Consumer Complaint Form
If you have a complaint against the real estate licensee you are working with, you should first make an attempt to talk to the broker to see if the issue can be resolved. If those efforts are unsuccessful, two avenues exist for making a formal filing regarding a licensee’s behavior. The first avenue is to file a complaint with the New Jersey Real Estate Commission. The Commission is the government agency that issues and maintains licenses and writes the Rules and Regulations to which all New Jersey licensees must subscribe. Click here for more information on the Commission’s complaint process and a link to the complaint form. The second avenue is only available if the real estate licensee is a member of the REALTOR® organization. MCAR REALTOR® members subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics, and we are charged with ensuring its enforcement. It is because of a REALTORS® obligation to abide by the Code of Ethics that you can file a complaint at MCAR. MCAR DOES NOT determine whether the license law or regulations have been broken. Sanctions from the association tend to be educational in nature, but can include fines and suspension from the association.
How to file an ethics complaint
1. Complete and Sign the complaint form (CLICK HERE FOR THE FORM). This form requests you to name the REALTOR®(s) in question as the Respondent(s).
2. List the Article(s) of the Code of Ethics that you think the REALTOR® violated.
3. Attach an explanation of the situation surrounding the complaint. Be as specific as possible. State what, when, where, why and how you think the REALTOR®(s) violated each Article and copies of any and all pertinent documents such as listing agreements, addendum, etc. If you have notarized statements from witnesses, include those also.
4. Send the entire package, keeping a copy for yourself, to the Association of REALTORS® to the attention of the Grievance Committee. The administrator will then process your complaint.
How to file an arbitration request
1. Complete and Sign the arbitration form (CLICK HERE FOR THE FORM). Name the REALTOR®(s) in question as the Respondent(s).
2. Indicate the amount in dispute.
3. Include an explanation of the situation surrounding the complaint. State why you feel you are entitled to an award of some kind. Remember, don’t include unethical allegations in your argument. If you think the REALTOR®(s) violated the Code of Ethics, the Association can handle this separately through an ethics complaint.
4. Attach copies of all pertinent documents such as listing agreements, purchase and sales agreements, closing statements, etc. Also, include any notarized statements you may have from witnesses.
5. Include a $400 deposit with your arbitration request. The prevailing party in an arbitration will receive their $400 back from the Association.
6. Send all of these items to the Association to the attention of the Grievance Committee. The Administrator will then process your request.
BEFORE FILING A COMPLAINT
Determining what type of complaint to file.
Ethics Complaint: charges that a REALTOR® violated an Article(s) of the Code of Ethics. Arbitration provides a means for resolving a dispute about a real estate transaction that the parties have been unable to solve themselves.
Arbitration complaint or request: often involves one member in disagreement with another member, usually over a commission dispute. Sometimes, an arbitration concerns a dispute between a member of the public and an Association member.
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 arbitration first.
Who may file an ethics complaint?
The Complainant may file a complaint from any location. However, the Complainant must file it with the Association having jurisdiction over the individual named in the complaint.
Who may file an arbitration request?
Similar to the ethics complaint, an arbitration request must be in writing, be signed by the Complainant, indicate the amount in dispute and be filed within 180 days after the facts became known.