(a) A person may not operate as a broker or sales associate without being the holder of a valid and current active license therefor. Any person who violates this paragraph commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, or, if a corporation, as provided in s. 775.083.
(b) A person licensed as a sales associate may not operate as a broker or operate as a sales associate for any person not registered as her or his employer.
(c) A broker may not employ, or continue in employment, any person as a sales associate who is not the holder of a valid and current license as sales associate; but a license as sales associate may be issued to a person licensed as an active broker, upon request and surrender of the license as broker, without a fee in addition to that paid for the issuance of the broker’s active license.
(d) A sales associate may not collect any money in connection with any real estate brokerage transaction, whether as a commission, deposit, payment, rental, or otherwise, except in the name of the employer and with the express consent of the employer; and no real estate sales associate, whether the holder of a valid and current license or not, shall commence or maintain any action for a commission or compensation in connection with a real estate brokerage transaction against any person except a person registered as her or his employer at the time the sales associate performed the act or rendered the service for which the commission or compensation is due.
(e) A person may not violate any lawful order or rule of the commission which is binding upon her or him.
(f) A person may not commit any conduct or practice set forth in s. 475.25(1)(b), (c), (d), or (h).
(g) A person may not make any false affidavit or affirmation intended for use as evidence by or before the commission or a member thereof, or by any of its authorized representatives, nor may any person give false testimony under oath or affirmation to or before the commission or any member thereof in any proceeding authorized by this chapter.
(h) A person may not fail or refuse to appear at the time and place designated in a subpoena issued with respect to a violation of this chapter, unless because of facts that are sufficient to excuse appearance in response to a subpoena from the circuit court; nor may a person who is present before the commission or a member thereof or one of its authorized representatives acting under authority of this chapter refuse to be sworn or to affirm or fail or refuse to answer fully any question propounded by the commission, the member, or such representative, or by any person by the authority of such officer or appointee; nor may any person, so being present, conduct herself or himself in a disorderly, disrespectful, or contumacious manner.
(i) A person may not obstruct or hinder in any manner the enforcement of this chapter or the performance of any lawful duty by any person acting under the authority of this chapter or interfere with, intimidate, or offer any bribe to any member of the commission or any of its employees or any person who is, or is expected to be, a witness in any investigation or proceeding relating to a violation of this chapter.
(j) A broker or sales associate may not place, or cause to be placed, upon the public records of any county, any contract, assignment, deed, will, mortgage, affidavit, or other writing which purports to affect the title of, or encumber, any real property if the same is known to her or him to be false, void, or not authorized to be placed of record, or not executed in the form entitling it to be recorded, or the execution or recording whereof has not been authorized by the owner of the property, maliciously or for the purpose of collecting a commission, or to coerce the payment of money to the broker or sales associate or other person, or for any unlawful purpose. However, nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prohibit a broker or a sales associate from recording a judgment rendered by a court of this state or to prohibit a broker from placing a lien on a property where expressly permitted by contractual agreement or otherwise allowed by law.
(k) A person may not operate as a broker under a trade name without causing the trade name to be noted in the records of the commission and placed on the person’s license, or so operate as a member of a partnership or as a corporation or as an officer or manager thereof, unless such partnership or corporation is the holder of a valid current registration.
(l) A person may not knowingly conceal any information relating to violations of this chapter.
(m) A person may not undertake to list or sell one or more timeshare periods per year in one or more timeshare plans on behalf of any number of persons without first being the holder of a valid and current license as a broker or sales associate pursuant to this chapter, except as provided in s. 475.011 and chapter 721.
(n) A broker or sales associate may not enter into any listing or other agreement regarding her or his services in connection with the resale of a timeshare period unless the broker or sales associate fully and fairly discloses all material aspects of the agreement to the owner of the timeshare period. Further, a broker or sales associate may not use any form of contract or purchase and sale agreement in connection with the resale of a timeshare period unless the contract or purchase and sale agreement fully and fairly discloses all material aspects of the timeshare plan and the rights and obligations of both buyer and seller. The commission is authorized to adopt rules pursuant to chapter 120 as necessary to implement, enforce, and interpret this paragraph.
(o) A person may not disseminate or cause to be disseminated by any means any false or misleading information for the purpose of offering for sale, or for the purpose of causing or inducing any other person to purchase, lease, or rent, real estate located in the state or for the purpose of causing or inducing any other person to acquire an interest in the title to real estate located in the state.
(2) PENALTIES.—Any person who violates any of the provisions of subsection (1) is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, or, if a corporation, it is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.083, except when a different punishment is prescribed by this chapter. Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the prosecution under any other criminal statute of this state of any person for an act or conduct prohibited by this section; however, in such cases, the state may prosecute under this section or under such other statute, or may charge both offenses in one prosecution, but the sentence imposed shall not be a greater fine or longer sentence than that prescribed for the offense which carries the more severe penalties. A civil case, criminal case, or a denial, revocation, or suspension proceeding may arise out of the same alleged state of facts, and the pendency or result of one such case or proceeding shall not stay or control the result of either of the others.
History.—s. 45, ch. 12223, 1927; CGL 8134; s. 11, ch. 24090, 1947; s. 11, ch. 25035, 1949; s. 10, ch. 26484, 1951; s. 22, ch. 63-129; s. 418, ch. 71-136; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 48, ch. 78-95; ss. 25, 42, 43, ch. 79-239; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 26, 38, ch. 82-1; ss. 22, 45, ch. 82-179; s. 1, ch. 85-90; s. 1, ch. 85-101; ss. 17, 28, 30, ch. 88-20; s. 3, ch. 89-76; s. 3, ch. 89-368; s. 16, ch. 90-228; s. 16, ch. 90-341; s. 19, ch. 90-345; ss. 6, 10, ch. 91-89; s. 254, ch. 91-224; s. 7, ch. 91-289; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 14, ch. 93-261; s. 375, ch. 97-103; s. 40, ch. 2003-164; s. 3, ch. 2005-275; s. 6, ch. 2006-210.