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Complaints Against Texas Real Estate Sales Agents On the Rise

Texas professional license defense attorneyThe Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) regulates the real estate profession in Texas. It has jurisdiction over real estate sales agents, brokers, and real estate inspectors. TREC is the licensing entity that handles complaints lodged against real estate license holders.

Anyone can lodge a complaint against a licensee, however, TREC cannot accept anonymous or unsigned complaints. The Commission investigates complaints made against the professionals it licenses for alleged violations of Texas law, The Real Estate License Act, or TREC Rules, and investigates allegations of unlicensed activity. A complaint can be filed against real estate brokers, instructors and providers of real estate courses, timeshare developers, and real estate inspectors. Complaint allegations vary and may be based on the grounds of fraudulent dealings, negligent performance, breach of fiduciary duty, advertising rule violations, brokering without a license, fraud, or based on other grounds.

Complaints Against Texas Real Estate Sales Agents On the Rise

Our review of TREC Staff Reports over the past two years showed that complaints filed against Texas Real Estate Agents and other TREC licensees are increasing.

  • At the close of February 2019, TREC received 2,692 complaints in the previous 12 months, which is 236 more than the 2,456 complaint TREC received in the 12 months prior to that.
    • And is 1,124 more than the 1,568 complaints TREC received in the 12 months leading up to February 2017.
  • In January 2019, TREC received 499 complaints, compared to 370 in January 2018.
  • In February 2019, TREC received 431 complaints, compared to 419 in February 2018, and compared to 316 in February 2017.

The increase of complaints received in the fiscal year ending February 2017 to the fiscal year ending February 2019 is astonishing. The increase from 1,568 total complaints to 2,692 represents a 71.68% increase.

The Commission is administrating more complaints against its licensees, though pending cases are being resolved and closed more quickly. The Standards & Enforcement Services Division reports monthly of open case aging.

  • In February 2017, the Division reported:
    • Cases 0 - 6 months: 70%
    • 6 - 12 months: 24%
    • 12 - 18 months: 5%
  • In February 2019, the Division reported:
    • Cases 0 - 6 months: 77%
    • 6 - 12 months: 20%
    • 12 - 18 months: 3%

The leading subject matter of complaints shifts slightly from year-to-year, but allegations involving issues with sales are the most common. Complaints related to sales can include allegations of negligence and complaints involving rebates, referrals, earnest money, and other sales disputes not involving leasing or property management.

The most recent available numbers of active licenses, complaints, length of open cases, and other TREC statistics are published here by TREC each month.

Defending Your Professional Real Estate License

A complaint filed against you with the TREC can put your professional real estate license at risk. A single complaint can put your career, livelihood, and reputation in jeopardy. If you are under investigation by the Texas Real Estate Commission, BERTOLINO LLP can help.

Talk to an experienced attorney who understands all aspects of a real estate license complaint case. The attorneys at BERTOLINO LLP know how to carefully research every potential complaint. We know where to look for evidence and how to use that information to build a successful legal strategy.

If you are facing disciplinary action from the Texas Real Estate Commission contact us today or call (512) 887-7305 and schedule a case evaluation.

BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. To best serve our clients we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.

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Attorney Tony R. Bertolino is the Managing Partner with Bertolino LLP. Our law firm has been able to help people across the state of Texas. If you need an experienced lawyer to represent you, contact Bertolino LLP today.

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