation, the sign must contain the name of the firm or corporation or trade name of the firm or corporation, together with the name of at least one of the brokers. At a minimum, the words “licensed real estate broker” or “lic. real estate broker” must appear on the office entrance signs.
(2) If a broker’s registered office is located outside the State of Florida, prior to registering such office or branch office, the broker shall agree in writing to cooperate and shall cooperate with any investigation initiated in accordance with this chapter or commission rules including, but not limited to, the broker promptly supplying any documents requested by any authorized representative of the department and by personally appearing at any designated office of the department or other location in the state or elsewhere as reasonably requested by the department. If the department sends, by certified mail to the broker at the broker’s last known business address as registered with the department, a notice or request to produce any documents or to appear for an interview with an authorized representative of the department and the broker fails to substantially comply with that request or notice, then such failure by the broker is a violation of the license law, subject to the penalties of s. 475.25.
History.s. 23, ch. 12223, 1927; CGL 4084; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 2, ch. 77-355; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 16, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 18, 38, ch. 82-1; ss. 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 4, ch. 91-289; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 370, ch. 97-103; s. 32, ch. 2003-164.
475.23 License to expire on change of address.A license shall cease to be in force whenever a broker changes her or his business address, a real estate school operating under a permit issued pursuant to s. 475.451 changes its business address, or a sales associate working for a broker or an instructor working for a real estate school changes employer. The licensee shall notify the commission of the change no later than 10 days after the change, on a form provided by the commission. When a broker or a real estate school changes business address, the brokerage firm or school permitholder must file with the commission a notice of the change of address, along with the names of any sales associates or instructors who are no longer employed by the brokerage or school. Such notification shall also fulfill the change of address notification requirements for sales associates who remain employed by the brokerage and instructors who remain employed by the school.
History.s. 24, ch. 12223, 1927; CGL 4085; s. 4, ch. 29983, 1955; s. 2, ch. 74-181; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 7, ch. 78-366; ss. 17, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 19, 38, ch. 82-1; s. 60, ch. 83-329; ss. 12, 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 10, ch. 91-89; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 10, ch. 93-261; s. 371, ch. 97-103; s. 33, ch. 2003-164.
475.24 Branch office; fees.Whenever any licensee desires to conduct business at some other location, either in the same or a different municipality or county than that in which she or he is licensed, such other place of business shall be registered as a branch office, and an annual registration fee prescribed by the commission, in an amount not exceeding $50, shall be paid for each such office. It shall be necessary to maintain and register a branch office whenever, in the judgment of the commission, the business conducted at a place other than the principal office is of such a nature that the public interest requires registration of the branch office. Any office shall be deemed to be a branch office if the name or advertising of a broker having a principal office located elsewhere is displayed in such a manner as to reasonably lead the public to believe that such office is owned or operated by such broker.
History.s. 25, ch. 12223, 1927; CGL 4086; s. 3, ch. 74-181; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 8, ch. 78-366; ss. 18, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 20, 38, ch. 82-1; ss. 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 51, ch. 89-162; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 372, ch. 97-103.
475.25 Discipline.
(1) The commission may deny an application for licensure, registration, or permit, or renewal thereof; may place a licensee, registrant, or permittee on probation; may suspend a license, registration, or permit for a period not exceeding 10 years; may revoke a license, registration, or permit; may impose an administrative fine not to exceed $5,000 for each count or separate offense; and may issue a reprimand, and any or all of the foregoing, if it finds that the licensee, registrant, permittee, or applicant:
(a) Has violated any provision of s. 455.227(1) or s. 475.42. However, licensees under this part are exempt from the provisions of s. 455.227(1)(i).
(b) 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; 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; has aided, assisted, or conspired with any other person engaged in any such misconduct and in furtherance thereof; or has formed an intent, design, or scheme to engage in any such misconduct and committed an overt act in furtherance of such intent, design, or scheme. It is immaterial to the guilt of the licensee that the victim or intended victim of the misconduct has sustained no damage or loss; that the damage or loss has been settled and paid after discovery of the misconduct; or that such victim or intended victim was a customer or a person in confidential relation with the licensee or was an identified member of the general public.
(c) Has advertised property or services in a manner which is fraudulent, false, deceptive, or misleading in form or content. The commission may adopt rules defining methods of advertising that violate this paragraph.
(d)1. 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. However, if the licensee, in good faith, entertains doubt as to what person is entitled to the accounting and delivery of the escrowed property, or if conflicting demands have been made upon the licensee for the escrowed property, which property she or he still maintains in her or his escrow or trust account, the licensee shall promptly notify the commission of such doubts or conflicting demands and shall promptly:
a. Request that the commission issue an escrow disbursement order determining who is entitled to the escrowed property;
b. With the consent of all parties, submit the matter to arbitration;
c. By interpleader or otherwise, seek adjudication of the matter by a court; or
d. With the written consent of all parties, submit the matter to mediation. The department may conduct mediation or may contract with public or private entities for mediation services. However, the mediation process must be successfully completed within 90 days following the last demand or the licensee shall promptly employ one of the other escape procedures contained in this section. Payment for mediation will be as agreed to in writing by the parties. The department may adopt rules to implement this section.

If the licensee promptly employs one of the escape procedures contained herein and abides by the order or judgment resulting therefrom, no administrative complaint may be filed against the licensee for failure to account for, deliver, or maintain the escrowed property. Under certain circumstances, which the commission shall set forth by rule, a licensee may disburse property from the licensee’s escrow account without notifying the commission or employing one of the procedures listed in sub-subparagraphs a.-d. If the buyer of a residential condominium unit delivers to a licensee written notice of the buyer’s intent to cancel the contract for sale and purchase, as authorized by s. 718.503, or if the buyer of real property in good faith fails to satisfy the terms in the financing clause of a contract for sale and purchase, the licensee may return the escrowed property to the purchaser without notifying the commission or initiating any of the procedures listed in sub-subparagraphs a.-d.

