All articles and other materials contained on this website are provided as a courtesy. Readers should not rely on anything contained on this website without consulting an attorney to verify the impact of such information as it relates to that reader. Among other things, laws, regulations, standards of care and other circumstances frequently change. By reviewing these communications, an attorney-client relationship has not been established with the reader. In order to establish that relationship, a retainer agreement must be executed with CRELA or Shannon B. Jones Law Group or Spile, Leff & Goor, LLP

CAR Revises the Listing Agreement to Include MLS Disclosures

CAR recently released a revised form of the Residential Listing Agreement that includes a disclosure regarding the benefits of marketing properties through the Multiple Listing Service (“MLS”).  The release of this disclosure is due to an increase in claims arising out of pocket listings.  It is recommended that agents use the most updated Listing Agreement containing this disclosure.  The updated form is now available on ZIP forms.

BRE Publishes an Advisory to Agents Regarding the Use of “DRE” in Disclosure Materials

Effective July 1, 2013, the California Department of Real Estate became the Bureau of Real Estate (“BRE”).  One issue that has arisen is whether licensees need to update their marketing materials (i.e. business cards, advertisements, etc.) to change their DRE license number to refer to the BRE.  The BRE has issued an advisory recommending that on or after July 1, 2013, licensees use “BRE” and no longer use DRE.  However, the BRE has agreed not to cite licensees solely based on the use of solicitation materials that reference the DRE.  However, it is recommended that licensees use reasonable effort to use up their existing business cards and marketing materials and change to the BRE as soon as practicable.

ALERT – New Disclosure Laws Relating to Commercial Leases

Effective July 1, 2013, owners of commercial real property must disclose in every lease whether the property has been inspected by a Certified Access Specialist, also known as a CASp.  If an inspection has taken place, it must also be disclosed whether the property has been determined to meet all applicable construction-related accessibility standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act and California’s similar law, Civil Code §55.53.  This new statute does not require an inspection, it merely requires a disclosure as to whether the property has been inspected.  This new law is designed to prevent violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and to reduce litigation arising out of that statute.

WARNING- The DRE Will Begin Broker/Office Surveys in 2013

An internal directive has been issued by the California Department of Real Estate (“DRE”) to start broker office surveys (“BOS”). The BOS will include an unannounced and unscheduled visit to brokers’ offices and include an audit of random files the DRE requests. It is anticipated that the DRE will ask to see records from different transactions or random transaction files upon the visit. Brokers need to be prepared for a potential BOS as they are currently being scheduled to start in 2013.

Please contact us if you need assistance preparing for these visits.

Shannon B. Jones Law Group Successfully Defends Multi-Million Dollar Jury Trial

On October 18, 2012, a Contra Costa jury returned a defense verdict in favor of one of the Shannon B. Jones Law Group’s commercial real estate broker clients.  In that case, the plaintiff purchased a six-unit apartment building in Contra Costa County.  The seller had been cited by the City for various Building Code violations.  The seller agreed to undertake all of the repairs prior to the close of escrow.  The agent obtained a pest certificate confirming that all of the Section 1 work had been completed and a Certificate of Occupancy from the City confirming that all of the violations had been remedied.  After the close of escrow, the plaintiff allowed his girlfriend, who had no real property experience, to manage the property for him.  Three years later, the tenants started complaining about the living conditions.  They asserted claims such as:  cockroaches; holes in the walls allowing feral cats to run in and out of the building; mold; water intrusion; broken windows; loose electrical wires, which allowed the tenants’ children to be shocked; dry rot to the extent where a child put their foot through a hole in the floor; and other unsafe, uninhabitable conditions. Read more »

Clarification of a Broker’s Right to Delegate Under the New DRE Regulations

The California Legislature passed SB510 last year, which adds Sections 10164 and 10165 to the California Business and Professions Code section. Those Code sections took effect on July 1, 2012.

Those sections permit a real estate broker or officer to appoint a real estate licensee as a branch office or division manager who will be responsible for supervision of the brokerage’s operations and will be subject to discipline by the California Department of Real Estate for failure to properly supervise. Read more »

Home Warranty Plans: Protection for All

Brokers often ask what they can do to avoid the bottomless pit of claims and lawsuits. They specifically ask if there is any one thing they can do to avoid falling into this bottomless pit. Unfortunately, there is no one thing that can be done. No matter how much dirt you throw into a bottomless pit, you cannot fill it up. With this in mind, there is no guarantee you will not fall into this pit. Read more »

Summary of New Laws Affecting Real Estate Agents

SB837 - Transfer Disclosure Statement:  The TDS has been revised to include a check box for a seller to disclose whether the property has water-conserving plumbing fixtures. Read more »