Filing a Complaint
About the Complaint Process
Investigations are made by the Department of Real Estate's Enforcement Section on the basis of written complaints received from the public. To initiate an investigation, the DRE must determine two things:
- That the individuals or companies involved are under the DRE's jurisdiction. The Department has jurisdiction over real estate licensees, subdividers and unlicensed persons who have performed acts which require a real estate license. See Real Estate License Look-Up to find out if an individual or company is licensed by the DRE.
- That the complaint relates to possible violations of the Real Estate Law and Subdivided Lands Law .
What We Can Do
We investigate complaints against real estate brokers and salespersons accused of misleading or defrauding consumers. If we can prove a violation of the Real Estate Licensing Law, a formal hearing may be held which could result in the revocation or suspension of the agent's license.
We investigate complaints against subdividers accused of violating subdivision laws. If we can prove a violation, further sales may be stopped until such time as the violations are corrected.
What We Cannot Do
We cannot act as a court of law, so we cannot order that monies be refunded, contracts be canceled, damages be awarded, etc. If you have this type of problem, you should consult an attorney.
We cannot give legal advice or act as your attorney.
How to File a Complaint
Review and complete the Licensee/Subdivider Complaint Information and Form (RE 519A & RE 519) .
When Completing the Complaint Form
Provide a written explanation of the exact nature of your complaint. Summarize your complaint in a chronological manner using these guidelines:
- Tell us what happened. Start from the beginning and describe the events as they occurred. Be specific as to what was said and who said it.
- Tell us who was present during these conversations or acts.
- Tell us when and where these conversations/acts took place.
- Provide names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses to the events described in your complaint.
Provide photocopies of all documents involved in your transaction. Documentary evidence is especially important! To expedite the handling of your complaint, you should provide legible photocopies of all documents relating to your transaction such as listings, offers, deposit receipts, notes and trust deeds, correspondence, legible copies of the front and back of checks involved, escrow documents, advertising, etc., and attach them to the written complaint. If you are unable to submit photocopies, you may submit the originals which will be copied and returned to you.
Submitting the Complaint Form
Mail or hand deliver your completed complaint form and attachments to the DRE District Office nearest you.