2. Has failed to deposit money in an escrow account when the licensee is the purchaser of real estate under a contract where the contract requires the purchaser to place deposit money in an escrow account to be applied to the purchase price if the sale is consummated.
(e) Has 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.
(f) Has 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.
(g) Has had a broker’s or sales associate’s license revoked, suspended, or otherwise acted against, or has had an application for such licensure denied, by the real estate licensing agency of another state, territory, or country.
(h) Has shared a commission with, or paid a fee or other compensation to, a person not properly licensed as a broker, broker associate, or sales associate under the laws of this state, for the referral of real estate business, clients, prospects, or customers, or for any one or more of the services set forth in s. 475.01(1)(a). For the purposes of this section, it is immaterial that the person to whom such payment or compensation is given made the referral or performed the service from within this state or elsewhere; however, a licensed broker of this state may pay a referral fee or share a real estate brokerage commission with a broker licensed or registered under the laws of a foreign state so long as the foreign broker does not violate any law of this state.
(i) Has become temporarily incapacitated from acting as a broker or sales associate with safety to investors or those in a fiduciary relation with her or him because of drunkenness, use of drugs, or temporary mental derangement; but suspension of a license in such a case shall be only for the period of such incapacity.
(j) Has rendered an opinion that the title to any property sold is good or merchantable, except when correctly based upon a current opinion of a licensed attorney at law, or has failed to advise a prospective purchaser to consult her or his attorney on the merchantability of the title or to obtain title insurance.
(k) 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. The commission shall establish rules to provide for records to be maintained by the broker and the manner in which such deposits shall be made. A broker may place and maintain up to $5,000 of personal or brokerage funds in the broker’s property management escrow account and up to $1,000 of personal or brokerage funds in the broker’s sales escrow account. A broker shall be provided a reasonable amount of time to correct escrow errors if there is no shortage of funds and such errors pose no significant threat to economically harm the public. It is the intent of the Legislature that, in the event of legal proceedings concerning a broker’s escrow account, the disbursement of escrowed funds not be delayed due to any dispute over the personal or brokerage funds that may be present in the escrow account.
(l) Has made or filed a report or record which the licensee knows to be false, has willfully failed to file a report or record required by state or federal law, has willfully impeded or obstructed such filing, or has induced another person to impede or obstruct such filing; but such reports or records shall include only those which are signed in the capacity of a licensed broker or sales associate.
(m) Has obtained a license by means of fraud, misrepresentation, or concealment.
(n) Is confined in any county jail, postadjudication; is confined in any state or federal prison or mental institution; is under home confinement ordered in lieu of institutional confinement; or, through mental disease or deterioration, can no longer safely be entrusted to competently deal with the public.
(o) Has been found guilty, for a second time, of any misconduct that warrants her or his suspension or has been found guilty of a course of conduct or practices which show that she or he is so incompetent, negligent, dishonest, or untruthful that the money, property, transactions, and rights of investors, or those with whom she or he may sustain a confidential relation, may not safely be entrusted to her or him.
(p) Has failed to inform the commission in writing within 30 days after pleading guilty or nolo contendere to, or being convicted or found guilty of, any felony.
(q) Has violated any provision of s. 475.2755 or s. 475.278, including the duties owed under those sections.
(r) Has failed in any written listing agreement to include a definite expiration date, description of the property, price and terms, fee or commission, and a proper signature of the principal(s); and has failed to give the principal(s) a legible, signed, true and correct copy of the listing agreement within 24 hours of obtaining the written listing agreement. The written listing agreement shall contain no provision requiring the person signing the listing to notify the broker of the intention to cancel the listing after such definite expiration date.
(s) Has had a registration suspended, revoked, or otherwise acted against in any jurisdiction. The record of the disciplinary action 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 disciplinary action.
(t) Has violated any standard of professional practice adopted by rule of the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board, including standards for the development or communication of a real estate appraisal, as approved and adopted by the Appraisal Standards Board of the Appraisal Foundation, as defined in s. 475.611. This paragraph does not apply to a real estate broker or sales associate who, in the ordinary course of business, performs a comparative market analysis, gives a broker price opinion, or gives an opinion of value of real estate. However, in no event may this comparative market analysis, broker price opinion, or opinion of value of real estate be referred to as an appraisal, as defined in s. 475.611.
(u) 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.
(v) Has failed, if a broker, to review the brokerage’s trust accounting procedures in order to ensure compliance with this chapter.
(2) A license may be revoked or canceled if it was issued through the mistake or inadvertence of the commission. Such revocation or cancellation shall not prejudice any subsequent application for licensure filed by the person against whom such action was taken.
(3) The department shall reissue the license of a licensee against whom disciplinary action was taken upon certification by the commission that the licensee has complied with all of the terms and conditions of the final order imposing discipline.
(4) The commission may adopt rules allowing the director of the Division of Real Estate to grant to a licensee placed on probation additional time within which to complete the terms of probation, but the rules must allow the licensee to appeal any denial to the commission.
(5) An administrative complaint against a broker, broker associate, or sales associate shall be filed within 5 years after the time of the act giving rise to the complaint or within 5 years after the time the act is discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence.
(6) The department or commission shall promptly notify a licensee’s broker or employer, as defined in this part, in writing, when a formal complaint is filed against the licensee alleging violations of this chapter or chapter 455. The department shall not issue a notification to the broker or employer until 10 days after a finding of probable cause has been found to exist by the probable cause panel or by the department, or until the licensee waives his or her privilege of confidentiality under s. 455.225, whichever occurs first.
(7) The commission shall promptly report to the proper prosecuting authority any criminal violation of any statute relating to the practice of a real estate profession regulated by the commission.
History.s. 26, ch. 12223, 1927; CGL 4087; s. 3, ch. 24090, 1947; s. 11, ch. 25035, 1949; s. 10, ch. 26484, 1951; s. 5, ch. 29983, 1955; s. 1, ch. 61-108; ss. 1, 2, ch. 70-421; s. 3, ch. 75-112; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 1, ch. 78-117; s. 9, ch. 78-366; ss. 19, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 21, 38, ch. 82-1; ss. 21, 45, ch. 82-179; s. 61, ch. 83-329; ss. 13, 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 2, ch. 89-76; s. 15, ch. 90-228; s. 15, ch. 90-341; s. 18, ch. 90-345; s. 5, ch. 91-89; s. 5, ch. 91-289; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 147, ch. 92-149; ss. 10, 141, ch. 94-119; s. 3, ch. 94-337; s. 2, ch. 97-42; s. 373, ch. 97-103; s. 2, ch. 98-116; s. 123, ch. 98-166; s. 6, ch. 98-250; s. 4, ch. 99-384; s. 183, ch. 2000-160; s. 1, ch. 2000-198; s. 1, ch. 2001-274; s. 34, ch. 2003-164; s. 4, ch. 2006-210; s. 56, ch. 2009-195; s. 47, ch. 2010-106; s. 10, ch. 2012-61.
475.255 Determination of agency or transactional brokerage relationship.Without consideration of the related facts and circumstances, the mere payment or promise to pay compensation to a licensee does not determine whether an agency or transactional brokerage relationship exists between the licensee and a seller, landlord, buyer, or tenant.
History.s. 142, ch. 94-119.
475.2701 Short title.Sections 475.2701-475.2801 may be cited as the “Brokerage Relationship Disclosure Act.”
History.s. 3, ch. 97-42.
475.272 Purpose.In order to eliminate confusion and provide for a better understanding on the part of customers in real estate transactions, the Legislature finds that the intent of the Brokerage Relationship Disclosure Act is to provide that:
(1) Disclosed dual agency as an authorized form of representation by a real estate licensee in this state is expressly revoked;
(2) Disclosure requirements for real estate licensees relating to authorized forms of brokerage representation are established;
(3) Single agents may represent either a buyer or a seller, but not both, in a real estate transaction; and
(4) Transaction brokers provide a limited form of nonfiduciary representation to a buyer, a seller, or both in a real estate transaction.
History.s. 3, ch. 97-42; s. 8, ch. 98-250; s. 5, ch. 99-384.
475.274 Scope of coverage.The authorized brokerage relationships described in ss. 475.2755 and 475.278 apply in all brokerage activities as defined in s. 475.01(1)(a). The disclosure requirements of s. 475.278 apply only to residential sales as defined in s. 475.278(5)(a).
History.s. 3, ch. 97-42; s. 9, ch. 98-250; s. 6, ch. 99-384.
475.2755 Designated sales associate.
(1) For purposes of this part, in any real estate transaction other than a residential sale as defined in s. 475.278(5)(a), and where the buyer and seller have assets of $1 million or more, the broker at the request of the customers may designate sales associates to act as single agents for different customers in the same transaction. Such designated sales associates shall have the duties of a single agent as outlined in s. 475.278(3), including disclosure requirements in s. 475.278(3)(b) and (c). In addition to disclosure requirements in s. 475.278(3)(b) and (c), the buyer and seller as customers shall both sign disclosures stating that their assets meet the threshold described in this subsection and requesting that the broker use the designated sales associate form of representation. In lieu of the transition disclosure requirement in s. 475.278(3)(c)2., the required disclosure notice shall include the following:

