AREC Holds November 2023 Meeting

AREC Holds November 2023 Meeting

The Alabama Real Estate Commission recently hosted 3 functions which were open to the public. The first, Coffee with the Commission, included discussion about education and licensing renewals. Read on to learn more about the Commission’s open workshop and monthly Commission meeting. For those who virtually attend AREC meetings, it is important to note that, as of January 2024, AREC announced that it will no longer broadcast meetings virtually.  


Commission Hosts Open Workshop

The Commission hosted a workshop on various topics which was open to the public. The meeting began with a review of the Alabama Open Meetings Act, which you can learn more about here. The Open Meetings Act promotes transparency in state government by requiring the many types of government agencies and boards to hold meetings open to the public. 

The next topic of discussion was the Governor’s Report on Efficiency in State Government. This report was the result of several months of research mandated by Governor Kay Ivey. One of the report’s recommendations deals with consolidation of some occupational licensure and regulatory boards. 

Finally, the Commissioners discussed the possibility of proposing an amendment to state license law. Section 34-27-36(a)(3) deals with mandatory disclosures by real estate licensees requiring property condition. The Commission discussed a proposal to remove or amend Section 34-27-36(a)(3) but decided to table that proposal for the time being. 


Commission Holds Its Monthly Meeting

The Commission also held its monthly meeting on November 30. As is typical, the Executive Director opened the meeting with remarks regarding the number of licensees and license applications, company audits, contractual updates for work to be done on the AREC building, and the like. Of note, the Commission stated that they will be performing more company audits in 2024 and that if your company has not been audited in more than 3 years, you should expect an audit. The Commission voted to request an advisory opinion from the Attorney General’s Office regarding which misdemeanor offenses are considered “crimes of moral turpitude.” This is relevant to AREC because the Commission is permitted to reject the application of anyone who has been convicted of a felony or any crime of moral turpitude. 

The Commission then held hearings on 8 formal complaints, the topics of which varied. Two of the complaints dealt with overages in brokerages’ trust accounts which were discovered during an audit. In both cases, the licensee was maintaining property management fees in their trust account, rather than moving those fees to their operating account. Despite not causing any harm to the public, both licensees were found in violation and fined $250. Two other hearings related to licensees’ failure to report legal matters, with one licensee failing to report a pending criminal matter and the other failing to report a civil suit against her. Both licensees were found guilty and fined. Next, the Commission found both a salesperson and his qualifying broker guilty for failing to include the brokerage name within the salesperson’s advertisements on social media. Licensees and qualifying brokers should be cautioned to always double-check that social media advertisements are in compliance with license law. Finally, the Commission heard a case in which a licensee refused to allow an investigator into her home office for the purpose of an audit. As a result of both the non-compliance with the investigation and the underlying violations, the licensee and her company were found guilty of 6 counts of violations and fined a total of $11,000. 

The next Commission meeting will take place on January 18, 2024 at 9 am in Montgomery. Remember, the meeting will not be broadcast virtually and anyone who wishes to attend should plan to attend in-person at 1201 Carmichael Way, Montgomery, AL 36106.