Designated Realtor Legal News

September 2016

Does the Law Require My Website to be Accessible to Those With Disabilities?

The question posed above comes up from time to time in the real estate sales industry. Lawsuits have been filed by those with disabilities who have been frustrated while attempting to purchase goods through other retailers’ websites and so brokers have wondered whether their own websites might also be vulnerable to such suits. Unfortunately, the law has yet to provide a definitive answer to this question as such claims are usually settled prior to the rendering of a final decision. You, however, need to familiarize yourself with the arguments that can be made and the standards that currently exist so that you can lead your business in the right direction concerning this topic.

The legal argument in favor of requiring businesses to maintain accessible websites runs along the following lines. The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) requires all places of public accommodation to be accessible to those with disabilities. A website is a “place” where the public interacts with the business that has created the website. Read more.

6 Legal Case Studies

  1. Property owner denied residential rental license because of outstanding fines on unrelated tickets.  
  2. Emails and text messages can constitute a binding contract.
  3. Broker not entitled to commission under numerous theories.
  4. Broker was not liable for sales agent’s actions outside scope of employment.
  5. No disparate impact violation by city’s condemnation proceedings against apartment complex.
  6. California broker violated Nebraska licensing law by listing activities. 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 restored to active and fined $3,000 due to his failure to obtain a written listing agreement in a real estate transaction. 2) A real estate managing broker license was restored to two year probation and previous $2,500 fine is reduced to $500 for his failure to produce two listing agreements requested during a Brokerage Verification Examination. Read more.

Federal Rule-Making and Local REALTOR® Advocacy

Sometimes, action at the federal level (either regulatory or legislative) can affect policies at the local government level. Here are two recent examples regarding criminal background checks and streamlining the Section 8 program.

RPAC by the Numbers

RPAC by the Numbers

It may be tempting to look at the relative ease with which you can practice real estate in Illinois and assume that today’s marketplace evolved naturally, that policy makers had your interests in mind all along. But that’s just not so. Without your REALTOR® associations’ efforts – local, state and national – you’d be inundated with RED tape and LEGAL liability, and your clients would have a steeper climb toward homeownership. Find our why there's STRENGTH in NUMBERS!


Boost Your Brokerage’s Performance with GRI!

As a managing broker, you want to help agents achieve their best performance.You also want to prevent them from making costly mistakes. The best way to do both is to encourage agents to enroll in the new online GRI program. REALTORS® who hold the GRI designation bring in an average of 45% higher income than non-designees and receive more referrals.

GRI courses delve deep into legal and regulatory issues, client systems, technological tools and professional standards. Completing GRI courses is a great opportunity for agents to stay abreast of changes in the real estate industry, and when you encourage agents to pursue the GRI designation, you open up new opportunities for them to succeed. And earning the GRI yourself sets the standard for agents and demonstrates your commitment to professionalism.

outreach team

Schedule a Visit from 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 

Online Only! Designated REALTOR® Legal News and is published online only and is e-mailed to all members who are the Designated REALTOR® (or DR) for their real estate office. Be sure to watch and open all e-mail from “Illinois REALTORS."

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

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