FLORIDA LAW PROHIBITS A DESIGNATED SALES ASSOCIATE FROM DISCLOSING, EXCEPT TO THE BROKER OR PERSONS SPECIFIED BY THE BROKER, INFORMATION MADE CONFIDENTIAL BY REQUEST OR AT THE INSTRUCTION OF THE CUSTOMER THE DESIGNATED SALES ASSOCIATE IS REPRESENTING. HOWEVER, FLORIDA LAW ALLOWS A DESIGNATED SALES ASSOCIATE TO DISCLOSE INFORMATION ALLOWED TO BE DISCLOSED OR REQUIRED TO BE DISCLOSED BY LAW AND ALSO ALLOWS A DESIGNATED SALES ASSOCIATE TO DISCLOSE TO HIS OR HER BROKER, OR PERSONS SPECIFIED BY THE BROKER, CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION OF A CUSTOMER FOR THE PURPOSE OF SEEKING ADVICE OR ASSISTANCE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE CUSTOMER IN REGARD TO A TRANSACTION. FLORIDA LAW REQUIRES THAT THE BROKER MUST HOLD THIS INFORMATION CONFIDENTIAL AND MAY NOT USE SUCH INFORMATION TO THE DETRIMENT OF THE OTHER PARTY.

(2) For purposes of this section, the term “buyer” means a transferee or lessee in a real property transaction, and the term “seller” means the transferor or lessor in a real property transaction.
History.s. 10, ch. 98-250; s. 7, ch. 99-384; s. 35, ch. 2003-164.
475.278 Authorized brokerage relationships; presumption of transaction brokerage; required disclosures.
(1) BROKERAGE RELATIONSHIPS.
(a) Authorized brokerage relationships.A real estate licensee in this state may enter into a brokerage relationship as either a transaction broker or as a single agent with potential buyers and sellers. A real estate licensee may not operate as a disclosed or nondisclosed dual agent. As used in this section, the term “dual agent” means a broker who represents as a fiduciary both the prospective buyer and the prospective seller in a real estate transaction. This part does not prevent a licensee from changing from one brokerage relationship to the other as long as the buyer or the seller, or both, gives consent as required by subparagraph (3)(c)2. before the change and the appropriate disclosure of duties as provided in this part is made to the buyer or seller. This part does not require a customer to enter into a brokerage relationship with any real estate licensee.
(b) Presumption of transaction brokerage.It shall be presumed that all licensees are operating as transaction brokers unless a single agent or no brokerage relationship is established, in writing, with a customer.
(2) TRANSACTION BROKER RELATIONSHIP.A transaction broker provides a limited form of representation to a buyer, a seller, or both in a real estate transaction but does not represent either in a fiduciary capacity or as a single agent. The duties of the real estate licensee in this limited form of representation include the following:
(a) Dealing honestly and fairly;
(b) Accounting for all funds;
(c) Using skill, care, and diligence in the transaction;
(d) Disclosing all known facts that materially affect the value of residential real property and are not readily observable to the buyer;
(e) Presenting all offers and counteroffers in a timely manner, unless a party has previously directed the licensee otherwise in writing;
(f) Limited confidentiality, unless waived in writing by a party. This limited confidentiality will prevent disclosure that the seller will accept a price less than the asking or listed price, that the buyer will pay a price greater than the price submitted in a written offer, of the motivation of any party for selling or buying property, that a seller or buyer will agree to financing terms other than those offered, or of any other information requested by a party to remain confidential; and
(g) Any additional duties that are mutually agreed to with a party.
(3) SINGLE AGENT RELATIONSHIP.
(a) Single agent; duties.The duties of a real estate licensee owed to a buyer or seller who engages the real estate licensee as a single agent include the following:
1. Dealing honestly and fairly;
2. Loyalty;
3. Confidentiality;
4. Obedience;
5. Full disclosure;
6. Accounting for all funds;
7. Skill, care, and diligence in the transaction;
8. Presenting all offers and counteroffers in a timely manner, unless a party has previously directed the licensee otherwise in writing; and
9. Disclosing all known facts that materially affect the value of residential real property and are not readily observable.
(b) Disclosure requirements.
1. Single agent disclosure.Duties of a single agent must be fully described and disclosed in writing to a buyer or seller either as a separate and distinct disclosure document or included as part of another document such as a listing agreement or other agreement for representation. The disclosure must be made before, or at the time of, entering into a listing agreement or an agreement for representation or before the showing of property, whichever occurs first. When incorporated into other documents, the required notice must be of the same size type, or larger, as other provisions of the document and must be conspicuous in its placement so as to advise customers of the duties of a single agent, except that the first sentence of the information identified in paragraph (c) must be printed in uppercase and bold type.
2. Transition to transaction broker disclosure.A single agent relationship may be changed to a transaction broker relationship at any time during the relationship between an agent and principal, provided the agent first obtains the principal’s written consent to the change in relationship. This disclosure must be in writing to the principal either as a separate and distinct document or included as part of other documents such as a listing agreement or other agreements for representation. When incorporated into other documents, the required notice must be of the same size type, or larger, as other provisions of the document and must be conspicuous in its placement so as to advise customers of the duties of limited representation, except that the first sentence of the information identified in subparagraph (c)2. must be printed in uppercase and bold type.
(c) Contents of disclosure.
1. Single agent duties disclosure.The notice required under subparagraph (b)1. must include the following information in the following form:

