File an Ethics Complaint
Below are the forms for you to use should you choose to file a complaint with the Grievance Committee of the Cleveland Area Board of REALTORS® alleging misconduct by one of our REALTOR® members.
What We Can Do
The Grievance Committee investigates complaints solely on the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS®. Should you believe any of the articles have been violated, that will then form the basis of your complaint. Please be specific in your complaint, explaining why you feel a particular article has been violated. We cannot file your complaints for you; however, if you have questions of a procedural nature or have difficulty in framing your complaints, someone will be assigned to assist you.
The Board can offer to arbitrate a money dispute between members of the public and REALTOR® firms. Both parties must voluntarily agree in advance to submit to arbitration by the Board, and be bound by the arbitrators.
What We Cannot Do
The Board cannot hear or decide issues of law. Therefore, if your problem is legal or of a contractual nature, we suggest you contact an attorney.
The Board cannot, and will not consider awarding compensatory or punitive damages; and should any fines be levied against any member, those funds would go to the Cleveland Area Board of REALTORS®. If you would like the Board to arbitrate a dispute involving a REALTOR®, please send a summary of the events in a letter stating your desire for information on the Board's Dispute Resolution System. You will be contacted if the Board determines that the dispute can be arbitrated.
The Board of REALTORS® does not control licenses, and membership is entirely voluntary on the part of real estate licensees. The Board, therefore, has no jurisdiction to hold hearings involving real estate licensees who are not members of this Board. Should your complaint be against a licensee who is not a member of this Association, we suggest you contact the Ohio Real Estate Commission at 1 (614) 466-4100
Ethics Complaint Procedures
If you believe a REALTOR® involved in your real estate transaction has acted unethically, you may file a formal complaint with the Cleveland Area Board of REALTORS®. The following are the procedures that should be followed:
- The Board has enclosed a complaint form that must be returned with your description of events that occurred.
- The Grievance Committee considers complaints solely on the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS®. The Board cannot hear or decide issues of law; therefore, if your problem is legal or of a contractual nature, we suggest you contact an attorney.
- The Board of REALTORS® does not control licenses and membership in the Board is voluntary on the part of real estate licensees. The Board has no jurisdiction to hold hearings involving licensees that are not members of our Board. Should your complaint be against a licensee who is not a member, we suggest you contact the Ohio Division of Real Estate (614) 466-4100.
- The Grievance Committee will make preliminary review of the complaint. Once your complaint is filed, the Board will keep you apprised of the status through written communication only. The Committee will determine if there is sufficient evidence to hold a hearing.
- If the Grievance Committee feels a hearing is warranted, you will be notified of the date, time and place of the hearing. This does not mean that the Grievance Committee has determined that a violation has occurred. Rather, it means that the Grievance Committee believes that if what you allege in your complaint is found to have occurred by the Hearing Panel, that panel may have reason to find that a violation occurred. Your presence at that hearing will be required. You should be prepared to bring your witnesses and evidence, if any, and be prepared to present your case. If the REALTOR® is found in violation of the Articles of the Code, the Board may impose varying degrees of sanctions and disciplinary action. In no event can the board assess damages of moneys to the complainant.
- If the Grievance Committee determines that a hearing is unwarranted, you have the right to appeal their decision to the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Area Board of REALTORS® within 20 days.
- If the REALTOR®(S) is/are found to be in violation of one or more of the Articles of the Code of Ethics, the Cleveland Area Board of REALTORS®may impose the following disciplinary actions:
- Letter of warning with copy to be placed in member's file
- Letter of reprimand with copy to be placed in member's file
- Require attendance at an Ethics course or other appropriate training
- Fine payable to the Board not to exceed $2,500
- Member placed on probation not to exceed one (1) year
- Member suspended from the Board not to exceed one (1) year
- Expulsion from Board membership for a period not less than one (1) year, but not more than three (3) years.
- Finally, these matters are considered confidential and we ask that you, as a party to a complaint respect the confidentiality of these proceedings.