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:

  1. 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.

  2. That the complaint relates to possible violations of the Real Estate Law and Subdivided Lands Law Denotes a PDF document..

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.

We may be able to facilitate resolution of your dispute or issue.  In some instances consumers may obtain assistance from the Department’s Complaint Resolution Program to resolve simple complaints involving real estate licensees.  For more information see the Complaint Resolution Program page.

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 519 Denotes a PDF document..

You may also file a complaint to the DRE using the Enforcement Online Complaint System.

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:

  1. 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.

  2. Tell us who was present during these conversations or acts.

  3. Tell us when and where these conversations/acts took place.

  4. 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 - For Complaints Statewide

Mail or hand deliver your completed complaint form and attachments to any of the DRE's district offices: 

District Office City/State/Zip Code
FRESNO 2550 Mariposa Mall, Room 3070, Fresno, CA 93721-2273
LOS ANGELES 320 West 4th Street, Suite 350, Los Angeles, CA 90013-1105
OAKLAND 1515 Clay Street, Suite 702, Oakland, CA 94612-1462
SACRAMENTO 1651 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95815
SAN DIEGO 8620 Spectrum Center Blvd, Suite 301A, San Diego, CA 921023
Back to Top