SINGLE AGENT NOTICE

FLORIDA LAW REQUIRES THAT REAL ESTATE LICENSEES OPERATING AS SINGLE AGENTS DISCLOSE TO BUYERS AND SELLERS THEIR DUTIES.

As a single agent,   (insert name of Real Estate Entity and its Associates)   owe to you the following duties:

1. Dealing honestly and fairly;

2. Loyalty;

3. Confidentiality;

4. Obedience;

5. Full disclosure;

6. Accounting for all funds;

7. Skill, care, and diligence in the transaction;

8. Presenting all offers and counteroffers in a timely manner, unless a party has previously directed the licensee otherwise in writing; and

9. Disclosing all known facts that materially affect the value of residential real property and are not readily observable.

   
Date
      
Signature
2. Transition disclosure.To gain the principal’s written consent to a change in relationship, a licensee must use the following disclosure:

CONSENT TO TRANSITION TO
TRANSACTION BROKER

FLORIDA LAW ALLOWS REAL ESTATE LICENSEES WHO REPRESENT A BUYER OR SELLER AS A SINGLE AGENT TO CHANGE FROM A SINGLE AGENT RELATIONSHIP TO A TRANSACTION BROKERAGE RELATIONSHIP IN ORDER FOR THE LICENSEE TO ASSIST BOTH PARTIES IN A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION BY PROVIDING A LIMITED FORM OF REPRESENTATION TO BOTH THE BUYER AND THE SELLER. THIS CHANGE IN RELATIONSHIP CANNOT OCCUR WITHOUT YOUR PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT.

As a transaction broker,   (insert name of Real Estate Firm and its Associates)  , provides to you a limited form of representation that includes the following duties:

1. Dealing honestly and fairly;

2. Accounting for all funds;

3. Using skill, care, and diligence in the transaction;

4. Disclosing all known facts that materially affect the value of residential real property and are not readily observable to the buyer;

5. Presenting all offers and counteroffers in a timely manner, unless a party has previously directed the licensee otherwise in writing;

6. Limited confidentiality, unless waived in writing by a party. This limited confidentiality will prevent disclosure that the seller will accept a price less than the asking or listed price, that the buyer will pay a price greater than the price submitted in a written offer, of the motivation of any party for selling or buying property, that a seller or buyer will agree to financing terms other than those offered, or of any other information requested by a party to remain confidential; and

7. Any additional duties that are entered into by this or by separate written agreement.

Limited representation means that a buyer or seller is not responsible for the acts of the licensee. Additionally, parties are giving up their rights to the undivided loyalty of the licensee. This aspect of limited representation allows a licensee to facilitate a real estate transaction by assisting both the buyer and the seller, but a licensee will not work to represent one party to the detriment of the other party when acting as a transaction broker to both parties.

    I agree that my agent may assume the role and duties of a transaction broker. [must be initialed or signed]

(4) NO BROKERAGE RELATIONSHIP.
(a) No brokerage relationship; duties.A real estate licensee owes to a potential seller or buyer with whom the licensee has no brokerage relationship the following duties:
1. Dealing honestly and fairly;
2. Disclosing all known facts that materially affect the value of the residential real property which are not readily observable to the buyer; and
3. Accounting for all funds entrusted to the licensee.
(b) Disclosure requirements.Duties of a licensee who has no brokerage relationship with a buyer or seller must be fully described and disclosed in writing to the buyer or seller. The disclosure must be made before the showing of property. When incorporated into other documents, the required notice must be of the same size type, or larger, as other provisions of the document and must be conspicuous in its placement so as to advise customers of the duties of a licensee that has no brokerage relationship with a buyer or seller, except that the first sentence of the information identified in paragraph (c) must be printed in uppercase bold type.
(c) Contents of disclosure.The notice required under paragraph (b) must include the following information in the following form:

NO BROKERAGE RELATIONSHIP NOTICE

FLORIDA LAW REQUIRES THAT REAL ESTATE LICENSEES WHO HAVE NO BROKERAGE RELATIONSHIP WITH A POTENTIAL SELLER OR BUYER DISCLOSE THEIR DUTIES TO SELLERS AND BUYERS.

As a real estate licensee who has no brokerage relationship with you,   (insert name of Real Estate Entity and its Associates)   owe to you the following duties:

1. Dealing honestly and fairly;

2. Disclosing all known facts that materially affect the value of residential real property which are not readily observable to the buyer.

