D.R. Legal News

July 2017

Illinois REALTORS® Lead Way on Much Needed Changes to License Act

Illinois REALTORS® successfully negotiated critical changes to the Real Estate License Act during this 2017 spring legislative session impacting Education, Investigations, Leasing Agents and more. The current version would likely have been amended when it sunsets in 2020. However, your advocacy team seized an opportunity to strengthen and improve the Act before the scheduled re-write, and the results will benefit brokers across the state.

Legal Case Studies

  1. Broker established cause of action to recover commission 
  2. Property owner violated Fair Housing Act by refusing to rent to family with transgender parent 
  3. U.S. Supreme Court limits venue choice in patent cases 
  4. Allegation of ADA violation for website access dismissed
  5. Appellate decision requiring corporations to be represented by attorneys at administrative hearings was vacated by Supreme Court
  6. “As is” clause in sales contract for commercial property was modified by other provisions
  7. House owned by three siblings may be sold by Bankruptcy Trustee to pay sister’s debts
    Read more.

Real Estate Disciplines

Recent disciplinary actions taken by the Real Estate Division of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) include:

  1. A real estate broker license fined was $1,000 for failure to renew her broker license and continued to perform licensed activities during the time her license was not renewed.
  2. A real estate broker license was fined $1,000 for allowing the buyer to have access to the property prior to closing by using the key from the lock box. Read more.

Illinois REALTORS®' Sullivan Testifies in Support of Property Tax Freeze

Sullivan testifies

Testifying before an Illinois General Assembly Committee of the Whole last week, Illinois REALTORS® Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Julie Sullivan advocated for a property tax freeze being considered in Springfield as well as consolidation of Illinois' nearly 7,000 units of local government to help reduce the property tax burden.

Copyright

Be Intellectual About Copyright Issues

Given the advancement of technology and the ease with which protected works can be copied, we can expect an increase in legal action concerning intellectual property rights such as patents, copyrights, and registered marks. 

Why does this matter to REALTORS®? Because you use copyrighted works every day. The most obvious example is the use of photos of properties that you place in the MLS. There is a lawsuit on file in Central Illinois, where the professional photographer hired by a real estate broker has sued the broker for copyright infringement in the use of his photos. The case is pending and we don’t know the results. However, it should be enough to encourage office administrators to review office procedures regarding use of copyrighted materials—including photos.

WATCH! Surveillance Equipment and Eavesdropping

Legal Minutes Video

In the next episode of this new Legal Minutes video series, Betsy Urbance, Illinois REALTORS® Director of Legal Services, takes a look at prudent practices for REALTORS® regarding homes with audio and video surveillance and recording technology.  Share this video at your next office meeting (member login required)!

Hot Topic: Format Change to Residential Disclosure Reports

Disclosure form

Share with your agents! A format change to the Illinois REALTORS® Residential Real Property Disclosure Report will help seller clients and their REALTORS® better document when disclosures are provided to buyers.

"We acknowledge this might change the process a bit. However, based on real life experience in seller disclosure litigation, the inability of sellers to prove disclosures were given is problematic," said Illinois REALTORS® Legal Hotline Attorney Betsy Urbance. Read more and download the updated form.

Why We Focus Local

Every day, the Illinois REALTORS®' Local Government Affairs Directors (GADs) monitor local governments to make sure that we have a place at the table in discussions on public policy that affects real estate. The GADs watch for and weigh in on proposed ordinances that impact property owners and REALTORS®—including in recent weeks fire sprinklers, fees on new developments, "point of sale" property inspections and vacant property registration—to name a few.

Safety Awareness Month Just Around the Corner

In recognition of REALTOR® Safety month this September, know the importance of safeguarding your agents against the potential dangers that they face every day in their interactions with clients and the public. Now is the perfect time for you and your agents to sign up for one of the REALTOR® Safety course offerings statewide, and get tips and reminders for creating security procedures at your office. Check with your local association to get a schedule of course offerings that offer CE credit, or check out NAR's REALTOR® Safety page for videos and resources to put a safety protocol in place in your office. Your agent's safety should be a top priority!

GRI

GRI: Boost Your Brokerage's Performance

Help your agents achieve their best performance by encouraging them to enroll in the Graduate, REALTOR® Institute online. Agents enrolling in GRI can boost your brokerage's performance and help prevent costly mistakes. While earning their GRI, agents will also be accumulating CE credits and credit toward the CRS designation. They may also earn the e-Pro designation as part of their GRI studies. Learn more from these managing broker resources

RPAC by the NumbersRPAC By the Numbers

Find our why there's STRENGTH in NUMBERS and download a new office flyer, updated for 2017.

NAR Conference & Expo

Mark your calendars for the 2017 REALTORS® Conference & Expo, Nov. 3-6 in Chicago.

More Resources


Online Only! Designated REALTOR® Legal News is e-mailed to all members who are the Designated REALTOR® (or DR) for their real estate office. Be sure to watch and open all e-mail from “Illinois REALTORS."

The Designated REALTOR® Legal News is e-mailed six times per year (January, March, May, July, September, November) to the Designated REALTOR® member of the Illinois REALTORS®. For reprint permission, contact iarnews@iar.org.

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Looking for a topic for your next office meeting or regional meeting? The Member Outreach team is available to cover the latest legislative issues in play—local, state and national—as well as new laws, forms, RVOICE resources and RPAC. Call 1-800-752-3274 or Info@illinoisrealtors.org.