4735.18 Disciplinary actions.

(A) Subject to section 4735.32 of the Revised Code, the superintendent of real estate, upon the superintendent's own motion, may investigate the conduct of any licensee. Subject to section 4735.32 of the Revised Code, the Ohio real estate commission shall impose disciplinary sanctions upon any licensee who, whether or not acting in the licensee's capacity as a real estate broker or salesperson, or in handling the licensee's own property, is found to have been convicted of a felony or a crime of moral turpitude, and may impose disciplinary sanctions upon any licensee who, in the licensee's capacity as a real estate broker or salesperson, or in handling the licensee's own property, is found guilty of:

(1) Knowingly making any misrepresentation;

(2) Making any false promises with intent to influence, persuade, or induce;

(3) A continued course of misrepresentation or the making of false promises through agents, salespersons, advertising, or otherwise;

(4) Acting for more than one party in a transaction except as permitted by and in compliance with section 4735.71 of the Revised Code;

(5) Failure within a reasonable time to account for or to remit any money coming into the licensee's possession which belongs to others;

(6) Dishonest or illegal dealing, gross negligence, incompetency, or misconduct;

(7)

(a) By final adjudication by a court, a violation of any municipal or federal civil rights law relevant to the protection of purchasers or sellers of real estate or, by final adjudication by a court, any unlawful discriminatory practice pertaining to the purchase or sale of real estate prohibited by Chapter 4112. of the Revised Code, provided that such violation arose out of a situation wherein parties were engaged in bona fide efforts to purchase, sell, or lease real estate, in the licensee's practice as a licensed real estate broker or salesperson;

(b) A second or subsequent violation of any unlawful discriminatory practice pertaining to the purchase or sale of real estate prohibited by Chapter 4112. of the Revised Code or any second or subsequent violation of municipal or federal civil rights laws relevant to purchasing or selling real estate whether or not there has been a final adjudication by a court, provided that such violation arose out of a situation wherein parties were engaged in bona fide efforts to purchase, sell, or lease real estate. For any second offense under this division, the commission shall suspend for a minimum of two months or revoke the license of the broker or salesperson. For any subsequent offense, the commission shall revoke the license of the broker or salesperson.

(8) Procuring a license under this chapter, for the licensee or any salesperson by fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit;

(9) Having violated or failed to comply with any provision of sections 4735.51 to 4735.74 of the Revised Code or having willfully disregarded or violated any other provisions of this chapter;

(10) As a real estate broker, having demanded, without reasonable cause, other than from a broker licensed under this chapter, a commission to which the licensee is not entitled, or, as a real estate salesperson, having demanded, without reasonable cause, a commission to which the licensee is not entitled;

(11) Except as permitted under section 4735.20 of the Revised Code, having paid commissions or fees to, or divided commissions or fees with, anyone not licensed as a real estate broker or salesperson under this chapter or anyone not operating as an out-of-state commercial real estate broker or salesperson under section 4735.022 of the Revised Code;

(12) Having falsely represented membership in any real estate professional association of which the licensee is not a member;

(13) Having accepted, given, or charged any undisclosed commission, rebate, or direct profit on expenditures made for a principal;

(14) Having offered anything of value other than the consideration recited in the sales contract as an inducement to a person to enter into a contract for the purchase or sale of real estate or having offered real estate or the improvements on real estate as a prize in a lottery or scheme of chance;

(15) Having acted in the dual capacity of real estate broker and undisclosed principal, or real estate salesperson and undisclosed principal, in any transaction;

(16) Having guaranteed, authorized, or permitted any person to guarantee future profits which may result from the resale of real property;

(17) Having advertised or placed a sign on any property offering it for sale or for rent without the consent of the owner or the owner's authorized agent;

(18) Having induced any party to a contract of sale or lease to break such contract for the purpose of substituting in lieu of it a new contract with another principal;

(19) Having negotiated the sale, exchange, or lease of any real property directly with a seller, purchaser, lessor, or tenant knowing that such seller, purchaser, lessor, or tenant is represented by another broker under a written exclusive agency agreement, exclusive right to sell or lease listing agreement, or exclusive purchaser agency agreement with respect to such property except as provided for in section 4735.75 of the Revised Code;

(20) Having offered real property for sale or for lease without the knowledge and consent of the owner or the owner's authorized agent, or on any terms other than those authorized by the owner or the owner's authorized agent;

(21) Having published advertising, whether printed, radio, display, or of any other nature, which was misleading or inaccurate in any material particular, or in any way having misrepresented any properties, terms, values, policies, or services of the business conducted;

(22) Having knowingly withheld from or inserted in any statement of account or invoice any statement that made it inaccurate in any material particular;

