Professional Standards

Ethical Complaints

REALTORS® are different from non-member licensees in that they voluntarily subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics.

If you believe that a REALTOR® has violated one or more Articles of the Code of Ethics, you can file an ethics complaint alleging a violation(s). Ethics complaints must be filed with the local association of REALTORS® within one hundred eighty (180) days from the time a complainant knew (or reasonably should have known) that potentially unethical conduct took place.

Below are several resources to help you understand what filing and processing an ethics complaint and arbitration request entails, and the general process you can expect when filing an ethics complaint or arbitration request with a local association of REALTORS®.

Code of Ethics Resources

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Code of Ethics

REALTORS® are required to complete ethics training of not less than 2 hours, 30 minutes of instructional time within three-year cycles. The training must meet specific learning objectives and criteria established by the National Association of REALTORS®.

The current three-year cycle will end Dec. 31, 2021.

Training may be completed through local REALTOR® associations or through another method, such as home study, correspondence, classroom courses, or online courses.

We are here to assist our REALTORS®, REALTORS® Clients and the general public in providing services to assist in resolution of disputes that may arise. We processes Ethical Complaints against REALTOR® members of San Luis Obispo Coastal Association of REALTORS® and processes Arbitration between San Luis Obispo Coastal Association of REALTORS® members.

California Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual

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C.A.R. Ombudsman Hotline

Occasionally, C.A.R. members find themselves embroiled in a dispute with another member. The C.A.R. Ombudsman Hotline is here to help. C.A.R. Ombudsmen receive and respond to questions and complaints about members; can contact members to inform them that another REALTOR® has raised a question or issue; and can contact members to obtain information necessary to provide an informed response to the person complaining.

The Ombudsman's role is primarily one of communication and conciliation, not adjudication. Ombudsmen do not determine whether ethics violations have occurred, rather they anticipate, identify, and resolve misunderstandings and disagreements before matters ripen into more significant disputes. C.A.R. Ombudsman (213) 739-7227 or email the Ombudsman Hotline at [email protected].

Ombudsmen are not attorneys and cannot give legal advice or answer legal questions.

Click here to Request a call-back from an Ombudsman Administrator now.

Anonymous Complaints

Complaints can be filed against a member and/or broker of Scenic Coast Association of REALTORS® by the public or a REALTOR®member. An ethics complaint should be filed when you want to charge a REALTOR® member with a Code of Ethics or MLS Rules violation.

If you want to file a complaint, please complete the D-1 Disciplinary Complaint Form, identify the Code of Ethics you want to charge and return it to the Association office or email [email protected] . Make sure to include a detailed summary of the events that took place. 

D-1 Disciplinary Complaint Form

Arbitration Complaints

Arbitration is a well-established and widely used means to end disputes. It is one of several kinds of Alternative Dispute Resolution, which provide parties to a controversy with a choice other than litigation.

Unlike litigation, arbitration takes place out of court:
the two sides select an impartial third party, known as an arbitrator; agree in advance to comply with the arbitrator's award; and then participate in a hearing at which both sides can present evidence and testimony. The arbitrator's decision is usually final, and courts rarely re-examine it. The Statue of Limitations for Arbitration Complaints is six (6) Complaints when filing an Arbitration Complaint must submit a filing fee of $250

Arbitration Complaint Form A-1
Arbitration Complaint Form PA-1

Procuring Cause Guidelines