Are criminal background checks being performed for real estate agents in Georgia?
Yes and No – d-“pending” on how you look at it…
As far as I know, a criminal background check is made for any real estate applicant for new or renewed license by the Georgia Real Estate Commission to verify that any charges are pending for certain crimes but not a “complete” history of “charged” criminal background checks are researched or considered, only those “convictions” that are less than 5 years ago and only 2 years for a single conviction.
Georgia Code – 43-40-15-(1.2) A person who has a conviction in a court of competent jurisdiction of this state or any other state shall be eligible to become an applicant for a licensure or an approval authorized by this chapter only if:
(A) Such person has satisfied all terms and conditions of any conviction such person may have had before making application for licensure or approval, provided that if such individual has multiple convictions, at least five years shall have passed since the individual satisfied all terms and conditions of any sentence imposed for the last conviction before making application for licensure or approval; and provided, further, that if such individual has been convicted of a single felony or of a single crime of moral turpitude, at least two years shall have passed since the individual satisfied all terms and conditions of any sentence imposed for the last conviction before making application for licensure or approval;
Per Georgia Code 43-40-15: Grant of licenses; grounds for suspension or revocation of license; other sanctions; surrender or lapse; conviction, there are certain circumstances which would prohibit issuance or revocation of licenses covered in Georgia Law – Georgia Code:. These circumstances only apply if “charges are pending” against an applicant for new or renewed license. Georgia Code 43-40-15 (1.2) (B) says “No criminal charges for forgery, embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretenses, theft, extortion, conspiracy to defraud, a felony, a sexual offense, a probation violation, or a crime involving moral turpitude are pending against the person;”
Bottom line: As long as you only commit certain crimes every 2+ years and even if you are accused and charged but “NOT” convicted of the crime – you too can be a REAL-A-TOR in Georgia!
Hope you feel safer now – Merry Christmas!
Source of inspiration for post: Measure was proposed in South Carolina legislature after kidnapping and murder charges were filed against a currently licensed real estate agent. The proposed legislation would require background checks to renew real estate licenses.