The National Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors met Friday, capping off the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings. The meetings took place just outside of Washington, D.C., in National Harbor, Md.
Directors elected Kevin Sears of Springfield, Mass., as first vice president for 2023, and Greg Hrabcak, of Westerville, Ohio, as treasurer for 2023 and 2024. (Read more on Sears and Hrabcak.)
In other actions, directors:
Approved the continuation of the Consumer Ad Campaign, increasing the annual special assessment to $45 per year per member because of the increased cost of media. The current campaign, That's Who We R, is now in its fourth year and has garnered 42 advertising industry awards. Directors extended the $45 assessment level through 2027.
Approved a recommendation from the Fair Housing Policy Committee that NAR support the strong and fair enforcement of the fair lending provisions of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. The statement serves as a guide for NAR to advocate for federal fair lending policy that furthers the REALTOR® Code of Ethics' consumer protections against unlawful discrimination.
Approved a State & Local Issues Policy Committee recommendations urging state associations to promote legislation providing for minimum, universal fair housing education requirements for all real estate licensees. Among the minimum requirements recommended was an addition from NAR's Executive Committee recommending that states allow commercial real estate licensees to satisfy the requirements with non-discrimination training.
Approved a State & Local Issues Policy Committee recommendation urging state associations to support reforms to state law governing intestate succession of real property. Property owners who inherit real property intestate as tenants-in-common are vulnerable to forced sale and eviction. The policy encourages states to pass reforms such as the Uniform Partition of Heirs' Property Act. UPHPA, model legislation developed by a bipartisan group of experts appointed by state governments to the Uniform Law Commission, provides owners with a series of simple due process protections.
Approved an Insurance Committee recommendation that NAR support enhancing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as an alternative to a pandemic risk insurance approach, and that the enhancements achieve a set of criteria including federal revenue replacement in the event of future pandemics, better targeting of highly impacted businesses and investors, and a streamlined application process, among other things.
Approved legal action funding for a New Jersey case involving classification of agents as independent contractors and in an Illinois case challenging an arbitration panel's decision.
Membership Policy & Board Jurisdiction
Amended the Limited Function Referral Office Policy and FAQs to allow for practitioners who are licensed in more than one state to have a LFRO waiver in one state while also holding REALTOR® membership in another, provided that the licensee otherwise qualifies and is affiliated with different brokerage offices in said states.
Approved the following changes to the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual:
- Under a change to Sec. 1, they clarified the definition of "real estate professional."
- Under Sec. 20, which describes an expedited enforcement process, directors said Grievance Committees reviewing such cases will be able to refer a complaint to the Professional Standards Committee for a hearing if the conduct described in the complaint is sufficiently egregious and/or a potential violation of public trust.
- Also under Sec. 20, directors clarified that anonymous complaints, other than those allowed for in an association's citation policy, are prohibited. If an association's citation policy allows for anonymous complaints, any complaint referred for hearing must include a complainant (such as a member of the Grievance Committee) to shoulder the burden of proof.
The changes go into effect in January 2023.
Aid for Ukraine
During an emotional opening to the meeting, Alexa Kebalo Hughes, a REALTOR® from Tolland, Conn., sang the Ukranian national anthem, and Ukrainian REALTORS® Olena Haidamakha of Kyiv and Igor Balaka of Kharkiv spoke about the plight of their country and the Ukrainian real estate industry since the Russian invasion. Directors gave the speakers a prolonged standing ovation and, over the course of the meeting, committed nearly $19,000 in humanitarian aid.
Read REALTOR® Magazine's coverage of the meetings at magazine.realtor/live.