Read about 5 legal case studies in March ‘D.R. Legal News’

The Illinois Association of REALTORS® provides the results of five case studies for Managing Brokers to consider in the March issue of D.R. Legal News.

The case studies are:

  • Big penalties assessed for involvement in a “mortgage referral scheme” between financial institution loan officers and a title company;
  • Real estate companies win a case alleging violation of antitrust laws regarding commissions;
  • A finding that an employer’s discipline for suspected alcohol use by an employee was unwarranted;
  • The question of a new property owner’s liability for past condo assessments when buying a foreclosed unit; and
  • The question of whether real estate firms can use an online system to maintain property records without infringing on another company’s patent.

D.R. Legal News is an electronic newsletter distributed six times a year by the Illinois Association of REALTORS®. It is a members-only publication that addresses brokerage management issues.

D.R. Legal News highlights Wisconsin listing issue

Managing brokers – If you are not licensed to sell real estate in Wisconsin, a Wisconsin law limits your involvement in the selling or leasing of Wisconsin properties.

According to the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association (WRA), a law became effective Jan. 1 that requires Wisconsin real estate licensees to list Wisconsin properties. While the law was created because of problems that arose when out-of-state brokers handled transactions, Illinois licensees are allowed work cooperatively with Wisconsin brokers. For more information, see the March issue of D.R. Legal News for managing brokers.


5 practical lessons learned through IAR’s Legal Webinar

Advice regarding surveillance videos, commercial drones, state real estate licenses, medical marijuana and tenant foreclosure rights were among the topics addressed during the Feb. 19 Illinois Association of REALTORS® Legal Webinar.

Although IAR Members were able to get answers to a number of other questions from the IAR Legal Services team, anyone interested in real estate could benefit from these questions, answers and news updates.

1. Q.  The federal ‘Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act’ expired on Dec. 31, 2014. Is there a similar Illinois law that protects tenants when their leased property is foreclosed?

A. Yes. In 2013, an Illinois law was enacted, giving tenants similar rights to the federal law. Generally, bona fide leases for residential property must be allowed to go to the end of term, or if the lease is month-to-month, it must give a 90-day notice before eviction. The Illinois law contains specific definitions and some exceptions.

2. Q. A company website/portal has Illinois real estate for sale and is soliciting bids for property it does not own. The company is licensed for real estate and auctioneering in California but not Illinois. Must this company be licensed in Illinois to auction the sale of real estate?

A. Based on these facts, the California company doing business with regard to Illinois real estate would need an Illinois real estate broker license to auction property owned by others for compensation. Complaints would need to be filed with the Enforcement Section of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) at

3. Q. How do we advise tenant clients that qualify for medical marijuana when their landlord prohibits smoking indoors?

A. Landlords may still prohibit smoking indoors. Properly certified patients wishing to use medical marijuana indoors may need to use a smokeless form of the drug. See for articles and webinars on this subject.

4. News on eavesdropping. The only type of eavesdropping allowed in Illinois without consent is video in public areas (it is prohibited in private areas like a bathroom). Effective Dec. 30, 2014, when conversations are expected to be private, audio recording requires the consent of all parties. However, it is unclear whether a conversation in a listed home should be considered private, even if a sign about surveillance recording is posted. Practically speaking, IAR recommends REALTORS® representing sellers get consent or post a sign. REALTORS® representing buyers should not discuss anything with regard to the listed property until off the premises.

5. News on commercial drones. Although the commercial use of drones is presently prohibited by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) without an FAA-issued permit, it has proposed new rules that should provide for permitted commercial use of small drones if certain requirements are met. Those proposed rules are in the comment period, so they are not in effect, and it will still be quite some time before the rules become final.

Remember to tune in to IAR Legal Webinar Thursday morning

IAR members can get the latest update on real estate related issues and get their questions answered during IAR’s Legal Webinar at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

This webinar will be hosted by IAR Legal Hotline Attorney Betsy Urbance and IAR Legal Helpline Attorney Jeffrey T. Baker (both of Sorling Northrup Attorneys).

Questions received in advance will be given priority.

New Wisconsin law could affect IAR members?


Illinois REALTORS® – On Jan. 1, a new provision in Wisconsin’s real estate licensing law clarified the need for a Wisconsin license to list Wisconsin properties. However, the provision does allow for out-of-state licensees to cooperate with Wisconsin licensees under a statutorily required cooperative agreement.

According to the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association (WRA), the law keeps Wisconsin brokers in charge of transactions but allows Illinois-licensed brokers to have a limited involvement in the selling or leasing process.  The association states that the law was passed because of the negative impacts out-of-state licensees were causing for clients and Wisconsin brokers.

A few basics of Wisconsin Statute 452.137:

  • Only Wisconsin-licensed brokers can decide if they want to have a cooperative or referral agreement;
  • The agreements are voluntary and are made on a case-by-case basis;
  • The law covers residential, commercial, farm and vacant land transactions involving real estate brokers;
  • Out-of-state licensees must agree that all earnest money and client funds will be held by Wisconsin brokers and Wisconsin law governs all disputes between brokers.

Need more information?