Key reports, issues, and decisions of interest to licensees and/or the public are reported here from the most recent Commission meeting:
Commission Meeting of October 11, 2023
Pending Cases: The Commission entered into consent agreements to suspend 3 licenses, permanently revoked 1 license, accepted the permanent voluntary surrender of 1 license, closed cases without action against 6 licensees, left cases pending involving 5 licensees, and ordered hearings in cases involving 24 licensees.
License Applications Involving Character Issues: License applicants who have character issues such as prior criminal convictions or disciplinary actions by another licensing board are separately considered by the Commission. Decisions are made based upon criminal background checks, information supplied by the applicant, and in-person interviews.
Total candidates considered: 6, total approved: 1, total approved with conditions: 2, continued: 3, and deferred: 0.
License Examination Results: If you are interested in reviewing the most recent statistics and pass rates regarding the North Carolina broker license examination, click here: License Examination Results
Independent Annual Audit: The Executive Director reported that the Finance Committee had reviewed the audit report with the auditors and staff. The Commission’s independent auditor also provided an overview of the audit. Upon the joint motion of Mr. Lindsey and Mr. Ramseur, the Commission approved the annual audit.
Legislative Report: The Director of Regulatory Affairs reviewed the Legislative Report, summarizing bills that are currently pending in the General Assembly that relate to real estate brokerage, occupational licensing, or other matters of interest to the Commission. The Director of Regulatory Affairs noted that the budget, H259 2023-2024 Appropriations Act, did pass into law.
Residential Property and Owners’ Association Disclosure Statement (RPOADS): Staff provided an overview of the rulemaking process relating to the RPOADS rule, 21 NCAC 58A .0114, and presented a revised version of the Disclosure Statement for the Commission’s consideration [Exhibit 9]. The Commission discussed the first page relating to instructions and two sections, Sections A – B, during its meeting and noted various topics to be addressed by staff in the next draft including clarifying the instructions regarding the obligation to respond to questions, reformatting ‘additional information spaces’ that relate to the questions, and simplifying the question and table structure. Mr. Malarney asked that the public comment matrix be included in next month’s Disclosure Statement exhibit. The Commission took no action on the Disclosure Statement and will continue its discussion during the November business meeting.
BIC Span of Control: The Executive Director reported that the BIC Span of Control Workgroup met and reviewed the BIC Span of Control exhibit the Commission received. At Mr. Lindsey’s request, the workgroup members discussed the scope of the problems including both misconduct and the failure to act. The group will continue to meet and make updates to the full Commission. Mr. Lindsey asked Mr. Aceto and Mr. Ramseur for any suggestions on the BIC span of control. Mr. Ramseur stated he would be an alternate for the workgroup. Mr. Lindsey offered to share the workgroup minutes from the first meeting and noted that the group is working on how best to approach the subject.
General and BIC Update Course Topics: The Director of Education and Licensing reviewed with the Commission a preliminary list of possible 2024-2025 Update course topics based upon suggestions provided by Commission members, staff, licensees, and educators. As to requests for topics that are generally outside the Commission’s scope, e.g., negotiation training, Ms. O’Connor suggested that these topics be directed to the NC REALTORS® Association. The Director of Education and Licensing asked that the Commission consider any topics that they would like to include in the Update Courses for further consideration at the November meeting.
North Carolina Real Estate Educators Association (NCREEA) Fall Conference: The Director of Education and Licensing reported that NCREEA held its fall, in-person conference in Winston-Salem at the end of September. Ms. Cheryl Sain was awarded Program of the Year and Ms. Melea Lemon was awarded Instructor of the Year. The Director of Education and Licensing noted that the entire Education staff presented at the conference and he gave the closing presentation.
Education Committee Meeting: The Director of Education and Licensing suggested an Education Committee meeting with Mr. Black and Ms. O’Connor to discuss the Education Advisory Committee and topics for the Update course.
Report on License Numbers: As of October 1, 2023, there are 123,647 brokers and firms licensed by the Commission, as follows:
Active Brokers 82,981
Active Provisional Brokers 5,244
BIC Eligible Brokers 6,042
Inactive Full Brokers 16,962
Inactive Provisional Brokers 6,662
Limited Nonresident Commercial Brokers 237
Next Commission Meeting: The next Commission meeting will be held at 9:00am, Wednesday, November 8, 2023, in the Commission’s office in Raleigh and is open to the public. It can be viewed via Zoom online video.
Tech Study Group
The North Carolina Real Estate Commission has formed a Tech Study Group consisting of both Commission members and staff. The purpose of the Tech Study Group is to identify technology issues which can improve the function and efficiency of the Real Estate Commission and also to identify technology issues that impact the delivery of brokerage services and better educate and assist brokers in dealing with those issues. Among the many things that are being considered and discussed by the Tech Study group are ADA compliance, the impact of AI models including ChatGPT, the implementation and use of chat bots, cybersecurity, smart contracts and block chain technology. In the coming year watch for future developments, insights and information as a result of the Tech Study Group’s efforts.
Do Emotional Support Animals Require Pet Fees at Vacation Rentals?
Emotional support or therapy animals that qualify as assistance animals are not pets, and the Fair Housing Act (FHA) makes it unlawful for a housing provider to refuse to make a reasonable accommodation. You may view this January 2020 Notice for details. Vacation rentals are not excluded by law, and property owners and managers must follow the guidelines to determine if emotional support animals qualify for the exemption or not. See Part II of the Notice linked above (pg. 7), for a recommended process for determining if an emotional support animal qualifies as an assistance animal. If the animal qualifies as an assistance animal by FHA guidelines, then it is not a pet and reasonable accommodations must be made, including waiver of ‘pet fees’.
If an animal does not qualify as an assistance animal, detailed records of the determination process should be kept to support the decision. These animals would be considered pets and subject to pet fees. It is important to note that a reasonable accommodation can be requested at any time, including after the animal has been introduced into the property.
You are invited!
The monthly Real Estate Commission meetings are always open to the public, and you are invited to attend in person or online via Zoom. The meeting next month is November 8th here at the Commission building. A Zoom link will be available at ncrec.gov on the day of the meeting.
ARELLO National Conference
NCREC experienced a record year at the ARELLO conference in Montreal last month! We received 3 Awards:
In addition to receiving these 3 awards, our Executive Director Miriam Baer received the President’s Service Award, our Director of Regulatory Affairs Janet Thoren was sworn in as President-Elect, and our Director of Education and Licensing Len Elder was elected as an alternate to the Board of Directors. What an exceptional year for NCREC and congratulations to all of our leadership, and every staff member that made these awards possible!
Brokers and consumers consistently contact NCREC to suggest rule changes and inquire about the process for rulemaking. Therefore, this year’s Update course includes a section about the rulemaking process, which may take several months each license year. A brief synopsis of the rulemaking process is included below:
You are invited!
The monthly Real Estate Commission meetings are always open to the public, and you are invited to attend in person or online via Zoom. The meeting next week is October 11th in Asheville, at the Kimpton Hotel Arras. A Zoom link will be available at ncrec.gov on the day of the meeting.