Cadden & Fuller LLP
A Client-Focused Approach to Business and Real Estate Law

Real estate complaints in California

If you are a real estate broker or you work in commercial real estate in some other capacity, you understand the importance of addressing the needs of your clients. At times, this is very challenging, and some people decide to file a complaint against a real estate broker or salesperson because they believe an agent misled or defrauded them.

In California, real estate complaints carry serious consequences.

The real estate complaint process

If one of your clients is threatening to file a complaint with the California Department of Real Estate or they have already taken action and you are awaiting a hearing, it is helpful to go over the complaint process and understand your options. According to the CDRE, the Department investigates complaints against individuals they have jurisdiction over, such as those with real estate licenses, subdividers and unlicensed individuals who carry out acts that require real estate licenses.

Those filing complaints must give the CDRE a written account of what occurred and documentation such as correspondence, listings and receipts. If the CDRE comes to the conclusion that you violated the Real Estate Licensing Law, they could decide to hold a formal hearing. In some instances, the CDRE helps resolve disputes between parties.

The impact of a real estate complaint

After holding a hearing, some real estate agents have their license suspended or revoked. Moreover, those found to have violated subdivision laws could see all of their pending sales stopped as a result of the action. The CDRE cannot refund sales, award damages or cancel contracts. However, some people decide to take legal action and you should prepare for court if you are facing the threat of litigation.