New fast track process for complaints at FVREB

Due to the volume of complaints submitted to the FVREB for what are simple, clear infractions of our rules, the Board of Directors has taken action to resolve such complaints in a timelier manner. Consequently, the Business Practices committee has adopted a new fast track process to handle such complaints, and ideally resolve them within 30 days — down from the current average time of 90 days.

It’s expected that the speedier process will result in improved compliance (fewer infractions) and increased respect for the Rules of Cooperation and the REALTOR® Code.

“As requested by many members, we are making changes to deal with professional standards violations in an expedient way,” said FVREB President Gopal Sahota. “We expect members will be equally pleased with these new measures.”

Beginning this month, four types of complaints will be dealt with under this new fast track process.  These are infractions that don’t require investigation or formal response in order to send the matter to a hearing because they are readily apparent.

  1. Listings (new): Where showings are improperly delayed
  2. Listings (existing): Where showings are not properly available
  3. Advertising: Failure to disclose brokerage
  4. Advertising: Failure to substantiate performance claims (i.e. #1, Top Selling)

Complaints of this nature can be expedited rapidly because they:

  • Do not require an investigation to discover evidence of the complaint
  • Do not require witnesses giving testimony about the member or the complaint
  • Do not require extended notice for a hearing date with the Board’s hearing panel
  • They concern blatant and straightforward infractions that are easily proved

 The Fast Track Difference 

Here is how such infractions would be processed with the new system.

  1. A complaint of this nature, as noted above, is received at the FVREB and referred to the Business Practices committee.
  2. The Business Practices committee decides whether there is compelling evidence that a member may have breached one of the four rules noted above. If so, they send the complaint to a hearing panel which will meet frequently to deal with these matters.
  3. Members will be notified of the complaint and hearing date. Leading up to the hearing, they can contact the Board to discuss the complaint, why they dispute it, or to ask for information about the complaint process and possible penalties.
  4. Prior to the hearing, the member also has the option to ‘Consent to Discipline’ and agree to a penalty.
  5. If members wish to dispute the charges, there will be a hearing in front of a hearing panel. Following the hearing, the panel will make a ruling and, if the member is found guilty, consider an appropriate penalty.
  6. As with all Business Practice cases, the results of these hearings will be shared with our members when they are published on REALTOR Link®.

The new process for complaints has been fully vetted with the FVREB’s lawyers to ensure the Board is aligned with its Board By-laws.