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Have a Dispute?

Having a Dispute

Any person having reason to believe that a REALTOR® is guilty of violating the Code of Ethics may file a complaint. Many ethics complaints result from misunderstandings or a breakdown in communication. Before filing an ethics complaint, you may want to make reasonable efforts to communicate with the REALTOR® or a managing principal broker in the firm. Open, constructive discussion often resolves questions or differences, eliminating the need for further action.

If these efforts do not resolve the issue, the St. Thomas Board of REALTORS® partnered with VITAR (Virgin Islands Territorial Association of REALTORS®) can provide options for dispute resolution, including the procedures and forms necessary to file an ethics complaint.

Guide to Filing an Ethics Complaint and Form E-1

  • Grievance Committee
  • The Grievance Committee does not determine guilt or innocence. It will either:

    1. Forward the case for a hearing before the Professional Standards Committee panel.
    2. Dismiss it, if the complaint is determined to be unfounded.
  • A Board of REALTORS® has limitations to its authority regarding its members. Below is a list of those limitations:
  1. The complaint must be filed within one hundred eighty (180) days of the time that the alleged offense and facts relating to it could have been known by the complainant in the exercise of reasonable diligence.
  2. The Board cannot try a Board member for violations of Virgin Islands real estate license law or any other alleged violation of the law. It has jurisdiction only over violations of a member’s duty to abide by the Code of Ethics.
  3. For the same reason, the Board cannot suspend or terminate the license of one of its members.
  4. The Board can, in the case of an ethics violation being determined, administer discipline to the REALTOR® in one or more of the following ways:
    • Send a letter of warning or reprimand to the member
    • Direct the member to attend an ethics class or other training appropriate to the violation
    • Fine the member up to $15,000 (this fine is not awarded to the complainant)
    • Place the member on probation
    • Suspend the membership of the REALTOR®
    • Expel the member from membership
  5. Money damages or earnest money disputes cannot be part of an ethics proceeding.