The single, most outstanding characteristic that sets REALTORS® apart from other real estate practitioners is the willingness to accept and abide by the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS®.
What is Required to File an Ethics Complaint?
- Ethics Complaints must be filed with the Long Island Board of REALTORS®, Inc. (LIBOR) within one hundred eighty (180) days from the time a complainant knew, or reasonably should have known, that potentially unethical conduct took place, or within one hundred eighty (180) days after the conclusion of the transaction.
- Make certain to include the date when the alleged violation took place so that the Grievance Committee can determine if the request is filed on time.
- Make certain to state clearly your involvement or connection to the complaint. All appropriate parties should be named.
- Your complaint should include a clear, concise narrative of the circumstances that lead you to believe the Code of Ethics may have been violated.
- Your complaint must include one or more Articles of the Code of Ethics which you allege have been violated.
How the Process Works
- Complaints must be filed within 180 days from the time a complainant knew, or reasonably should have known, that potentially unethical conduct took place, or within 180 days after the conclusion of the transaction.
- A Grievance Committee, in accordance with LIBOR’s procedures and the procedures of the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual, will conduct a review of your complaint to determine if an Ethics Hearing should be held to determine if a violation of the Code of Ethics has occurred.
- If the Grievance Committee dismisses your complaint, it does not mean they don’t believe you. Rather, it means that they do not feel your allegations would support a hearing panel’s conclusion that the Article(s) cited in your complaint have been violated.
- If the Grievance Committee forwards your complaint for a hearing, that does not mean they have decided the Code of Ethics has been violated. Rather, it means they feel that if what you allege in your complaint is found to have occurred by the hearing panel, that panel may have reason to find a violation of the Code of Ethics occurred.
- If your complaint is dismissed, you will be given the opportunity to appeal the dismissal.
- If the Grievance Committee concludes that a hearing should be held, both parties (the complainant(s) and respondent(s)) are notified of the time and date of the hearing along with the instructions as to the procedures that are followed. All parties are provided an opportunity to state their case and present evidence to the Ethics Hearing Panel in accordance with the procedures of the Code of Ethics.
- At the conclusion of the hearing, the Panel decides if the REALTORS® Code of Ethics has been violated. Disciplinary action can be taken against the REALTOR® ranging from a warning, requirement of educational training, fines of up to $15,000.00, or suspension or even expulsion from LIBOR (or any combination thereof).
- Ethics hearings are not held to resolve civil matters or criminal complaints. They are only held to determine if the Code of Ethics had been violated.
Complaint Filing Instructions
- Please fill out the complaint form. The “Complainant” is the person filing the complaint. The “Respondent” is the person(s) you are filing the complaint against.
- Review the REALTORS® Code of Ethics and state on the complaint form the Article(s) you believe have been violated.
- LIBOR has a new Citation Program that was developed to expedite the Ethics Complaint process and to protect the buying and selling public. Filing an Ethics Complaint against a REALTOR® is a time-consuming process. With the new Citation Program a lengthy hearing process can be avoided. The Citation Program is only available when certain Articles of the Code of Ethics are alleged to have been violated. See the section titled “Citation Program” for more information.