Current Issue: May 2015 (pdf)

Classification of Licensees as Independent Contractors: Is There a Storm on the Horizon?
Several national industry publications have recently alerted broker managers to pending litigation filed by or on behalf of agent/licensees who claim that they ought to be classified for labor and tax law purposes as employees rather than as independent contractors. Those publications go on to pose the question—could these lawsuits signal the beginning of a movement away from the traditional broker/independent contractor relationship which has been a staple of the real estate industry for decades? Fortunately, the regulatory environment in Illinois remains conducive to maintaining the broker/independent contractor relationship, as long as the broker remains sensitive to the essential features which justify the classification of an agent as an independent contractor rather than an employee. Read more.

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

  1. Professional licensing board not immune from anti-trust violations.
  2. California broker enjoined from listing Nebraska properties on the Internet.
  3. Auctioneer had no duty to supply Illinois Residential Real Property Disclosure Act form to trustee for delivery to successful bidder.
  4. Liability insurance held not applicable to claim of negligent supervision against real estate broker.
  5. Notice of challenge to re-zoning must be accomplished strictly according to statute. .

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 and fined $1,000 for failing to disclose information to the Department on an application. 2) A real estate managing broker license was placed on probation for 12 months and fined $1,000 for errors and omissions in the escrow and business records in his control. Read more

IAR Legal Hotline: Teams & Advertising. IAR recently instituted a pilot process entitled “IAR Ethics Citation Program.” Advertising has emerged as one of the “hot topics” in this abbreviated complaint process. Quite a few violations involve a lack of the complete sponsoring brokerage company name in the advertisement. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics (the Code) requires REALTORS® to include their company name on ads in a “readily apparent manner.”  In many cases the sponsoring brokerage company name is missing completely or is very well hidden within the ad. Statements made by REALTORS® on social media sites, like Facebook©, often exclude or hide the company name. When REALTORS® employ the use of social media in their businesses; the regulations governing their practices apply in this environment too. Read more.

Missed the April 30 Managing Broker Renewal Deadline?
If you missed the April 30, 2015 Managing Broker Renewal deadline, you will be unable to practice until your renewal is complete. Your license will remain in non-renewed status until your continuing education hours are complete and you have submitted your renewal application to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and paid applicable penalty fees.  IAR is here to help. Visit the Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR) website and the IAR REALTOR® Store for state-approved continuing education courses. Or call the IAR Licensing & Training Center at 1-800-523-5077. Here are some Q&A’s to keep in mind.

IAR’s Unprecedented Level of Support for Local Candidates
On April 7, 2015, Illinois REALTORS® went to the polls to elect candidates for local offices who understand and appreciate real property rights. IAR, through RPAC donations and independent expenditures, was involved in races throughout the state. Result:  71 percent of the candidates with support from IAR WON. Read more.  

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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