VAR supports bill to mandate background checks for new real estate licensees

Perhaps of particular interest to VARbuzz readers: Part of VAR’s 2009 legislative agenda (PDF download) is support for a bill to require all new real estate licensees to undergo a mandatory background check. This week, Del. Chris Amundson (D-Mount Vernon) introduced HB2541, which would require the Virginia Real Estate Board to complete a background check on anyone applying for a real estate license using the Virginia State Police’s Comprehensive Criminal Records Exchange.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to VAR supports bill to mandate background checks for new real estate licensees

  1. Jim Duncan says:

    Awesome. Thanks, VAR.

  2. I fully support this move. It’s about 20 years overdue. As a matter of fact, this should have been introduced prior to the fax machine or before the last agent in the US gave up their big and not so “green” book of listings! (Has that happened yet?)

  3. Donna Patton says:

    Why not all Realtors?

  4. Jim Rake says:

    Agree with all…and second yours, Donna.

  5. ok, we have this in New Jersey already. The only problem I have with it is that the state should pay for it, or require background checks for everything. What are they thinking Realtors are going to do, hold up their clients are gun point?

  6. Candy Lynn says:

    We’ve had this discussion on our local level – glad to see this! I agree with Donna – should be ALL.

  7. Scott Brunner, CEO says:

    Checked with our lobbyist yesterday. He tells me that under this bill, the background checks will apply to all licensees at their next renewal. If we can get it passed, of course.

  8. Lambros Real says:

    Any idea when the bill will be legalized? I think this is happening at a bad time, when people are losing jobs, you may think some of them would opt to be real estate licensees and somehow this complicates the matter further.

  9. Sarah Stelmok says:

    WhooHoo! And I would be happy to answer Morristown NJ Real Estate Guy’s question. Yes, that’s exactly why background checks are needed. So a consumer is not subjected to a dangerous criminal posing as their Realtor. You would be surprised how many can and do actually obtain a license. It is a check that my company already does and I am glad they do! I hope this legislation passes!

  10. Candy Lynn says:

    Glad to see this bill is moving along:

    House Bill 2541 (Amundson)
    Mandatory background checks for real estate license applicants:
    • STATUS: Passed the Senate Courts Committee unanimously yesterday and awaits action later this week by the full Senate.

  11. Joe Vita says:

    I don’t believe the proposed law will necessarily prevent criminals from entering our profession or becoming Realtors.

    It requires that the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation obtain a criminal history record for individuals making application for initial licensure as a real estate licensee pursuant to 54.1-2106.1.

    Existing law states that prior convictions are not to abridge the rights of a convicted person so that they can’t be refused a license to practice in any regulated occupation or profession solely because of a prior criminal conviction, unless the criminal conviction directly relates to the occupation or profession for which the license, certificate or registration is sought. It can find that the record of prior convictions makes the applicant unfit or unsuited to engage in such occupation or profession. It may also decide that such may not prevent licensure. There is a whole list of things they must take into consideration to insure fairness to the appplicant.

    I don’t believe the law requires any notification of uncovered criminal convictions by DPOR to anyone. So, if DPOR does grant a license to someone with a conviction because it may not believe it has any right to deny one under the law, there is no requirement that either VAR or the local association which has entertained the membership application be informed. That type of information is probably private.

    Suppose this new licensee has applied to become a Realtor. Since neither the local association nor VAR will be made aware of the criminal history, membership will probably be granted. He/she might have been denied such membership if they lied about their convictions on their membership application. Such a situation may not come to light as long as

    If they included their conviction on their application and were not denied licensure by DPOR they probably could not then be denied Realtor membership without a lawsuit.

    So, while the new background check requirement may be a step in the right direction, it will not necessarily prevent those convicted of any crime from either getting a license or VAR membership.

    What do you think? Am I missing something, Lem.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *