NAR’s Board Amends Code of Ethics and MLS Rules for Discriminatory Conduct
November 17, 2020
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Board of Directors made multiple changes at its November 13 meeting that impact NAR’s Code of Ethics and REALTOR®-owned MLSs. Many of the changes were focused on combating discriminatory conduct, including hate speech.
Code of Ethics Changes
For the Code of Ethics, the Board approved recommendations to expand the scope of Article 10 of the Code of Ethics outside of real estate-related activities and to broaden the definition of “public trust.” Article 10 will now prohibit REALTORS® from engaging in any discriminatory conduct and speech based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity in any part of one’s life.
Also, associations and boards will now be required to send final ethics decisions to a state’s regulatory body under a broader “public trust” definition that now includes discrimination under Article 10 and fraud. However, the Board did vote to limit those final ethics decisions transmitted to those in real estate-related activities and transactions where the public trust may have been violated.
The Board approved eight recommendations from the Multiple Listing Issues and Policy Committee. Under the new rules, MLSs will now be required to have a process for handling anonymous complaints and for identifying potential fair housing law violations in listing content. For more information on the MLS rules changes, you can read NAR’s article here.