Ambika Infra Venture Private Limited
Function of the Grievance Committee of a Board/Association of REALTORS®
Every Board/Association of REALTORS® should have a standing Grievance Committee, separate and apart from the board/association’s Professional Standards Committee. It is recommended that members be appointed by the president and subject to confirmation by the Board of Directors for three-year terms on a staggered basis.
The purpose of the Grievance Committee is to receive ethics complaints and arbitration requests (i.e., grievances) and to provide a preliminary review and screening process. The committee is similar to the Grand Jury’s function within the judicial system.
The committee does NOT conduct hearings and does NOT make determinations of Code violations, nor arbitration decisions. It should dismiss frivolous, unsubstantiated complaints and ensure that only valid complaints, properly framed and presented, are sent to the Professional Standards Committee for hearing by an appropriate hearing panel (i.e., ethics or arbitration or both, but separately with arbitration provided first).
Review Ethics Complaint To Assure:
1. Complaint is in proper from.
2. Respondent is REALTOR®, REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® or Non resident member of the board/association.
3. Complaint filed within one-year’s time limit.
4. Complaint specifies Article(s) of Code alleged to have been violated.
5. Conduct causing complaint is real estate-related.
6. If complaint is taken as being true at face value, it could possibly be ruled a violation of an Article of the Code.
If an affirmative judgment is made in the preceding consideration, the complaint is referred for hearing.
Complaint From Member of the Public
If the complaint is deficient in form or substance or is lacking detail, the Grievance Committee may assign one of its members to assist the complainant to prepare a proper complaint. The individual does not become an advocate for the complainant and does not participate in any of the committee’s deliberations.
In response to the complaint, the Grievance Committee may take one of three actions:
1. Dismiss the complaint.
2. Return the complaint for arbitration to be requested.
3. Forward the complaint for hearing in its original form or as amended.
Complaint Dismissed By Grievance Committee
1. Complainant entitled to notice and explanation.
2. Complainant should be advised of right to appeal dismissal of complaint to Board of Directors.
3. Directors determine appeal on basis of information and materials used by Grievance Committee in reaching its decision.
4. Parties not entitled to be present.
5. Appeal decision is final and binding.
Investigation of Complaint By The Grievance Committee
1. Committee not required, but may elect to send complaint to respondent and invite a response.
2. Unless board/association procedures require a response, respondent is not in violation of membership duty for not responding. However, the Grievance Committee then must decide on facts in hand, or review further, as necessary.
3. Committee must make sure it does not conduct a “hearing” and does not exceed its function.
4. In the event the complaint is from a client, customer, or a member of the general public and the Grievance Committee determines that the complaint is vague, overly general, does not allege violations of specific Articles, or is otherwise insufficient in its face, a member of the Grievance Committee may be assigned by the Chairperson of the Grievance Committee to assist the complainant in preparing the complaint in proper form.
Grievance Committee May Act On Its Own Initiative
Even when no formal complaint is received, the committee may conduct its own investigation and file its own complaint.
Review Of Requests For Arbitration
The Grievance Committee considers whether the request is in proper order, the proper parties are named, whether the request has been filed within the one hundred eighty (180) day time limit.
Is Request Arbitrable? Mandatory or Voluntary?
The committee must decide whether the matter is properly arbitrable. If it is not related to a real estate transaction, it is not arbitrable.
A determination must also be made as to whether the dispute falls into mandatory arbitration or voluntary category. (See Section 44, Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual, NAR)
The Grievance Committee must decide if the board/association is capable of arbitrating the dispute. An amount too small or too large may be the basis upon which a board/association refuses to provide arbitration.
A board/association may also decline to provide arbitration in cases where the legal complexity of the issue presented by be beyond the ability of the board/association’s arbitrators to resolve in a knowledgeable fashion.
If the board/association is unable to form a competent and unbiased hearing panel of peers, the board may elect to refer the matter to the state association with a request that the state arbitrate it. If the state association cannot or refuses to hear it, the parties are released from their obligation to arbitrate.
If the board/association offers mediation, it is to the parties’ and the board/association’s advantage to use the process as a preliminary alternative to arbitration.
Grievance Committee’s Dismissal Of Complaint Final Unless Appeal Made To Directors
When a Grievance Committee dismisses a request for arbitration, the decision is final, unless one of the parties appeals the dismissal to the Board of Directors. The directors may confirm dismissal or order that the dispute be arbitrated.
About Grievance Committee
GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE makes a conscious effort to protect the interest of buyers. GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE has established a CONSUMER GRIEVANCE Compensate Forums (CGCF) in January 2017, where an aggrieved buyer can register a complaint against GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE member developer.
