The Tennessee Real Estate Commission complaint process enables a member of the public
to file a formal complaint against a real estate licensee they believe has acted improperly or illegally in the
performance of their duties as a real estate licensee.
Before you file with our office, the Commission requests that you read the following
information which explains its function, responsibilities and powers.
- The Commission was created to enforce the Tennessee Real Estate Broker's Licensing Law of the state. It has only such powers as the legislature gave it. In order to safeguard the interest of the public, the Commission wants to ensure that only those who meet the statutory requirements for licenses are able to obtain them and that those who fail to comply with the laws governing the conduct of the profession are disciplined.
- Any person may file a complaint for unlicensed activity where such activity requires licensure by law. After investigation, the Commission can seek criminal prosecution against those it finds are operating or practicing without a license. It can also seek an injunction to prohibit further unlicensed activities.
- The Commission cannot recover or order the refund of any money or property to which you may be entitled. You must institute a civil lawsuit for this purpose and hire your own legal counsel, if necessary. In certain instances, a judge can revoke or suspend the license of the person against whom you are complaining, the Respondent.
- Attach legible copies of all pertinent documents, etc. After we receive your completely executed complaint form (MUST BE NOTARIZED) we will send a copy of the complaint to the Respondent with the request that he or she reply within 10 days of the postmarked date of receipt. When the response is received by our office, we will send a copy to you. You may respond to the Respondent's answer if you wish.
- An Administrative Review will take place and if additional information is necessary, your complaint may be forwarded to an Auditor or the Investigation Section. The auditor/investigator assigned to the case will seek the additional evidence requested. The Commission will review the findings and will take the appropriate action.
- If the Commission votes to hold a formal hearing, you will most likely be subpoenaed to testify.
Licensees can be disciplined for the following violations:
- Making any willful misrepresentation;
- Making any promise of a character likely to influence, persuade, or induce any person to enter into a contract or agreement when he could not or did not intend to keep such promise;
- Pursuing a continued and flagrant course of misrepresentation or making of false promises through affiliate brokers, other persons, or any medium of advertising, or otherwise;
- Misleading or untruthful advertising, including the use of the term "Realtor"™ by a person not authorized to do so, or using any other trade name or insignia or membership in any real estate association or organization, of which the licensee is not a member;
- Failing, within a reasonable time, to account for or remit any moneys coming into the licensee's possession which belong to others;
- Failing to preserve for three (3) years following its consummation records relating to any real estate transaction;
- Acting for more than one (1) party in a transaction without the knowledge and consent in writing of all parties for whom the licensee acts;
- Failing to furnish a copy of any listing, sale, lease, or other contract relevant to a real estate transaction to all signatories thereof at the time of execution;
- Using or promoting the use of any real estate listing agreement form, real estate sales contract form, or offer to purchase real estate form which fails to specify a definite termination date;
- Inducing any party to a contract, sale or lease to break such contract for the purchase of substitution in lieu thereof a new contract, where such substitution is malicious or is motivated by the personal gain of the licensee;
- Accepting a commission or any valuable consideration by an affiliate broker for the performance of any acts specified in this chapter, from any person except the licensed real estate broker with whom the licensee is affiliated;
- Being convicted in a court of competent jurisdiction of this or any other state, or federal court, of forgery, embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretenses, bribery, larceny, extortion, conspiracy to defraud, or any crime or any similar offenses, or pleading guilty or nolo contendere to any such offense or offenses;
- Violating any federal, state, or municipal law prohibiting discrimination in the sale or rental of real estate because of race, color, religion, sex or national origin;
- Violating any provision of this chapter, any rule duly promulgated and adopted thereunder, or the terms of any lawful order entered by the commission;
- In the case of a licensee, failing to exercise adequate supervision over the activities of any licensed affiliate brokers under the scope of this chapter;
- In the case of a licensee, failing within a reasonable time to complete such administrative measures as may be required by the commission upon the transfer or termination of any affiliate broker employed by the broker;
- Paying or accepting, giving or charging any undisclosed commission, rebate, compensation or profit or expenditures for a principal, or in violation of this chapter;
- Failing to disclose to an owner the licensee's intention or true position if the licensee, directly or indirectly through a third party, purchases for itself or acquires or intends to acquire any interest in or any option to purchase property which has been listed with the licensee's office to sell or lease;
- Engaging in the unauthorized practice of law;
- Any conduct, whether of the same or a different character from that hereinbefore specified, which constitutes improper, fraudulent or dishonest dealing; or
- Violating the Tennessee Time-Share Act, compiled in Title 66, Chapter 32, Part 1, or any rule duly promulgated thereunder.