Electronic or mechanical, the rules are the same with respect to safeguarding the sellers’ property.
The Code of Ethics is very clear on these matters:
Standard of Practice 1-16
REALTORS® shall not use, or permit or enable others to use, listed or managed property on terms or conditions other than those authorized by the owner or seller.
Standard of Practice 3-9
REALTORS® shall not provide access to listed property on terms other than those established by the owner or the listing broker
One of the main reasons the GMAR contracted with SentriLock was for its added security features. The GMAR was receiving numerous complaints about members giving out lock box codes to unauthorized individuals. Although the SentriLock system has superior security features, there are aspects of the system that can still be compromised. These potential abuses are addressed in the user agreement:
- Members may not use the SentriLock system to access a lockbox and enter any property for any purpose other than the intended use of the SentriLock system. Violations are subject to a fine up to $5,000 for each occurrence and/or suspension from use of the SentriLock system for a specified period of time and/or suspension of MLS privileges. In the event of misuse of the SentriLock system, the GMAR may notify all interested parties.
- Members shall not allow their access to the SentriLock system to be loaned, given or used by other persons at any time. Violations are subject to a fine up to $5,000 for each occurrence and/or suspension from use of the SentriLock system for a specified period of time and/or suspension of MLS privileges.
Recently, the GMAR fined a member $5,000 for a User Agreement violation, giving out a lockbox code.
In addition, fines regarding violations of articles of 1 and 3 of the Code of Ethics can also be levied up to $15,000.
Here is a
o a news story from Ontario regarding lock box violation. Security cameras are also spotting lock box violations. A similar story aired in the Milwaukee Market back in 2017.