REALTORS® who engage in hate speech or discriminatory conduct even outside their real estate practice are now subject to discipline under the Code of Ethics. The changes go into effect immediately but do not retroactively apply to members’ past activities or actions.
Article 10 of the Code already prohibits REALTORS® from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity in business. The new Standard of Practice, 10-5, will now state: “REALTORS® must not use harassing speech, hate speech, epithets, or slurs” against members of those protected classes.”
Going forward, associations will be required to inform the state real estate licensing authority of final ethics decisions that hold REALTORS® in violation of the Code in instances involving real estate–related activities and transactions where there is reason to believe the public trust may have been violated.