Using Criminal Background Checks Under New HUD Guidance. Property managers always hope to attract good tenants—those who pay the rent, lead quiet lives, and treat their apartment with care. One popular tool for determining whether a prospect will be a suitable tenant is the criminal background check. Doing or purchasing such research appeared to be an appropriate method for weeding out the bad actors and became much easier in the age of the internet. Some municipalities have even required that landlords conduct criminal background checks under their “crime-free” rental ordinances. Placing a blanket condition of a clean criminal record on rental approval, however, will create a risk of being sued for discrimination under the federal Fair Housing Act. If you or your sponsored licensees act as property management agents for rental properties, you may have heard or read about new guidance covering criminal background checks recently issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This guidance, entitled “Application of Fair Housing Act Standards to the Use of Criminal Records by Providers of Housing and Real Estate-Related Transactions,” is applicable to all residential landlords and property managers. Read more.
Five legal case studies are covered in this issue. Read more.
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 placed on probation for one year for failing to obtain written authorization to advertise a property from the property owner, holding herself out as the managing broker of her firm when she was not, failing to provide documents to the Department, and failing to complete requisite continuing education hours for the period of May 1, 2010 through April 30, 2013, and May 1, 2013 through April 30, 2015. 2) A real estate managing broker license was indefinitely suspended for a minimum of two years and fined $7,500 for failure to provide the agreed upon service of locating a rental apartment and failed to account for or remit money in her possession that belonged to another. Read more.
Your GAD Team: Protecting REALTORS® and Property Owners. Illinois REALTORS® team of local Government Affairs Directors (GADS) have been hard at work fighting to protect REALTORS® and property owners from proposed ordinances that would increase the cost of doing business and owning property in Illinois. Here are some recent examples of significant “wins” at the local level that were the direct result of Illinois REALTORS®’ advocacy:
What Every Illinois Broker Should Know about Drones. Illinois REALTORS® Legal Services has prepared a guide for Illinois brokers for understanding the new Small UAS Rule effective Aug. 29, 2016. Download the report (PDF).
Budget Talks Dominate in Springfield; Many bad bills stopped, fixed. The Illinois General Assembly reconvened June 29-30 to pass a stop-gap budget. Your Illinois REALTORS® lobbyists continue to monitor the action for any measures that will impact the housing market, local economies, private property rights. Many thanks to our managing brokers for encouraging your agents to answer Calls for Action, attend Lobby Day and invest in RPAC. It makes a difference. We say 90 percent of what we do is stop or fix bad bills that affect homeowners and the business of real estate. Here are 13 examples from the 2016 Spring Session of our legislative success.
Schedule a Visit from the Your Member Outreach Team. 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.
Legal Webinars - "Insurance Coverage and Products for Real Estate Agents" id the topic of the June Illinois REALTORS® Legal Webinar, free for members. (Login required)
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