3. Accounting for all funds entrusted to the licensee.

  (Date)         (Signature)  

(5) APPLICABILITY.
(a) Residential sales.The real estate licensee disclosure requirements of this section apply to all residential sales. As used in this subsection, the term “residential sale” means the sale of improved residential property of four units or fewer, the sale of unimproved residential property intended for use of four units or fewer, or the sale of agricultural property of 10 acres or fewer.
(b) Disclosure limitations.
1. The real estate disclosure requirements of this section do not apply when a licensee knows that the potential seller or buyer is represented by a single agent or a transaction broker; or when an owner is selling new residential units built by the owner and the circumstances or setting should reasonably inform the potential buyer that the owner’s employee or single agent is acting on behalf of the owner, whether because of the location of the sales office or because of office signage or placards or identification badges worn by the owner’s employee or single agent.
2. The real estate licensee disclosure requirements of this section do not apply to: nonresidential transactions; the rental or leasing of real property, unless an option to purchase all or a portion of the property improved with four or fewer residential units is given; a bona fide “open house” or model home showing that does not involve eliciting confidential information, the execution of a contractual offer or an agreement for representation, or negotiations concerning price, terms, or conditions of a potential sale; unanticipated casual conversations between a licensee and a seller or buyer which do not involve eliciting confidential information, the execution of a contractual offer or agreement for representation, or negotiations concerning price, terms, or conditions of a potential sale; responding to general factual questions from a potential buyer or seller concerning properties that have been advertised for sale; situations in which a licensee’s communications with a potential buyer or seller are limited to providing general factual information, oral or written, about the qualifications, background, and services of the licensee or the licensee’s brokerage firm; auctions; appraisals; and dispositions of any interest in business enterprises or business opportunities, except for property with four or fewer residential units.
History.s. 3, ch. 97-42; s. 12, ch. 98-250; s. 9, ch. 99-384; s. 2, ch. 2000-198; s. 36, ch. 2003-164; s. 79, ch. 2004-5; s. 5, ch. 2006-210; s. 13, ch. 2009-20.
475.279 Residential loan alternative agreements for the disposition of residential real property.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Disposition” means a transfer or voluntary conveyance of the title or other ownership interest in residential real property.
(b) “Residential loan alternative agreement” means a signed writing or a signed and written legal instrument or contract between a person and a seller or an owner of residential real property which:
1. Grants an exclusive right to a person to act as a broker for the disposition of the property;
2. Has an effective duration, inclusive of renewals, of more than 2 years; and
3. Requires the person to pay monetary compensation to the seller or owner.
(c) “Residential real property” means improved residential property of four or fewer residential dwelling units or unimproved residential real property on which four or fewer residential dwelling units may be built.
(2) A residential loan alternative agreement may not authorize a person to place a lien on or otherwise encumber any residential real property. A residential loan alternative agreement may not constitute a lien, an encumbrance, or a security interest in the residential real property. A court may not enforce a residential loan alternative agreement by a lien or constructive trust in the residential real property or upon the proceeds of the disposition of the residential real property.
(3) A residential loan alternative agreement may not be assigned.
(4) A residential loan alternative agreement is void if listing services do not begin within 90 days after the execution of the agreement by both parties.
(5) A residential loan alternative agreement may not be recorded by the clerk of the circuit court.
(6) A residential loan alternative agreement must meet all of the requirements of this section or it is unenforceable in law or equity.
(7) Notwithstanding s. 501.212, a violation of this section is deemed an unfair or deceptive trade practice within the meaning of part II of chapter 501, and a person who violates this section is subject to the penalties and remedies provided therein.
History.s. 1, ch. 2023-117.
475.28 Rules of evidence.
(1) In all proceedings before the commission or the courts, civil or criminal, in which the payment, receipt, or expectation of a commission, compensation, or a valuable consideration is a necessary element of the offense, proof of the performance of the act, service, or condition for which such commission, compensation, or valuable consideration is required to be shown shall be prima facie evidence that such act, service, or condition was performed or existed for or in expectation of the payment or receipt of a commission, compensation, or a valuable consideration. If it is material to determine whether or not a party to any action, civil or criminal, is properly licensed, the burden of proof shall be on such party.
(2) Photostatic copies of any papers or documents may be introduced in lieu of the originals in any proceeding or prosecution under this chapter. The books of account and records of any person shall be admissible upon a showing that they were made in the regular course of business, without introducing the person who made the entries, the weight of such evidence to be decided by the court or commission.
History.s. 30, ch. 12223, 1927; CGL 4091; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 48, ch. 78-95; ss. 20, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 22, 38, ch. 82-1; ss. 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
475.2801 Rules.The commission may adopt rules establishing disciplinary guidelines, notices of noncompliance, and citations for violations of ss. 475.2755 and 475.278.
History.s. 3, ch. 97-42; s. 14, ch. 98-250; s. 10, ch. 99-384.
475.31 Final orders.
(1) An order revoking or suspending the license of a broker shall automatically cause the licenses of all sales associates and broker associates registered with the broker, and, if a partnership or corporation, of all members, officers, and directors thereof to become involuntarily inactive, while the license of the broker is inoperative or until new employment or connection is secured.
(2) The commission may publish and distribute in such manner and form as it may prescribe any of its final orders or decisions made under this chapter, after they become final by lapse of time or upon affirmance on appeal, or opinions of appellate courts for the guidance of registrants and the public; and it may publish or withhold from publication the names and addresses of any parties concerned. This subsection shall not be construed to affect the operation of chapter 119.
History.s. 33, ch. 12223, 1927; CGL 4094; s. 2, ch. 22861, 1945; s. 8, ch. 24090, 1947; s. 11, ch. 25035, 1949; s. 3, ch. 59-197; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 3, ch. 77-355; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 48, ch. 78-95; ss. 21, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 23, 38, ch. 82-1; ss. 14, 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 10, ch. 91-89; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 11, ch. 93-261; s. 37, ch. 2003-164.