By translating investor interest protection into a mechanism, the apex body of real estate developers resolves consumer complaints expeditiously and prompts bestselling practice amongst the developer fraternity.
This is the first of its kind initiative, that aligns the interest of consumers with the member builders. The self-regulation of the industry in terms of standards of delivery vis-à-vis commitment will build trust among present/ prospective buyers, the government and the media. All chapters at city and state level have accepted the self-regulation norm and have been settling consumer greivances through their Compensate Forums, though the exact details may vary slightly from chapter to chapter.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:
- To protect consumer in case of genuine grievance against developers.
- To promote litigation -free healthy business environment in real estate sector.
- To create healthy relationship between developers and their consumers.
- To self-regulate as far as possible.
- To eradicate unscrupulous practices from real estate business and improve its veracity, stature and public image.
- It is to be noted that CGCF shall function neither as quasi-judicial nor as an arbitrator but only as a mediator.
- The Secretariat of Association shall admit the grievance in writing from consumer against any member of the association only, along with a processing fee not exceeding Rs. 2000/-. The Secretariat shall explain the procedure of CGCF to the complainant at the time of admitting the grievance. The fee to be paid by the consumer shall be borne by the concerned developer in case the grievance is found to be genuine by CGCF.
- The CGCF shall seek comments from the member against whom the grievance has been admitted.
- The concerned member shall be required to respond to CGCF in respect of the grievance within seven bank working days.
- Extension of seven further bank working days may be granted by CGCF on plea from concerned member.
- However, if no response to the grievance is received from the member within the period of the original time limit and extension, the CGCF shall pass an ex parte decision in the matter.
- On receipt of the comments from member, CGCF shall send the same to the complainant.
- If the complainant is not satisfied with the reply of the member, the CGCF shall hear both sides initially separately and independent of the other and, if necessary, later, together at a joint meeting of both parties.
- The joint meeting may not be required if the consumer accepts what CGCF conveys to him/her/it after having spoken to the parties separately as stated in point no.8 above and, having conveyed the concerns and solutions, and, if both the parties continue coordinating and sorting the issue of grievance. If this does not happen, CGCF shall try to mediate putting certain modalities acceptable to both the sides and shall prescribe certain time frame for closure of the case as may be suitable to both sides.
- If deemed necessary, the CGCF shall carry out inspection at site.
- CGCF shall make its oral observations and shall try to get them accepted by both parties. It shall record minutes of settlement and in absence of settlement, shall issue observations after hearing both sides and shall close the matter.
- The grievance once resolved shall not be entertained on complaint from same parties again.
- If no communication from complainant is received within a period of three months from the date of admitting the respective grievance in respect of issues which have been once resolved, CGCF shall not take up the issues again.
- In case the decision of CGCF goes against the member, it will be obligatory on his part to comply with the directives of the CGCF.
- In case of non- compliance of the member, the Association shall expel him from membership.
- The Association will make public informed of such expulsion through newspapers.
- However, the expulsion will precede a route beginning with a notice, then reprimand followed by suspension, if necessitated.
- In case a matter is sub judice and both parties agree to settle it through the mechanism of CGCF, the complaint may be entertained by CGCF.
GUIDELINES FOR ASSOCIATION IN RESPECT OF CGCF
- The forum may follow summary procedures but it must give both sides a reasonable chance to both the sides to present their case and it must record its findings in writing as a speaking order. The observations are to be given after hearing both sides. However, it is a conciliation proceeding through mediation and it is not an arbitration proceeding.
- The members of CGCF shall be selected by President & all Past Presidents.
- CGCF may consist of three members only. Any one Past President may be the Chairman of CGCF, One member may be from among office-bearers/EC and the third member may be from Legal/Architect/C.A. fraternity.
- The Chairman of CGCF will call its meeting once in a month to review the status of its working.
- The Secretarial shall maintain a register of complaints duly diarised and serially numbered.
- All members must register an Email and mobile phone no. with City/State/National Secretariat to which the correspondence in respect of CGCF matters will be addressed.
- CGCF/ the concerned Secretariat shall submit report to the managing committee about the status of the grievances admitted/resolved/pending every month.
- If the concerned member desires to go in appeal against the CGCF decision, the appeal must be made to the State GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE within 30 days following the CGCF decision.
- Developers against whom complaint is filed with CGCF should not be reactive at time of hearing and should practice patience.
- Each association is required to pass a resolution about establishing CGCF thereof and amend its constitution in the light of the same suitably.