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 »

CAR Legal Update

FLOOD INSURANCE CHANGES Property owners in flood zones are likely to get relief under a bill recently signed by the President. Under the bill (1) sales will no longer trigger immediate premium increases, and (2) properties that complied with prior flood map requirements will be grandfathered, which would likely mean that insurers may not require elevation certificates at sale to obtain flood insurance. In response to homeowners around the country experiencing large increases in flood insurance premiums and to the increased costs at sale due to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012... Read more »

New Robocall Rules

REALTORS® who use telemarketing are subject to the Do Not Call rules. The FCC’s new Robocall rules impose some additional requirements for obtaining consent when making a prerecorded telemarketing call to a residential phone number or making an autodialed or prerecorded telemarketing call or text to a wireless number. The new rules require that telemarketers first obtain written consent to receive such calls or messages, on paper or through electronic means, including website forms, a telephone key press, or a recording of oral consent. Additionally, a telemarketer will no longer be able to... Read more »

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