New 2015 Laws Affecting REALTORS®, Part Two

Team Names and Fictious Business Names This C.A.R. sponsored law provides that team names are now authorized for use under the California Business and Professions Code. The use of a team name does not require application to CalBRE for a separate license to be issued for that name. Additionally, sales agents may contract with their broker to file for and to maintain ownership of a fictitious business name, although registered with CalBRE under the name of the broker. Team Names The name is used by two or more real estate licensees The name includes a licensee’s surname in conjunction with the... Read more »

Brokers Do Not Have to Retain Texts and Tweets

New law clarifies what constitutes a “record.” Assembly Bill 2136, signed by the Governor July 9, 2014, and effective January 1, 2015, will help clarify a REALTOR’S® record retention obligations when it comes to electronic communications.  In their Spring 2013 Real Estate Bulletin, the Bureau of Real Estate set in motion a need for clarification when they took the position that “texts, emails, tweets, and the like” sent or received by a licensee during the negotiation for the sale or purchase of property must be maintained under the record retention requirements of Business and Professions... Read more »

Affordable Care Act and Small Employers

State law compliance delayed and real estate sales agent’s non-employee status confirmed Two recent events may have an impact on REALTORS® and their options and obligations under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its implementation under California laws governing health insurance. First, the Treasury Department has issued regulations clarifying that real estate sales agents are not treated as employees for purposes of the ACA.  Accordingly many, if not most, real estate brokerage offices may never reach the number of employees to trigger employer obligations under the... Read more »

CAR Legal Update

DUAL AGENCY New Case Holds Different Salespersons Under the Same Broker Are Dual Agents    It is well established that a dual agent owes a fiduciary duty to both the buyer and the seller. This case ruled that when a buyer and seller are working with different salespersons in the same brokerage – even different offices – that both the broker and the salespersons are dual agents. Therefore, the case held that whether the broker is a natural person or a corporation, the salespersons on either side of the transaction owe a fiduciary duty to both the buyer and the seller. California Appellate... Read more »

Fair Housing Advertising Guidelines

The Fair Housing Act prohibits certain categories of discrimination in housing. This federal law prohibits publishing advertisements indicating “any preference, limitation or discrimination based on” the protected categories “with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling.” Id. 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c); 24 C.F.R. § 100.75(a). Oklahoma has adopted a similar law that covers the same categories.  See 25 O.S. § 1452 (A)(3). The categories are: 1. race; 2. color; 3. religion; 4. sex; 5. handicap; 6. familial status, or 7. national origin. Click here to download the FAIR HOUSING ADVERTISING... Read more »

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