The procedure for filing a complaint with the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors® has 3 basic steps.
Read the Code of Ethics. As you read, make notes as to which Article(s) of the Code you believe have been violated by the REALTOR®. Please note the actual Article(s) you feel have been violated as well as the Standards of Practice (which may be referenced as support of the alleged violation). The Article numbers will need to be included on the formal complaint form as referred to in the second step.
If, after reading the Code of Ethics, you believe that one or more Articles have been violated, file a formal complaint. To do so, contact the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors® at firstname.lastname@example.org to have the paperwork sent to you for processing your complaint. Alternately, you can use the on-line submission option. Regardless of the method chosen to file, you will need to be as specific as possible when providing information regarding your complaint, listing the actions or inactions by the REALTOR® that you believe were a violation. Cite the appropriate Article or Articles of the Code of Ethics related to the complaint. Copies of supporting documentation will also be needed in order to process the complaint.
If the Grievance Advisory Committee determines that the complaint qualifies for a formal hearing, your appearance at a hearing will be required. This will be your opportunity to address members of the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors® Professional Standards Committee with your complaint. The REALTOR® whom your complaint is against will also be required to attend the hearing and explain or defend his/her actions.
The Board can administer discipline to a REALTOR® found to be in violation of the Code of Ethics as follows:
- Send a letter of warning or reprimand to the member, with a copy placed in the member’s personal file.
- Direct the member to attend an ethics class or other training appropriate to the violation.
- Fine the member up to $15,000.
- Place the member on probation (with regard to membership).
- Suspend the member from Board membership or MLS access.
- Expel the member from Board membership or MLS access.
The Cincinnati Area Board of REALTORS® is a voluntary membership trade association and has legal limits on its authority. CABR cannot conduct a hearing to determine violations of law, nor can it enforce contracts or award monetary damages to a party in a case. These powers are reserved to the courts and/or state licensing authority. CABR also does not have the power to revoke an individual’s real estate license. This power falls under the authority of the Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing.
If you are experiencing a problem with a REALTOR® that is legal in nature or if it pertains to the interpretation of a contract, it is suggested you contact an attorney.
The Cincinnati Area Board of REALTORS® strives to promote professionalism among its members. When a member does not abide by the Code of Ethics, it affects the entire REALTOR® organization. If you have any questions regarding the jurisdiction of the Board or the complaint process, call us at (513) 761-8800.