Important: Changes to the SentriLock® Rules & Regulations, and Citation System

As of January 1st, 2017, changes to the Regional Rules and Regulations for the SentriLock® Lockbox System and the Citation System are in place.  The process for individuals to file certain Code of Ethics complaints anonymously is also available.

Background on SentriLock® Rules and Regulations Changes

The Dulles Area Association of REALTORS® is part of a regional group of REALTOR® associations that enforce the same set of rules and fines related to the use of the SentriLock® system. All members of DAAR, Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS® (NVAR), Prince William Association of REALTORS® (PWAR), Blue Ridge Association of REALTORS® and the Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) are subject to the same Regional Rules and Regulations for SentriLock® Lockbox System.

As of January 1st, 2017, the fines for SentriLock® violations increased. For a first offense in a three-year period, the maximum fine is increasing from $1,000 to $2,500. For a second offense in a three-year period, the $5,000 maximum fine remains the same. However, SentriLock® privileges may be suspended for up to 90 days instead of 30.

Citation System Changes

Filing an ethics complaint against a REALTOR® is time-consuming process. With DAAR’s Citation System, respondents can elect to avoid a lengthy hearing process when a REALTOR® or a member of the public files a complaint against them.

If the respondent agrees to the Citation System, he/she would pay the standard, preset fine associated with that Article. If the respondent does not respond within ten (10) days, the case is automatically forwarded to DAAR’s Professional Standards Committee for a full hearing. Click here for an explanation of the process.

Effective this year, the Citation System will include new violations. These include allegations under Articles 3, 6, 12 and 16 of the Code of Ethics. If an ethics complaint contains allegations of behavior that fall under the Citation System, the respondent may pay the fine associated with the behavior and consider the matter closed. Review the Citation System List reflecting the inclusion of these revisions.

The fine for sharing a code generated by the SentriSmart ™ Mobile App is also increasing. Any member who generates a code using the App will face a fine of $950, which mirros the fine for sharing a SentriCard® and PIN.

Anonymous Complaints Process

Only certain advertising allegations under Article 12 of the Code of Ethics will be eligible for anonymous filing. These are violations that can typically be shown through the use of photographs or screenshots of websites. For example, failing to disclose the firm name and state(s) of licensure on a REALTOR® firm website is a violation under Article 12 that may be filed anonymously as the Complainant can easily show that the information is missing by providing a screenshot of the website.

All of the allegations that may be filed anonymously are also eligible for the Citation System. If an accused REALTOR® decides to proceed to a hearing instead of paying the fine, the Complainant must appear. If the Complainant is unwilling to participate in the hearing, the Grievance Committee will substitute in as the Complainant if it finds clear, strong, and convincing evidence of a violation.

For more information, click here.  For questions, contact Teresa Kirkhart, Professional Standards and Development Director, or 571-291-9805.