As a RAHB member, you are held to a high standard of professionalism. You have to abide by the regulations and Code of Ethics in REBBA 2002, the CREA REALTOR® Code and the RAHB MLS® Rules and Regulations and Policies. That’s a lot of regulation!
It’s no surprise that, especially with the busy real estate market we have now, there are times when rules are forgotten and the Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, which is the basis for the REALTOR® Code – gets a bit tarnished. When that happens, other members – and sometimes buyers and sellers – are affected. As everyone knows, just one bad experience with a REALTOR® will leave an impression with a buyer or seller that will be hard for every other REALTOR® to overcome.
If you are in a situation where another member has acted contrary to what is required or expected of a real estate professional, you do have a remedy: you can make a formal complaint to RAHB or to RECO, depending on what occurred.
What’s the difference?
RAHB can deal only with complaints that are violations of RAHB’s MLS® Rules and Regulations or Policies, or those parts of the REALTOR® Code which do not have counterparts in REBBA 2002. If another member’s actions violate any regulation of REBBA 2002 or the Code of Ethics found in REBBA 2002, then only RECO can proceed with the complaint.
Why make a formal complaint?
Unlike just talking about what happened to you and/or your clients and customers over the water cooler and being upset about it, making a formal complaint can actually accomplish something. If it is a matter RAHB’s Professional Standards Committee can investigate, the member who violated rules and regulations, policies or the REALTOR® Code can be disciplined for his or her actions. Apart from the pain of paying a fine, there is also a lesson learned about what is appropriate – or not appropriate – behaviour.
It is the same with complaints to RECO for violations of REBBA 2002 and the Code of Ethics – the member can be ordered to pay a fine or take additional courses that are relevant to the infraction.
Everyone benefits when members’ improper behaviour is formally reported to RAHB or RECO: when unethical behaviour is not tolerated, it makes REALTORS® look that much better to buyers and sellers, and you get to better serve your buyers and sellers when everyone is playing by the same rules.
What’s involved in making a complaint to RAHB?
If you wish to make a complaint about another member, you will have to do it in writing by completing the Professional Standards Complaint Form (found under Member Services in REALTOR Link® or here
When you fill out the form, you will have to name the person you believe violated one of the rules, policies or the REALTOR® Code and explain the situation.
The Professional Standards Committee will review your complaint to determine whose jurisdiction the complaint falls under: RAHB’s or RECO’s. If the complaint falls under RAHB’s jurisdiction, a file will be opened. Researchers will be assigned to the case and will interview both you and the member being accused of improper behaviour.
As a member of RAHB, you can make use of this valuable member service to improve your working conditions with your clients and customers, and to make sure they see you and all REALTORS® as the professionals you are.
REBBA 2002 and the Code of Ethics
RAHB MLS® Rules and Regulations
RAHB MLS® Policies