On Friday, November 13, 2020 the NAR Board of Directors approved revisions to the Code of Ethics that were recommended by NAR’s Professional Standards Committee. The changes were proposed in response to an influx of complaints NAR has received about Realtors® posting discriminatory speech and conduct online (especially on social media) following the social unrest throughout the country.
What changes were approved?
The NAR Board of Directors approved three main changes of the Code of Ethics as it applies to discriminatory speech and conduct occurring online by Realtors®:
- Applicability to Realtors® Activities: Expands Policy Statement 29 of the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual (COEAM) to apply to all of a Realtor’s® activities.
- New Standard of Practice 10-5: Adds a new Standard of Practice under Article 10 of the Code of Ethics that says Realtors® must not use harassing speech, hate speech, epithets, or slurs based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Revision to Public Trust: Expands the definition of “public trust” to include all discrimination against the protected classes under Article 10 of the COE and all fraud.
The NAR Board of Directors also approved a new Appendix 12 to Part Four of the COE Arbitration Manual which will lay out the proper application of the proposed SOP 10-5 to ensure consistent application.
When do the changes become effective?
The changes became effective immediately upon approval by the NAR Board of Directors on November 13, 2020. They cannot be applied to speech or conduct that occurred before November 13, 2020.
Where can I learn more?
NAR will be providing training and resource materials to help members understand the changes.