(23) Having published or circulated unjustified or unwarranted threats of legal proceedings which tended to or had the effect of harassing competitors or intimidating their customers;

(24) Having failed to keep complete and accurate records of all transactions for a period of three years from the date of the transaction, such records to include copies of listing forms, earnest money receipts, offers to purchase and acceptances of them, records of receipts and disbursements of all funds received by the licensee as broker and incident to the licensee's transactions as such, and records required pursuant to divisions (C)(4) and (5) of section 4735.20 of the Revised Code, and any other instruments or papers related to the performance of any of the acts set forth in the definition of a real estate broker;

(25) Failure of a real estate broker or salesperson to furnish all parties involved in a real estate transaction true copies of all listings and other agreements to which they are a party, at the time each party signs them;

(26) Failure to maintain at all times a special or trust bank account in a depository located in this state. The account shall be noninterest-bearing, separate and distinct from any personal or other account of the broker, and, except as provided in division (A)(27) of this section, shall be used for the deposit and maintenance of all escrow funds, security deposits, and other moneys received by the broker in a fiduciary capacity. The name, account number, if any, and location of the depository wherein such special or trust account is maintained shall be submitted in writing to the superintendent. Checks drawn on such special or trust bank accounts are deemed to meet the conditions imposed by section 1349.21 of the Revised Code. Funds deposited in the trust or special account in connection with a purchase agreement shall be maintained in accordance with section 4735.24 of the Revised Code.

(27) Failure to maintain at all times a special or trust bank account in a depository in this state, to be used exclusively for the deposit and maintenance of all rents, security deposits, escrow funds, and other moneys received by the broker in a fiduciary capacity in the course of managing real property. This account shall be separate and distinct from any other account maintained by the broker. The name, account number, and location of the depository shall be submitted in writing to the superintendent. This account may earn interest, which shall be paid to the property owners on a pro rata basis.

Division (A)(27) of this section does not apply to brokers who are not engaged in the management of real property on behalf of real property owners.

(28) Having failed to put definite expiration dates in all written agency agreements to which the broker is a party;

(29) Having an unsatisfied final judgment or lien in any court of record against the licensee arising out of the licensee's conduct as a licensed broker or salesperson;

(30) Failing to render promptly upon demand a full and complete statement of the expenditures by the broker or salesperson of funds advanced by or on behalf of a party to a real estate transaction to the broker or salesperson for the purpose of performing duties as a licensee under this chapter in conjunction with the real estate transaction;

(31) Failure within a reasonable time, after the receipt of the commission by the broker, to render an accounting to and pay a real estate salesperson the salesperson's earned share of it;

(32) Performing any service for another constituting the practice of law, as determined by any court of law;

(33) Having been adjudicated incompetent for the purpose of holding the license by a court, as provided in section 5122.301 of the Revised Code. A license revoked or suspended under this division shall be reactivated upon proof to the commission of the removal of the disability.

(34) Having authorized or permitted a person to act as an agent in the capacity of a real estate broker, or a real estate salesperson, who was not then licensed as a real estate broker or real estate salesperson under this chapter or who was not then operating as an out-of-state commercial real estate broker or salesperson under section 4735.022 of the Revised Code;

(35) Having knowingly inserted or participated in inserting any materially inaccurate term in a document, including naming a false consideration;

(36) Having failed to inform the licensee's client of the existence of an offer or counteroffer or having failed to present an offer or counteroffer in a timely manner, unless otherwise instructed by the client, provided the instruction of the client does not conflict with any state or federal law;

(37) Having failed to comply with section 4735.24 of the Revised Code.

(B) Whenever the commission, pursuant to section 4735.051 of the Revised Code, imposes disciplinary sanctions for any violation of this section, the commission also may impose such sanctions upon the broker with whom the salesperson is affiliated if the commission finds that the broker had knowledge of the salesperson's actions that violated this section.

(C) The commission shall, pursuant to section 4735.051 of the Revised Code, impose disciplinary sanctions upon any foreign real estate dealer or salesperson who, in that capacity or in handling the dealer's or salesperson's own property, is found guilty of any of the acts or omissions specified or comprehended in division (A) of this section insofar as the acts or omissions pertain to foreign real estate. If the commission imposes such sanctions upon a foreign real estate salesperson for a violation of this section, the commission also may suspend or revoke the license of the foreign real estate dealer with whom the salesperson is affiliated if the commission finds that the dealer had knowledge of the salesperson's actions that violated this section.

(D) The commission may suspend, in whole or in part, the imposition of the penalty of suspension of a license under this section.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Effective Date: 04-05-2002; 10-12-2006; 2008 HB130 04-07-2009