Legislation of Interest to the Industry

Effective July 1, 2013, the DRE became e part of the Department of Consumer Affairs and is now known as the Bureau of Real Estate (BRE).  Real estate licensees seeking to settle civil disputes must take into consideration that such settlements cannot prohibit a complaint to a real estate licensee’s licensing authority. Bus & P C §143.5(a) will apply to real estate brokers and real estate salespersons. A real estate licensee may not include a provision in an agreement to settle a civil dispute, whether the agreement is made before or after the commencement of a civil action, that prohibits the other party in that dispute from contacting, filing a complaint with, or cooperating with the BRE, as a bureau within the Department of Consumer Affairs. The prohibition includes any requirement that the other party withdraw a complaint made to the BRE as a term of settlement. A provision of that nature is void as against public policy, and it subjects any licensee who includes a provision of that nature in a settlement agreement to disciplinary action by the BRE.