Real estate agents are required to be fingerprinted and submit to a background check to get their real estate license. However, it was recently reported that thousands of Texas realtors are keeping their license despite having criminal records.
The Texas Real Estate Commission is currently allowing people with criminal records to practice real estate in the state of Texas, with some crimes as serious as assaulted battery and convicted felonies.
KHOU 11, a Houston news team, reported that one realtor, Yvette Zachary, threatened to kill a woman at gunpoint and spent a year in prison. But Zachary was able to keep her realtor’s license. Another case that turned heads, was a realtor who was convicted of stealing checks that amounted to $33,000, yet was still able to keep her realtor’s license.
So why is this happening?
The Houston Association of Realtors said it can’t do much about the situation because it’s the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) that decides who gets a license and who doesn’t.When KHOU 11 interviewed TREC Administrator Douglas Oldmixon, he argued that the crime is judged on relevancy and how long it’s been since the crime was committed.
KHOU 11 also reported that there are more than 14,000 realtors with licenses who have a criminal background, but only 51 of those license have been revoked or denied — that’s less than 1 percent.
With this new information coming to light, could a criminal background check be on your list of requirements when evaluating your next real estate agent? Let us know how you feel about criminals working as real estate agents in the comments below.