Filing Ethics Complaints
- Anyone may file an Ethics complaint whether you are a member or not. Be sure, however, that the person you are filing the complaint about IS a REALTOR®, and a member of the REALTORS® Association of Northeast Wisconsin.
- Determine whether your complaint concerns an Ethics matter or an Arbitration of a dispute.
- An Ethics Complaint charges that a REALTOR® violated an Article(s) of the Code of Ethics. Arbitration provides a means for resolving a monetary dispute arising out of a real estate transaction that parties have been unable to resolve themselves.
- An Arbitration request often involves one member in disagreement with another member, usually over a commission or contractual dispute. Sometimes Arbitration concerns a dispute between a customer or client and an Association member. The procedures for Arbitration follow this section.
- If your situation concerns both Ethics and Arbitration, the Association will handle the Arbitration portion separately. The Association will consider the Ethics complaint only after it has completed the Arbitration. The Association always holds the Arbitration first. Ethics complaints must be filed with the REALTORS® Association within one hundred eighty (180) days from the time a complainant knew (or reasonably could have known in the exercise of reasonable due diligence) that potentially unethical conduct took place or within one hundred eighty (180) days after the conclusion of the transaction, whichever is later. The REALTORS® Code of Ethics consists of seventeen (17) Articles. The duties imposed by many of the Articles are explained and illustrated through accompanying Standards of Practice or case interpretations. Your complaint should include a narrative description of the circumstances that lead you to believe the Code of Ethics may have been violated.
- Your complaint can specifically cite one or more of these Articles of the Code of Ethics which you believe have been violated. Only an Article, not a Standard of Practice, are cited. Hearing panels decide whether the Articles expressly cited in complaints were violated - not whether Standards of Practice or case interpretations were violated.
- RANW's Review Committee may provide technical assistance in preparing a complaint in proper form and with proper content, especially for members of the public.
How To File an Ethics Complaint
1. Complete and sign the Ethics Complaint form E-1. This form asks you to name the REALTOR(s)® in question as the Respondent(s). Consider also whether you are willing to Mediate your complaint (see next Section).
2. You will be provided with a copy of the Code of Ethics. List the Article(s) of the Code that you think the REALTOR(s)® violated.
3. Attach copies of any and all pertinent documents such as listing agreements, purchase and sales agreements, addenda, etc. that will help support your complaint.
4. If you wish to include statements from persons who wouldn't be at a hearing, should one be recommended, have them make their statements on a Witness Affidavit form. It is recommended the affidavit be notarized. Include the Affidavits as well.
5. Send the entire package, keeping a copy for yourself, to the REALTORS® Association of Northeast Wisconsin; W6124 Aerotech Drive; Appleton WI 54914.