Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 18. Professional and Occupational Licensing
Agency 135. Real Estate Board
Chapter 20. Virginia Real Estate Board Licensing Regulations
9/29/2020

18VAC135-20-225. Audits.

A. Procedures for voluntary compliance, self audit, or third-party audit; broker immunity.

1. A principal broker or supervising broker may conduct, or may have another person conduct, an audit of the practices, policies, and procedures of his firm or sole proprietorship in accordance with § 54.1-2111.1 of the Code of Virginia. The methods and findings of the audit shall be documented as described in this subsection.

2. A principal broker or supervising broker shall notify the board in writing within 30 days following the conclusion of a self audit, or within 30 days from the receipt of the final report of a third-party audit, of any matter he believes to constitute noncompliance with the provisions of Real Estate Board regulations or law. The principal broker or supervising broker shall also submit (i) a statement that such noncompliance has been remediated or (ii) a plan to correct such noncompliance within 90 days. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in loss of immunity from regulatory enforcement action.

3. A principal broker or supervising broker shall sign and date any report made pursuant to subdivision 2 of this subsection. Such report, properly submitted, shall provide immunity from enforcement against the principal broker or supervising broker by the board for the matters reported therein.

4. Immunity from enforcement action provided by this section shall not apply if the noncompliance with provisions of Real Estate Board regulations or law by the principal broker or supervising broker was intentional or was the result of gross negligence by the principal broker or supervising broker.

5. Immunity from enforcement action provided by this section shall apply only to the principal broker and supervising broker who conduct an audit and submit a voluntary compliance plan in accordance with this section and shall not extend to any other broker or salesperson who may not be in compliance with Real Estate Board regulations or law.

6. Failure to complete the voluntary compliance program within 90 days from the date of plan submission shall result in the loss of immunity from regulatory enforcement action. Repeated instances of a violation found as a result of an audit that was subject to the voluntary compliance program may be deemed by the board to constitute a failure to complete the prior voluntary compliance program.

B. Procedures for mandatory audit.

1. A principal broker or supervising broker shall conduct or have a third party conduct an audit at least once during each license term in accordance with § 54.1-2106.2 of the Code of Virginia. Such audit shall be documented on a form developed by the board.

2. In conducting an audit of practices, policies, and procedures of the firm or sole proprietorship, the principal broker or supervising broker or a third party shall examine and document all matters regarding the compliance by the firm or sole proprietorship with law and regulation regarding:

a. Proper handling of escrow deposits and maintenance of a complete record of financial transactions;

b. Compliance with federal and state fair housing laws and regulations if the firm or sole proprietorship engages in residential brokerage, residential leasing, or residential property management;

c. Advertising in all forms and media;

d. Negotiation and drafting of contracts, leases, and brokerage agreements;

e. Use of unlicensed individuals;

f. Agency or independent contractor relationships;

g. Distribution of information on new or changed statutory or regulatory requirements;

h. Proper documentation of required disclosures; and

i. Such other matters as necessary to assure the competence of licensees to comply with this chapter and Chapter 21 (§ 54.1-2100 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia.

3. If at the conclusion of a mandatory audit the principal broker or supervising broker or third party believes there is noncompliance with the provisions of the Real Estate Board regulations or law, the principal broker or supervising broker may avail himself of the procedures for voluntary compliance described in subsection A of this section.

Upon request by any investigator, or by another agent of the board, a broker shall cooperate in the provision of records and documents pursuant to 18VAC135-20-240 within 10 days of receipt of the request, and for other requests by the board and its agents pursuant to 18VAC135-20-250, within 21 days of receipt.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-201 and 54.1-2105 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 31, Issue 26, eff. November 1, 2015.

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