ADRE and Administrative Law

Representing Real Estate Professionals in Arizona

Our attorneys have a close relationship with Arizona’s REALTOR® community. We are passionate about standing up for the legal rights and reputation of real estate salespersons, property managers, and brokers, including defending their rights in complaints before the Arizona Department of Real Estate (ADRE) and location boards as well as the National Association of REALTORS®. You can rely on a real estate attorney at Provident Law® to provide you with experienced and quality legal advice and representation in this highly technical and specialized area of the law.

Furthermore, our attorneys represent clients with licensing and re-licensing issues with the ADRE. We also represent brokers and brokerages concerning audits with the ADRE. Finally, we regularly defend licensees’ rights during Informal Settlement Conferences with the ADRE and before the Office of Administrative Hearings concerning complaints, disciplinary proceedings, and licensing issues.

Licensing Issues Before the ADRE

The ADRE oversees the licensing and renewal licensing of many real estate professionals in Arizona, including salespersons and brokers, subdividers, unsubdivided land developers, cemetery, time-share and membership campground operators, and real estate school administrators and instructors. When you apply

for an initial or renewal license through the ADRE, you must make certain disclosures, some of which will trigger an ADRE investigation. Those issues include past criminal convictions, civil judgments, and past discipline from other licensing boards. An ADRE investigation can make the licensing application process much lengthier and more complex. Ultimately, the investigation could delay your ability to attend school and begin your real estate career. The investigation even could result in the denial of a license altogether.

As a result of these potentially severe consequences, correctly answering license applications can be crucial. You must disclose certain information to the ADRE. Withholding that information could worsen your situation. We can advise whether and how to disclose sensitive information and how it might impact your license application.

How you handle an ADRE investigation is also important since it could determine your ability to begin or continue your career as a real estate professional. For example, you should always avoid speaking with an ADRE investigator about your situation, as the ADRE may later use that information against you in an investigation. Instead, rely on an Arizona real estate lawyer to assist you through the application process and challenge any adverse outcomes of investigations by ADRE. Potential outcomes can include the issuance of a provisional license or the denial of a license altogether.

Complaints about Real Estate Professionals and the ADRE

The ADRE receives, investigates, and adjudicates ethical disciplinary complaints against real estate professionals, including salespersons, agents, brokers, and other licensees. Complaints come to the ADRE from various sources, such as the following:

  • Clients;
  • Other real estate professionals;
  • Businesses;
  • Disclosures by the licensee concerning judgments in civil lawsuits, criminal convictions, or discipline by other licensing boards.

As noted above, complaints do not come solely from other people to the ADRE. For example, when a licensee is convicted of a misdemeanor or felony or receives a deferral of judgment or sentencing for a misdemeanor or felony, the licensee must disclose the conviction or deferral within ten days. This disclosure must include a signed written statement describing the circumstances in detail, along with certified copies of relevant police reports and court records.

When ADRE receives a complaint, an investigator will request all documentation related to the complaint to determine whether to substantiate it. If the Enforcement and Compliance Division of the ADRE substantiates the complaint, it can resolve it with the licensee via agreement. However, it also can refer the complaint to mediation or an administrative hearing in the absence of an agreement.

Potential outcomes from a substantiated complaint can be severe. As a result, it is critical to have the representation of an experienced realtor attorney on your side from the outset of the complaint and throughout all stages of the disciplinary proceedings. A substantiated complaint could result in any of the following outcomes:

  • Issuance of a letter of concern;
  • Assessment of a monetary penalty;
  • Buyer Rescission;
  • License suspension; and
  • License revocation or surrender.

A real estate lawyer can assist in all aspects of the disciplinary process, from preparing disclosures of criminal cases to comply with state law to representing licensees in mediation, negotiations, or administrative hearings. We strive to represent your interests and protect your license so that you can continue to pursue your real estate career.

Representing Your Interests in Administrative Proceedings

In disciplinary proceedings, once the Enforcement and Compliance Division of the ADRE completes its investigation, the ADRE Commissioner reviews the evidence and decides your case. If the Commissioner issues a formal sanction, you can either accept the decision by signing an agreement or take steps to appeal the decision. If you sign an agreement, you may agree to certain conditions to retain your license. For instance, you might agree to periodic monitoring and reporting to the ADRE. You also might agree to complete certain educational classes with a subject matter related to the complaint against you and/or to pay a fine.

If you appeal, you request an administrative hearing at the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hears evidence from both sides of the case. The formal rules of evidence do not apply in administrative hearings, so the ALJ can admit more evidence in the hearing than a judge can in court. However, the hearing proceeds much like a trial proceeds in court, with each party making opening statements, presenting evidence, and closing statements. At the end of the hearing, the ALJ prepares a Recommended Decision and submits it to the ADRE for disposition.

Consult a Real Estate Lawyer at Provident Law® Today

You can count on a real estate attorney at Provident Law® to represent your interests whether you are a REALTOR®, property manager, or broker. We can defend you against complaints before the various administrative agencies that license, regulate, and audit real estate professionals and businesses. A skilled and experienced real estate lawyer on your side can help safeguard your license and career. Contact Provident Law® online or call (480) 388-3343 today to learn more about our legal services.

Further, we regularly represent licensees before the Office of Administrative Hearings and before Informal Settlement Conferences with the ADRE.