AREC’s October 2023 Meeting – Commissioner Deborah Robinson Sworn In and New Officers

AREC’s October 2023 Meeting – Commissioner Deborah Robinson Sworn In and New Officers

The Alabama Real Estate Commission met last week in Tuscaloosa for its October meeting. At the meeting, with her family members in attendance, Ms. Deborah Robinson was sworn in as the Member At Large representative. Following the swearing in ceremony, new officers were elected, while the body of the meeting followed a relatively normal agenda. Also, while the recently published legislation draft on changes to license law was mentioned, it was not discussed in detail. Read on for more on the legislation and some hearings of note below.


New Chair and Vice Chair Elected

After the swearing in of Ms. Robinson, commissioners elected a new chair and vice chair in accordance with state law. Susan Smith is now chair of the Commission and Jimmy Ann Campbell vice chair. State law requires the commission to elect officers whenever a new commissioner is sworn in. See Ala. Code § 34-27-7(f). 


Draft Legislation - Many Rate Increases Cut from Earlier Draft

Several weeks ago, AREC published a proposed outline and draft of legislation amending portions of license law. While review is ongoing, one item of note is that the new draft does not contain many of the rate increases on licensees that were in AREC’s draft proposal from early 2023. 


Hearings – RECAD Office Policy, Arrest Notification and Brokerage Name on Advertising

Commissioners held hearings on six formal complaints, four applications for a temporary salespersons license, and one application for determination of licensing eligibility. Of the six complaints, three cases dealt with the failure of the licensee to notify AREC within 10 days of an arrest, one case was against a brokerage that did not have an office RECAD policy, and two involved advertising on social media. 

For the first cases, remember that license law requires all licensees to disclose the institution of a criminal prosecutions and the resulting verdict within 10 days of receiving notice of either, and also requires brokerages to have a RECAD policy. Failing to comply can result in a license law violation, a fine, and in some cases, a suspended or revoked licenses. 

The advertising cases present important lessons for agents and brokers – make sure the brokerage’s name is prominently displayed on all advertising (name/title or comments) and brokers and salespersons need to be communicate when any issues arise. Both cases involved the failure to display the brokerage name on social media advertising. In the more egregious case, one licensee ran into trouble when a social media site would not change a name for several months, followed by a lengthier period of admitted forgetfulness. The licensee’s broker did not keep tabs on all social media posts and was not aware of the licensee’s issue with the social media site. Commissioners found both the licensee and broker guilty of violating license law and handed down steep penalties. In the other advertising case, the licensee was found guilty for his failure to show the brokerage’s name in several videos and received a fine of $250. 


Next Meetings

AREC returns to Montgomery next month for two meetings, a special called meeting on November 29 at 1 to discuss “caveat emptor, requirements to show apartments, condos, and dorms, [and the] Alabama Sunshine Law”.  Its final monthly meeting of the year will follow on November 30th at 9 am.