RE/MAX CROSSROADS RULES & REGULATIONS BULLETIN:
Good Use of Lock Boxes and Keys
Lockboxes and courtesy keys provide quick and easy access to a client’s home for showing appointments. Real estate professionals given entry access must protect the lockbox codes and keys to secure the homes. This involves following TREB’s Rules on lock boxes and keys as well as acting responsibly with “fairness, honesty and integrity; the best interests of a client; providing conscientious and competent service” and avoiding “unprofessional conduct” according to the Code of Ethics (Sections 3, 4, 5, and 39). See this link for RECO For the RECOrd article excerpt, published Summer 2011, for more info.
Do you know how many TREB MLS® Rules there are pertaining to lock boxes and keys for showings? Seven.
The following 7 MLS Rules are in place to ensure the safety of your client’s property. You are being reminded of these rules because failure to properly secure a property after a showing could result in a $10,000 Penalty (RECO Case).
TREB Rule R-530
Keys and security cards obtained from a Listing Brokerage shall only be used by Members for the purposes of inspecting or showing property to prospective Buyers. Unauthorized use of keys/security cards shall include but not be limited to:
(a) the duplication of a key/security card
(b) failure to return a key/security card to the office where it was picked up immediately after an inspection or showing or within an agreed upon time; or
(c) giving out a key/security card to an unauthorized party
TREB Rule R-535
When a Listing Brokerage utilizes a Courtesy Office to hold keys or security cards, the Listing Brokerage remains responsible for all keys and security cards provided to the Courtesy Office.
TREB Rule R-540
Subject to the terms of the MLS® Listing Agreement, Members shall not use lock boxes or keys to access any property without first obtaining permission from the Listing Brokerage to access the property on each occasion.
TREB Rule R-545
A Member shall not interfere or tamper with a lock box of another Member.
TREB Rule R-550
A Member who is in receipt of a lock box combination shall not disclose the combination to any other person without the consent of the Seller.
TREB Rule R-551
Keys shall be re-deposited in a lock box immediately upon exiting the property and the lock box shall be properly secured.
TREB Rule R-555
A Member conducting a showing or inspection is solely responsible to ensure that all security precautions are taken prior to departing the property.
In addition to the above, here are some additional best practices from TREB to add extra security for your clients:
- Change the lockbox code from time to time. Do not use the manufacturer’s default code.
- Never write the code on a Listing or business card.
- Do not use a code that is obvious (like date of birth)
- Label or affix your business card/contact info on the back of the lockbox
- Never label a lockbox with a condominium suite number, but do have some way to indicate which lock box
the key belongs to.
- You may require permission from Condominium Property Management to place the lock box on a common
- Always have a spare key in case of damage or loss of first key.
- The Listing Brokerage will confirm lockbox codes through the Showing Agent’s Brokerage, not the Showing Agent’s cell phone number.
- Remember to check the security of the lockbox on a regular basis.
- Call the Listing Brokerage to report any problems with keys or lock boxes immediately
- Suggested tools of the profession include a flashlight and de-icer
- Remember to remove the lockbox prior to closing
Please also remember to contact front desk whenever you remove or install a lockbox so they can update the showing instructions, especially on properties where you’ve instructed as per your Seller’s direction to “Just release the lockbox”.
As with all MLS® Rules and Policies, failure to comply may result in a complaint to Professional Standards. For a complete reading of the TREB MLS® Rules and Policies, please click here.