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Legislative Notes


The source of authority for the reasonable regulation of licensing activities that affect public health, welfare, and safety is the state police power. A primary purpose behind state regulation in licensing is the protection of the public from incompetence.

In order to understand the application of H. B. 347 to Ohio's real estate licensing law, it is necessary to conceptualize the basic organization of authorities overseeing real estate licensing activities. The Division of Real Estate of the State of Ohio Department of Commerce administers the real estate licensing law. This administrative agency will be referred to throughout this note as “the Division.” Ohio law provides, for administrative purposes, that the Ohio Real Estate Commission be deemed part of the Department of Commerce. This agency, which will be referred to as “the Commission,” is composed of five members, four of whom must be in the business of real estate. The fifth Commissioner represents the general public. The Director of Commerce designates a Superintendent to serve as the executive officer of the Commission.

One of the duties of the Commission is to advise the Superintendent with regard to the content of courses designed to meet the educational requirements for licensing real estate salesmen and brokers. The powers of the Superintendent include investigation of complaints of licensee conduct or violations of real estate licensing law. Another power vested in the Commission is the suspension or revocation of licenses for violations.

H. B. 347 became effective November 7, 1979. The purpose of this new law is to increase the professional responsibility of real estate licensees. To accomplish this purpose, the enactment alters statutory real estate licensing requirements and statutory grounds for suspending and revoking real estate licenses. The major impact of the legislation arises from provisions designed to prevent civil rights violations by licensees and to encourage the Ohio Civil Rights Commission to initiate complaints of real estate licensee violations with the Commission.

Following a discussion of the legislative purpose of H. B. 347, this note will evaluate the right of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission to lodge complaints with the Commission. Provisions for suspending and revoking licenses will be analyzed, and apparent difficulties with investigation of complaints will be discussed. Finally, educational requirements will be summarized. Although reference to each of the numerous changes which the enactment makes is beyond the scope of this note, some of the more important changes not discussed in text will be treated in footnotes.

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