By: Matthew L. Troiani, Esq.
The Board of Directors of the Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®, Blue Ridge Association of REALTORS®, Dulles Area Association of REALTORS®, Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS®, Greater Piedmont REALTORS®, and REALTORS® Association of Prince William have all recently approved revisions to the Regional Rules and Regulations for the SentriLock® Lockbox System (the “Rules”). The Rules were revised and updated to ensure that they are clearer, more concise, conform to current practice and ensure easier member compliance while providing safeguards to members and their clients in providing access to properties. The revised Rules will go into effect on March 1, 2020.
The Rules were last revised in 2016. Since then, several participating associations, including NVAR, have revised their policies regarding one day codes, personal assistant cards and affiliate member cards. NVAR has received feedback from members that the Rules are difficult to understand and comply with via the Legal Hotline as well as the Grievance and Professional Standards Committees. The CEOs and staff from all of the participating associations met to last year to discuss ways to improve the Rules. NVAR took the lead in revising the Rules in consultation with the other participating associations and feedback from volunteer leaders.
The revisions ensure the Rules are easier to understand implement. The revisions do not substantively change how the SentriLock® Lockbox System is used. The Rules are still based on the principle that the owner of the property gets to determine on what basis access to the property may be provided.
The definitions are clearer and used consistently throughout the Rules. SentriCard® and SentriSmart® Apps are now collectively referred to as a “Key.” Call Before Showing and One Day Codes are now clearly defined. The document has been reorganized to avoid the necessity to cross-reference sections. Acts prohibited under the Rules can now be found in one section with clear statements on what users may or may not do. The separate set rules for Personal Assistants and Affiliate Members are now a section in one set of rules while clarifying that these users are still subject to association jurisdiction and the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual.
The revisions accomplished all of this while at the same time decreasing to 8 total sections in less than 6 pages! The revised Rules can be found on the NVAR Website. Stay tuned for additional information, training and videos. Please do not hesitate to contact the Legal Hotline with any questions.