The following programs are available through the Professional Standards Department at the Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Association of REALTORS®. For additional information on any of these services, please contact the Professional Standards Department at (800) 446-3646.
Mediation can be a useful tool in resolving the conflicts that arise involving REALTORS®. It is entirely voluntary. Upon receipt of an Arbitration Complaint, all parties are offered the opportunity and encouraged to participate in the mediation process. If the parties agree, the matter will be referred to a Mediator, who will conduct the mediation. If the parties agree to a settlement of the dispute, and the settlement has been signed by all of the parties, the matter is deemed resolved and cannot be the subject of a subsequent arbitration hearing. If the mediation attempt is unsuccessful, or if either of the parties declines mediation, then the Arbitration Complaint is processed.
If REALTOR® members are in a dispute over a commission or other real estate-related monetary dispute, an Arbitration Complaint can be filed. Complaints must be filed within 180 days from close of escrow or 180 days from the time the facts giving rise to the dispute were discovered. Once a Complaint is filed, a copy will be forwarded to the other parties who are given twenty days to file a Response. A Panel of five (5) Professional Standards members will be chosen to hear the matter. After the hearing, the Panel will deliberate and issue an arbitration award.
The Ombudsman Program is a voluntary program that allows a person the opportunity to speak with a trained, knowledgeable Professional Standards expert about your dispute prior to filing a Disciplinary Complaint. An Ombudsman may also be used after a Disciplinary Complaint has been filed but before the actual hearing takes place.
An Ombudsman acts as a go-between to assist the parties in finding a resolution. The Ombudsman does not determine if a violation has occurred, but facilitates communication and conciliation between parties.
ETHICS ADVOCATE PROGRAM
The Ethics Advocate Program utilizes trained Ethics Advocates (EAs) to assist parties with the following:
Filing a Formal Disciplinary Complaint;
Responding to a Formal Disciplinary Complaint;
Advise a party on the merits of his or her Complaint or Response and possible resolutions.
Preparing a party for the Disciplinary hearing
ANONYMOUS COMPLAINT PROGRAM
Many REALTOR® members or members of the public do not feel comfortable filing a complaint with their names on it. In order to file an anonymous complaint, the Complaint must be able to “stand on its own.” (For example, false advertising type complaints.)
A REALTOR® or member of the public will be asked to provide as much information regarding the allegations as possible, but he or she does not have to reveal his or her identity.
A Disciplinary Complaint must be filed within 180 days after the facts constituting alleged misconduct could have been known in the exercise of reasonable diligence. Once filed, the Complaint is sent to the Grievance Committee for review. If the Committee decides a hearing is necessary, the “Respondent” is notified and given 20 days to file a Response. A Panel of five (5) Professional Standards members will be chosen to hear the matter. After that hearing, the Panel will decide if a violation has occurred and will impose appropriate disciplinary action.