Professional Standards

REALTORS® are different from non-member licensees in that they voluntarily subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics. Suppose you believe that a REALTOR® has violated one or more Articles of the Code of Ethics. In that case, you can file an ethics complaint alleging a violation(s) through the local association of REALTORS® where the REALTOR® holds membership or participates in a REALTOR® association-owned/operated MLS.

NAR Code of Ethics and Professional Standards

In addition, REALTORS® agree as a condition of membership to arbitrate contractual and specific non-contractual disputes as provided in Article 17 of the NAR Code of Ethics.

Below are several resources to help you understand what filing and processing an ethics complaint and arbitration request entail and the general process you can expect when filing an ethics complaint or arbitration request with the Ventura County Coastal Association of REALTORS®.

ETHICS COMPLAINTS Once an ethics complaint is filed with the Association, the Grievance Committee first reviews it. The Grievance Committee’s role is determining if the disciplinary complaint is appropriate for a hearing.

The Statute of Limitations is 180 days from the date of the alleged violation. Anyone can file an ethics complaint against a member of VCCAR. If yes, warrants hearing: referred to the Professional Standards Committee. A hearing panel will be assembled from the committee, and they will determine if there has been a violation of the Code of Ethics. They will also recommend the appropriate discipline.

  • An ethics hearing only involves punishment for violation of the rules, either the REALTOR® Code of Ethics or the MLS Rules and Regulations.
  • Ethics complaints never involve the payment of money to the complainant, nor do they award damages. Any potential fine that is imposed is paid directly to VCCAR.

If no does not warrant a hearing, the complaint is dismissed. Without a request for a review, the decision is final, OR if unsatisfied with the decision, the party is entitled to request a review from the VCCAR Board of Directors.

Before You File an Ethics Complaint  

This brochure explains alternatives to consider before filing an ethics complaint and what to expect after filing a complaint.  

Ethics Complaint Forms

ARBITRATION REQUESTS When a dispute arises between REALTOR® members for monetary reasons, arbitration is mandatory—but both parties may choose mediation first. Arbitrations decide who is entitled to money in a commission dispute and are conducted consistently with State law while respecting an individual’s right to due process.

The Statute of Limitations is 180 days from the close of escrow. It is recommended that both sides attempt to settle their dispute through mediation.

Upon receiving an arbitration filing against a REALTOR® member, MLS participant, or subscriber, the complaint goes directly to the Professional Standards Committee.

  • $500 filing fee paid by the complainant
  • A dispute may take 3-4 months to resolve
  • The panel will rule 100% in favor of one party.

Arbitrators will decide who is entitled to the money in question based on the evidence presented. Arbitration involves a formal hearing with witnesses, and attorneys may also be present.

Request For Review:

  • Without a request for review, the decision is final and binding.
  • With a request for review, parties may request a review from the Board of Directors, and a $500 filing fee applies.

Arbitration Complaint Forms

Arbitration Complaint Client of Member Forms

Mediation and Ombudsman


Mediation requests are referred to:
Ventura Center For Dispute Settlement
4001 Mission Oaks Blvd. Camarillo, CA 93012

T: 805-384-1313


The C.A.R. Ombudsmen are REALTORS® who volunteer their time to answer non-legal questions and resolve non-legal disputes.

The C.A.R. Ombudsman Hotline is a free service that C.A.R. offers for its members. For more information, visit:

Filing Fee Schedule

Disciplinary Complaint
Filing Fee (Complainant) $0
Duplication of Recording $50
Request for Review $300
Administrative Processing Fee 
(Per Respondent) $500

1st Continuance Fee $0
2nd Continuance Fee $150
3rd Continuance Fee $300

Filing Fee (Complainant) $500**
Duplication of Recording $50
Request for Review $500
1st Continuance Fee $0
2nd Continuance Fee $150
3rd Continuance Fee $300

**If settled at mediation, up to $250 may be refunded to Complainant