475.37 Effect of reversal of order of court or commission.If the order of the court or commission denying a license or taking any disciplinary action against a licensee is finally reversed and set aside, the defendant shall be restored to her or his rights and privileges as a broker or sales associate as of the date of filing the mandate or a copy thereof with the commission. The matters and things alleged in the information shall not thereafter be reexamined in any other proceeding concerning the licensure of the defendant. If the inquiry concerned was in reference to an application for licensure, the application shall stand approved, and such application shall be remanded for further proceedings according to law.
History.s. 40, ch. 12223, 1927; CGL 4101; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 22, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 24, 38, ch. 82-1; ss. 15, 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 10, ch. 91-89; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 12, ch. 93-261; s. 374, ch. 97-103; s. 38, ch. 2003-164.
475.38 Payment of costs.The commission shall not be required to advance any fees or costs to any officer or witness, or to execute any bond in any proceeding in the courts, any general statute to the contrary notwithstanding, but in every case in which the commission is liable for any fees or costs, a voucher therefor shall be presented to the commission and, if approved, shall be audited and paid as are other expenses of the commission.
History.s. 41, ch. 12223, 1927; CGL 4102; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 23, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 25, 38, ch. 82-1; ss. 16, 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 4, ch. 91-429.
475.41 Contracts of unlicensed person for commissions invalid.No contract for a commission or compensation for any act or service enumerated in s. 475.01(3) is valid unless the broker or sales associate has complied with this chapter in regard to issuance and renewal of the license at the time the act or service was performed.
History.s. 44, ch. 12223, 1927; CGL 4105; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 24, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 10, ch. 91-89; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 13, ch. 93-261; s. 39, ch. 2003-164.
475.42 Violations and penalties.
(1) VIOLATIONS.
(a) A person may not operate as a broker or sales associate without being the holder of a valid and current active license therefor. Any person who violates this paragraph commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, or, if a corporation, as provided in s. 775.083.
(b) A person licensed as a sales associate may not operate as a broker or operate as a sales associate for any person not registered as her or his employer.
(c) A broker may not employ, or continue in employment, any person as a sales associate who is not the holder of a valid and current license as sales associate; but a license as sales associate may be issued to a person licensed as an active broker, upon request and surrender of the license as broker, without a fee in addition to that paid for the issuance of the broker’s active license.
(d) A sales associate may not collect any money in connection with any real estate brokerage transaction, whether as a commission, deposit, payment, rental, or otherwise, except in the name of the employer and with the express consent of the employer; and no real estate sales associate, whether the holder of a valid and current license or not, shall commence or maintain any action for a commission or compensation in connection with a real estate brokerage transaction against any person except a person registered as her or his employer at the time the sales associate performed the act or rendered the service for which the commission or compensation is due.
(e) A person may not commit any conduct or practice set forth in s. 475.25(1)(b), (c), (d), or (h).
(f) A person may not make any false affidavit or affirmation intended for use as evidence by or before the commission or a member thereof, or by any of its authorized representatives, nor may any person give false testimony under oath or affirmation to or before the commission or any member thereof in any proceeding authorized by this chapter.
(g) A person may not fail or refuse to appear at the time and place designated in a subpoena issued with respect to a violation of this chapter, unless because of facts that are sufficient to excuse appearance in response to a subpoena from the circuit court; nor may a person who is present before the commission or a member thereof or one of its authorized representatives acting under authority of this chapter refuse to be sworn or to affirm or fail or refuse to answer fully any question propounded by the commission, the member, or such representative, or by any person by the authority of such officer or appointee; nor may any person, so being present, conduct herself or himself in a disorderly, disrespectful, or contumacious manner.
(h) A person may not obstruct or hinder in any manner the enforcement of this chapter or the performance of any lawful duty by any person acting under the authority of this chapter or interfere with, intimidate, or offer any bribe to any member of the commission or any of its employees or any person who is, or is expected to be, a witness in any investigation or proceeding relating to a violation of this chapter.
(i) A broker or sales associate may not place, or cause to be placed, upon the public records of any county, any contract, assignment, deed, will, mortgage, affidavit, or other writing which purports to affect the title of, or encumber, any real property if the same is known to her or him to be false, void, or not authorized to be placed of record, or not executed in the form entitling it to be recorded, or the execution or recording whereof has not been authorized by the owner of the property, maliciously or for the purpose of collecting a commission, or to coerce the payment of money to the broker or sales associate or other person, or for any unlawful purpose. However, nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prohibit a broker or a sales associate from recording a judgment rendered by a court of this state or to prohibit a broker from placing a lien on a property where expressly permitted by contractual agreement or otherwise allowed by law.
(j) A person may not operate as a broker under a trade name without causing the trade name to be noted in the records of the commission and placed on the person’s license, or so operate as a member of a partnership or as a corporation or as an officer or manager thereof, unless such partnership or corporation is the holder of a valid current registration.
(k) A person may not knowingly conceal any information relating to violations of this chapter.
(l) A person may not undertake to list or sell one or more timeshare periods per year in one or more timeshare plans on behalf of any number of persons without first being the holder of a valid and current license as a broker or sales associate pursuant to this chapter, except as provided in s. 475.011 and chapter 721.
