Illinois Association of Realtors

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Ethics Citation Program

Illinois REALTORS® helps consumers, members with disputes

Illinois REALTORS® operate under the REALTOR® Code of Ethics which outlines standards of professional practice.

If a dispute arises with a REALTOR® regarding several provisions of the Code, complaints may be filed for review by a panel of IAR members which specializes in ethical standards.

The complaints, which can be filed anonymously, can come from REALTORS® or REALTORS®’ clients.

How the service works 

Step 1If a filing is found to meet the program’s standards, a Citation Panel will review the case. If the Citation Panel believes a violation has occurred, a citation will be issued to the Respondent, along with a set fine.

The Respondent has the opportunity to pay the fine within 30 days or request a hearing before an Ethics Hearing Panel. Fines range from $250 to $1,000, depending on the nature and severity of the violation. The panel can also mandate training or other remedies. 

Step 3If a hearing is requested by the Respondent, the complaint will be sent to the Grievance Committee for review.

How to file a complaint
  • Fill out an online form. It will be reviewed typically within one business day. 
  • Call Illinois REALTORS®: The Ethics Citation Hotline can be reached at 217-529-2600 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. (Closed major holidays)

More about the program

Here's a list of frequently asked questions about the Citation Program and how Illinois REALTORS® works to resolve complaints.

  • What is the Ethics Citation Program?

    Approved by Illinois REALTORS® board of directors in 2014, the Ethics Citation Program allows REALTORS® and consumers working with REALTORS® to file complaints stemming from violations of certain Articles and Standards of Practice of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. All complaints filed will be sent to a panel to review and if the panel finds the complaint has merit and falls within the parameters of the program, a citation will be issued with the accompanying fine.

  • Who can use the program?

    A REALTOR® or a consumer using a REALTOR® can file.

  • Do I have to give my name?

    No. All complaints will be evaluated and investigated if they fall within the program’s parameters regardless if they come to the Citation Panel anonymously or not. Of course, providing more information and having the ability to ask a complainant follow-up questions can aid in the review.

  • What happens if the complaint has merit?

    If a complaint is found to have merit, the Respondent will get a citation outlining the charge(s). The Respondent will receive all relevant information about the complaint.  

  • What about due process?

    If the Respondent disputes the complaint, he or she has the option to seek a hearing before an ethics hearing panel. If a hearing is sought by the Respondent, the complaint will be sent to the Grievance Committee for review.  The Grievance Committee has the authority to add other Articles to the complaint.   

  • What won’t this program address?

    The Ethics Citation Program focuses on violations of certain articles of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. (Specifically, Articles 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 12, 14 and /or 16.) If the complaint falls outside of those Articles, the Citation Panel will dismiss the complaint.  If the complaint is in regards to a license law violation, the complainant should file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Finance and Professional Regulation.