Which agents, brokers were disciplined and why
- Search the database for the first six months of 2019 to find out who was cited and why.
- The Mississippi Real Estate Commission takes disciplinary action.
- Violations can lead to license suspensions, probation and/or fines.
- A 2016 law requires criminal history to be revealed. Those with felonies can’t get licenses.
In the first six months of 2019, more real estate brokers and sales associates in Mississippi were sanctioned for violating state rules than in all of 2017 and 2018 combined.
Some violations — backdating documents, failing to advertise properties and misrepresenting qualifications — received a public reprimand from the Mississippi Real Estate Commission, while other violations led to license suspensions and probation. For example:
- Natilyn C. Morris, principal broker, and MS Home Place LLC, Jackson, had her license suspended for a year for initially operating a brokerage firm for a year without a license.
- Philip Gattuso Jr., Hattiesburg, principal broker of Southern Property Group LLC, had his license suspended for three months. A client thought she was sold 12 lots but years later came to find out she had only been sold four lots when a “For Sale” sign appeared on the property.
- Gina Pepe, a Gulfport real estate agent, had her license suspended for two months. A couple renting an Airbnb from Pepe complained of the unkempt condition of the property, including finding dead bugs in the beds.
Of the nearly 90 disciplinary letters issued, about 60 stemmed from the failure to disclose a misdemeanor criminal conviction. The state has about 10,000 licensed and active real estate professionals, according to the commission.
Since July 1, 2016, the commission has required all applicants for a real estate broker’s or sales license, or those renewing, to undergo a fingerprint-based criminal history records check. The law’s requirements have led to an increase in sanctions, often as licenses come up for renewal.
Real estate brokers and agents can have a misdemeanor conviction, but they are required to let the state know about it. Individuals with felonies can’t obtain licenses.
The commission doesn’t specify the type of misdemeanor conviction, only that one was found.
“One of the best things to happen was when the Legislature passed the criminal history requirement,” Real Estate Commission Administrator Robert Praytor said.
Praytor said initially when the measure passed, 15% to 18% of those filing for a first-time license had a criminal conviction. Now that number is down to 5%, he said.
“It’s for the protection of the public,” Praytor said.
Contact Jimmie E. Gates at 601-961-7212 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @jgatesnews on Twitter.
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