The Texas Real Estate Commission is the regulatory body that oversees licensure and disciplinary actions for Real Estate Professionals—including Real Estate Sales Agents, Brokers, Real Estate Inspectors, Easement and Right-of-Way Agents, Residential Service Companies, Real Estate Education Providers, and so on. When someone—whether a former client or a third party—feels that a Real Estate Professional has somehow violated the Real Estate License Act or the TREC Rules, they may file a complaint before the Commission. The complaint will then be handled by the Standards and Enforcement Services (SES) subdivision of the Commission.
Those making allegations may not do so anonymously, and they must file it within four years of the alleged incident. The way they file a complaint is, first, filing a written complaint, with which they include copies of various documents related to the alleged violation, including things like contracts, closing statements, MLS descriptions, and so forth.
When the SES receives the complaint, it first moves to determine whether it has jurisdiction over the issue raised in the complaint. When it determines that it does, it will launch an investigation into the case. At this point, a license-holder is given a copy of the complaint and is given a chance to respond to the allegations.
Investigation of a complaint can take some time, up to about six months—though sometimes this period is shorter. The investigation will likely include interviews of witnesses, though at times, it is determined that further information is not needed, and evidence is gathered without the involvement of an investigator, using questionnaires.
At the completion of the investigation, an SES attorney is assigned the case and they determine whether the evidence presented amounts to a violation of the relevant laws or Rules. This stage, too, can take a number of months to complete.
Where the attorney determines there has been no violation, they will simply issue a letter closing the complaint. At times the attorney will issue an advisory letter warning the license holder about their actions, which becomes part of the professional’s official record, to be taken into account if any complaints are received in the future.
Where the attorney determines that a violation has in fact occurred, they will likely recommend that the license holder be formally disciplined. This may range in severity from a monetary fine through suspension or even revocation of the professional’s license.
The best way to prevent the loss of one’s license to practice Real Estate is to hire an experienced professional license defense attorney.
Professional License Defense Attorneys
BERTOLINO LLP handles matters related to licensure, grievance complaints, ethics, and other important professional licensing issues. If you have received a licensing complaint from the Texas Real Estate Commission, BERTOLINO LLP can help. To best serve our clients we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.
Contact us today or call (512) 476-5757 and schedule a case evaluation.