(m) A broker or sales associate may not enter into any listing or other agreement regarding her or his services in connection with the resale of a timeshare period unless the broker or sales associate fully and fairly discloses all material aspects of the agreement to the owner of the timeshare period. Further, a broker or sales associate may not use any form of contract or purchase and sale agreement in connection with the resale of a timeshare period unless the contract or purchase and sale agreement fully and fairly discloses all material aspects of the timeshare plan and the rights and obligations of both buyer and seller. The commission is authorized to adopt rules pursuant to chapter 120 as necessary to implement, enforce, and interpret this paragraph.
(n) A person may not disseminate or cause to be disseminated by any means any false or misleading information for the purpose of offering for sale, or for the purpose of causing or inducing any other person to purchase, lease, or rent, real estate located in the state or for the purpose of causing or inducing any other person to acquire an interest in the title to real estate located in the state.
(2) PENALTIES.Any person who violates any of the provisions of subsection (1) is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, or, if a corporation, it is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.083, except when a different punishment is prescribed by this chapter. Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the prosecution under any other criminal statute of this state of any person for an act or conduct prohibited by this section; however, in such cases, the state may prosecute under this section or under such other statute, or may charge both offenses in one prosecution, but the sentence imposed shall not be a greater fine or longer sentence than that prescribed for the offense which carries the more severe penalties. A civil case, criminal case, or a denial, revocation, or suspension proceeding may arise out of the same alleged state of facts, and the pendency or result of one such case or proceeding shall not stay or control the result of either of the others.
History.s. 45, ch. 12223, 1927; CGL 8134; s. 11, ch. 24090, 1947; s. 11, ch. 25035, 1949; s. 10, ch. 26484, 1951; s. 22, ch. 63-129; s. 418, ch. 71-136; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 48, ch. 78-95; ss. 25, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 26, 38, ch. 82-1; ss. 22, 45, ch. 82-179; s. 1, ch. 85-90; s. 1, ch. 85-101; ss. 17, 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 3, ch. 89-76; s. 3, ch. 89-368; s. 16, ch. 90-228; s. 16, ch. 90-341; s. 19, ch. 90-345; ss. 6, 10, ch. 91-89; s. 254, ch. 91-224; s. 7, ch. 91-289; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 14, ch. 93-261; s. 375, ch. 97-103; s. 40, ch. 2003-164; s. 3, ch. 2005-275; s. 6, ch. 2006-210; s. 11, ch. 2012-61.
475.43 Presumptions.In all criminal cases, contempt cases, and other cases filed pursuant to this chapter, if a party has sold, leased, or let real estate, the title to which was not in the party when it was offered for sale, lease, or letting, or such party has maintained an office bearing signs that real estate is for sale, lease, or rental thereat, or has advertised real estate for sale, lease, or rental, generally, or describing property, the title to which was not in such party at the time, it shall be a presumption that such party was acting or attempting to act as a real estate broker, and the burden of proof shall be upon him or her to show that he or she was not acting or attempting to act as a broker or sales associate. All contracts, options, or other devices not based upon a substantial consideration, or that are otherwise employed to permit an unlicensed person to sell, lease, or let real estate, the beneficial title to which has not, in good faith, passed to such party for a substantial consideration, are hereby declared void and ineffective in all cases, suits, or proceedings had or taken under this chapter; however, this section shall not apply to irrevocable gifts, to unconditional contracts to purchase, or to options based upon a substantial consideration actually paid and not subject to any agreements to return or right of return reserved.
History.s. 3, ch. 22861, 1945; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 27, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 10, ch. 91-89; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 15, ch. 93-261; s. 376, ch. 97-103; s. 41, ch. 2003-164.
475.451 Schools teaching real estate practice.
(1) Each person, school, or institution, except approved and accredited colleges, universities, community colleges, and career centers in this state, which offers or conducts any course of study in real estate practice, teaches any course prescribed by the commission as a condition precedent to licensure or renewal of licensure as a broker or sales associate, or teaches any course designed or represented to enable or assist applicants for licensure as brokers or sales associates to pass examinations for such licensure shall, before commencing or continuing further to offer or conduct such course or courses, obtain a permit from the department and abide by the regulations imposed upon such person, school, or institution by this chapter and rules of the commission adopted pursuant to this chapter. The exemption for colleges, universities, community colleges, and career centers is limited to transferable college credit courses offered by such institutions.
(2) An applicant for a permit to operate a proprietary real estate school or to be an instructor for a proprietary real estate school or a state institution must meet the qualifications for practice set forth in s. 475.17(1) and the following minimal requirements:
(a) “School permitholder” means the individual who is responsible for directing the overall operation of a proprietary real estate school. A school permitholder must be the holder of a license as a broker, either active or voluntarily inactive, or must have passed an instructor’s examination approved by the commission. A school permitholder must also meet the requirements of a school instructor if actively engaged in teaching.
(b) “School instructor” means an individual who instructs persons in the classroom in noncredit college courses in a college, university, or community college or courses in a career center or proprietary real estate school.
1. Before commencing to provide such instruction, the applicant must certify the applicant’s competency and obtain an instructor permit by meeting one of the following requirements:
a. Hold a bachelor’s degree in a business-related subject, such as real estate, finance, accounting, business administration, or its equivalent and hold a valid broker’s license in this state.
b. Hold a bachelor’s degree, have extensive real estate experience, as defined by rule, and hold a valid broker’s license in this state.
c. Pass an instructor’s examination approved by the commission.
2. Any requirement by the commission for a teaching demonstration or practical examination must apply to all school instructor applicants.
3. The department shall renew an instructor permit upon receipt of a renewal application and fee. The renewal application shall include proof that the permitholder has, since the issuance or renewal of the current permit, successfully completed a minimum of 7 classroom or distance learning hours of instruction in real estate subjects or instructional techniques, as prescribed by the commission. The commission shall adopt rules providing for the renewal of instructor permits at least every 2 years. A permit that is not renewed at the end of the permit period established by the department automatically reverts to involuntarily inactive status.

