The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC or the Commission) regulates all real estate professionals in Texas, including real estate sales agents, brokers, and real estate inspectors. TREC is the licensing entity in Texas that handles complaints lodged against any real estate license holder.
The Commission investigates complaints made against any of the professionals it licenses for alleged violations of Texas law, The Real Estate License Act, or TREC Rules. The Commission also investigates allegations of unlicensed activity and complaints that are four years old or less.
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. So, what kind of complaints are made against real estate professionals?
Top Complaints Made Against Real Estate Licensees
The Standards & Enforcement Services Division of TREC reviews roughly 1,000 complaints annually. While the main reasons for complaints can vary from year to year, there are a number of complaints related to brokers and sales agents that occur with frequency each year.
Here are the type of complaints that TREC often handles:
- Complaints related to a breach of fiduciary duty, including false promises.
- Complaints related to advertising and violations of TREC's advertising rules.
- Complaints related to unlicensed activity. The Commission investigates allegations of unlicensed activity.
- Complaints related to licensure issues, such as criminal background history, application disapprovals, and probationary licenses.
- Complaints related to leasing and property management:
- Mostly related to property management.
- Leasing/Property Management - misappropriation, including misappropriation, commingling, and failure to properly account for money.
- Leasing/Property Management - other, including general negligence and negligent referrals.
- Complaints related to broker supervision – a broker’s failure to supervise a sponsored salesperson.
- Other types of complaints that TREC categorizes as miscellaneous "Sales – Other," which includes general negligence, rebates, improper referrals, and earnest money issues.
While less frequent than the above, TREC also receives complaints related to a license holder's actions as a principal in a transaction, failure to disclose, improper form usage, and sales misappropriation.
TREC disciplinary actions include administrative penalties, such as fines and suspension, or revocation of a licensee's professional real estate license.
If A Complaint Is Made Against Your Real Estate License
As soon as you are notified of a TREC complaint against you, seek the advice of an experienced real estate license defense attorney. Your attorney can help you craft and present a defense that protects your professional license from the allegations made against you.
For more information, please review The Do's and Don'ts of Appearing Before the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) and our FREE eBook When Your License is Under Attack: A Survival Guide for Texas Professionals.
Talk to an experienced attorney who understands all aspects of a real estate license complaint case. The lawyers 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) 717-5432 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.