Current Issue: January 2016 (pdf)

Sign Regulation after Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona: Greater Clarity or More Confusion?
The United States Supreme Court has the final say on the law of the land. Unfortunately, its opinions are often divided, frequently opaque, and sometimes like reading tea leaves. Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona, decided by the Court last year, is one of those opinions. Although six members of the nine-member Court joined in the Court’s majority opinion written by Justice Thomas, three of those six justices felt compelled to write a concurring opinion elaborating on what the majority opinion really meant. Three other justices joined an opinion written by Justice Kagan that concurred in the judgment but disagreed with the majority’s rationale, and one of those justices wrote his own separate concurrence. Despite the multiple opinions, the case offers the first significant change to constitutional sign law in 20 years.2 It is sure to stimulate local municipal ordinance amendments that can affect “For Sale,” “For Rent,” and “Open House” signs. What is most important about Reed for real estate professionals? Read more.

Six legal case studies are covered in this issue. Read more.

  1. Failure to pay common expense assessments amounts to failure to confirm extinguishment of lien following judicial foreclosure and sale.
  2. Temporary flooding from adjacent development not a taking by the City.
  3. Duty to defend title policyholder in claim over easement.
  4. In personam deficiency judgment necessary.
  5. Pet chickens are incidental to residential use.
  6. Mere continuation exception to rule of successor nonliability.

Real Estate Disciplines. Among the recent disciplinary actions taken by the Real Estate Division of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR): 1) A real estate managing broker license was fined $1,000 for failing to perform terms of the listing agreement. 2) A real estate managing broker license was revoked and fined $25,000 and a real estate broker corporation license was revoked and fined $25,000 for failure to provide documents pursuant to a Department examination, advertising for licensed real estate services while their license are expired, operating an unlicensed branch office, and practicing under an unregistered diminutive of his name. Read more.

IAR Seeks to Stop Overly Intrusive and Costly Local Inspection Policies
One of the most common issues IAR’s local government affairs directors (GADs) face is property inspections. Advocacy on this issue is a priority of IAR’s government affairs team and is central to the protection of real property rights. We work to make sure the inspection policies of local governments are not overly intrusive or costly. In Illinois, more than 150 municipalities have a real property inspection requirement. Read more and download.   

Top 10 from the IAR Legal Hotline
The attorneys for both the Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR) Transaction Helpline and the Legal Hotline fielded many questions in 2015 relating to both exclusive listing agreements with sellers and exclusive buyer brokerage agreements with buyers. The questions varied in scope, but listed below are some important points to remember when the brokerage relationships with sellers, buyers, landlords and/or tenants are exclusive ones. Read more.

A Message of Thanks to Our 2015 RPAC Investors
As we start a new RPAC fundraising year, it's important to remember the victories for homeowners and our real estate business in 2015. Our success in the 2015 municipal elections, helping to stop mandatory video sewer inspections (costing $500+) and (on the national level) helping to extend mortgage debt forgiveness for underwater homeowners made a difference. Thank you for your investment in RPAC. (Disclaimer: The Illinois REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) solicits contributions from IAR members only.)

Schedule a Visit from the IAR Member Outreach Team. Looking for a topic for your next office meeting or regional meeting? The IAR 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

Online Only! D.R. Legal News and is published online only in a downloadable PDF format that is e-mailed to all IAR members who are the Designated REALTOR® (or D.R.) for their real estate office. Be sure to watch and open all e-mail from “IAR Communications” or the "Illinois Association of REALTORS."

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

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