The department may require an applicant to submit names of persons having knowledge concerning the applicant and the enterprise; may propound interrogatories to such persons and to the applicant concerning the character of the applicant, including the taking of fingerprints for processing through the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and shall make such investigation of the applicant or the school or institution as it may deem necessary to the granting of the permit. If an objection is filed, it shall be considered in the same manner as objections or administrative complaints against other applicants for licensure by the department.

(3) It is unlawful for any person, school, or institution to offer the courses described in subsection (1) or to conduct classes in such courses, regardless of the number of pupils, whether by correspondence or otherwise, without first procuring a permit, or to guarantee that its pupils will pass any examinations required for licensure, or to represent that the issuance of a permit is any recommendation or endorsement of the person, school, or institution to which it is issued or of any course of instruction given thereunder.
(4) Any person who violates this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(5) The location of classes and frequency of class meetings and the provision of distance learning courses shall be in the discretion of the school offering real estate courses, so long as such courses conform to s. 475.17(2).
(6) Any course prescribed by the commission as a condition precedent to a person’s becoming initially licensed as a sales associate or broker may be taught by a real estate school in a classroom or via distance learning pursuant to s. 475.17(2) by a currently permitted instructor from any such school. All other prescribed courses, except the continuing education course required by s. 475.182, shall be taught by a currently permitted school instructor personally in attendance at such course or by distance learning pursuant to s. 475.17. The continuing education course required by s. 475.182 may be taught by distance learning pursuant to s. 475.17 or by an equivalent correspondence course; however, any such correspondence course shall be required to have a final examination, prepared and administered by the school or course provider issuing the correspondence course. The continuing education requirements provided in this chapter do not apply to an attorney who is otherwise qualified under this chapter and who is a member in good standing of The Florida Bar.
(7) A permitholder under this section may be issued additional permits whenever it is clearly shown that the requested additional permits are necessary to the conduct of the business of a real estate school and that the additional permits will not be used in a manner likely to be prejudicial to any person, including a licensee or a permitholder under this chapter.
(8) Each person, school, or institution permitted under this section is required to keep registration records, course rosters, attendance records, a file copy of each examination and progress test, and all student answer sheets for a period of at least 3 years subsequent to the beginning of each course and make them available to the department for inspection and copying upon request.
(9) A real estate school may offer any course through distance learning if the course complies with 1s. 475.17.
History.s. 1, ch. 57-817; s. 420, ch. 71-136; s. 3, ch. 76-168; ss. 3, 4, ch. 77-238; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 48, ch. 78-95; ss. 1, 3, ch. 78-244; s. 10, ch. 78-366; s. 129, ch. 79-164; ss. 28, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 1, 3, ch. 80-51; ss. 22, 24, ch. 81-302; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 27, 38, ch. 82-1; ss. 20, 23, 45, ch. 82-179; s. 95, ch. 83-218; s. 3, ch. 83-265; s. 62, ch. 83-329; ss. 18, 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 17, ch. 90-228; s. 17, ch. 90-341; s. 20, ch. 90-345; ss. 7, 10, ch. 91-89; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 16, ch. 93-261; s. 377, ch. 97-103; s. 15, ch. 98-250; s. 3, ch. 2002-9; s. 42, ch. 2003-164; s. 52, ch. 2004-357; s. 7, ch. 2006-210; s. 27, ch. 2008-240; s. 17, ch. 2009-195; s. 12, ch. 2012-61; s. 8, ch. 2012-72; s. 11, ch. 2012-208; s. 1, ch. 2017-30; s. 65, ch. 2018-110.
1Note.As amended by s. 12, ch. 2012-61. The amendment by s. 8, ch. 2012-72, cited “s. 475.17(2)” instead of “s. 475.17.”
475.4511 Advertising by real estate schools.
(1) No person representing a real estate school offering and teaching real estate courses under this chapter shall make, cause to be made, or approve any statement, representation, or act, oral, written, or visual, in connection with the operation of the school, its affiliations with individuals or entities of courses offered, or any endorsement of such, if such person knows or believes, or reasonably should know or believe, the statement, representation, or act to be false, inaccurate, misleading, or exaggerated.
(2) A school shall not use advertising of any nature which is false, inaccurate, misleading, or exaggerated. Publicity and advertising of a real estate school, or of its representative, shall be based upon relevant facts and supported by evidence establishing their truth.
(3) No representative of any school or institution coming within the provisions of this chapter shall promise or guarantee employment or placement of any student or prospective student using information, training, or skill purported to be provided, or otherwise enhanced, by a course or school as an inducement to enroll in the school, unless such person offers the student or prospective student a bona fide contract of employment agreeing to employ the student or prospective student.
History.s. 2, ch. 78-244; ss. 29, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 80-51; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 28, 38, ch. 82-1; ss. 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 43, ch. 2003-164.
475.453 Rental information; contract or receipt; refund; penalty.
(1) Each broker or sales associate who furnishes a rental information list to a prospective tenant, for a fee paid by the prospective tenant, shall provide such prospective tenant with a contract or receipt, which contract or receipt contains a provision for the repayment of any amount over 25 percent of the fee to the prospective tenant if the prospective tenant does not obtain a rental. If the rental information list provided by the broker or sales associate to a prospective tenant is not current or accurate in any material respect, the full fee shall be repaid to the prospective tenant upon demand. A demand from the prospective tenant for the return of the fee, or any part thereof, shall be made within 30 days following the day on which the real estate broker or sales associate has contracted to perform services to the prospective tenant. The contract or receipt shall also conform to the guidelines adopted by the commission in order to effect disclosure of material information regarding the service to be provided to the prospective tenant.
(2) The commission may adopt a guideline for the form of the contract or receipt required to be provided by brokers or sales associates pursuant to the provisions of subsection (1).
(3)(a) Any person who violates any provision of subsection (1) is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(b) In addition to the penalty prescribed in paragraph (a), the license of any broker or sales associate who participates in any rental information transaction which is in violation of the provisions of subsection (1) shall be subject to suspension or revocation by the commission in the manner prescribed by law.
History.s. 1, ch. 78-214; ss. 31, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 30, 38, ch. 82-1; ss. 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 10, ch. 91-89; s. 108, ch. 91-224; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 17, ch. 93-261; s. 44, ch. 2003-164; s. 8, ch. 2006-210.
475.455 Exchange of disciplinary information.The commission shall inform the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation of any disciplinary action the commission has taken against any of its licensees. The division shall inform the commission of any disciplinary action the division has taken against any broker or sales associate registered with the division.
History.ss. 33, 42, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 32, 38, ch. 82-1; s. 2, ch. 85-60; ss. 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 10, ch. 91-89; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 18, ch. 93-261; s. 143, ch. 94-119; s. 162, ch. 94-218; s. 45, ch. 2003-164; s. 28, ch. 2008-240.
475.482 Real Estate Recovery Fund.There is created the Florida Real Estate Recovery Fund as a separate account in the Professional Regulation Trust Fund.
(1) The Florida Real Estate Recovery Fund shall be disbursed as provided in s. 475.484, on order of the commission, as reimbursement to any person, partnership, or corporation adjudged by a court of competent civil jurisdiction in this state to have suffered monetary damages by reason of any act committed, as a part of any real estate brokerage transaction involving real property in this state, by any broker or sales associate who:
(a) Was, at the time the alleged act was committed, the holder of a current, valid, active real estate license issued under this part;
(b) Was neither the seller, buyer, landlord, or tenant in the transaction nor an officer or a director of a corporation, a member of a partnership, a member of a limited liability company, or a partner of a limited liability partnership which was the seller, buyer, landlord, or tenant in the transaction; and
(c) Was acting solely in the capacity of a real estate licensee in the transaction;

provided the act was a violation proscribed in s. 475.25 or s. 475.42.

(2) The Real Estate Recovery Fund shall also be disbursed as provided in s. 475.484, on order of the commission, as reimbursement to any broker or sales associate who is required by a court of competent civil jurisdiction to pay monetary damages due to a distribution of escrow moneys which is made in compliance with an escrow disbursement order issued by the commission. However, in no case shall the fund be disbursed when the broker or sales associate fails to notify the commission and to diligently defend an action wherein the broker or sales associate may be required by a court of competent civil jurisdiction to pay monetary damages due to a distribution of escrow moneys which is made in compliance with an escrow disbursement order issued by the commission.
(3) A fee of $3.50 per year shall be added to the license fee for both new licenses and renewals of licenses for brokers, and a fee of $1.50 per year shall be added for new licenses and renewals of licenses for sales associates. This fee shall be in addition to the regular license fee and shall be deposited in or transferred to the Real Estate Recovery Fund. If the fund at any time exceeds $1 million, collection of special fees for this fund shall be discontinued at the end of the licensing renewal cycle. Such special fees shall not be reimposed unless the fund is reduced below $500,000 by disbursement made in accordance with this chapter.
(4) In addition, all moneys collected from fines imposed by the commission and collected by the department shall be transferred into the Real Estate Recovery Fund.
History.s. 1, ch. 76-74; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 34, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 3, 5, ch. 80-307; ss. 23, 24, ch. 81-302; ss. 2, 3, ch.