Many investigations by the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) are the result of a complaint by an unhappy client or another real estate licensee. Avoiding complaints against your license: If you think a situation may lead to a complaint, try to resolve it in a positive manner before it reaches that level. I often provide guidance to clients in these sorts of situations.
If a complaint is made the DRE will set up an investigation if two criteria are met:
- The individuals involved are under the jurisdiction of the DRE and
- The complaint must relate to a violation of the Real Estate Law or Subdivided Lands Law
Handling the investigation of a complaint:
It is important to be cooperative with the DRE. However, the cooperation should be according to the advice of legal counsel experienced with the DRE process. The investigation period is crucial because it can lead to formal action against a license. If the investigation results in evidence of violations of the applicable law, the DRE Enforcement Section will refer the matter to the DRE Legal Section for prosecution.