Making a Complaint
The role of the New Brunswick Association of Real Estate Appraisers (NBAREA) is to regulate the profession of real estate appraisal to protect the public. As part of this public protection role, NBAREA investigates complaints about the professional conduct or competence of real estate appraisers.
Complaints process is not an appeal of value
NBAREA’s complaints process is not meant to provide a process to appeal or review appraisal reports. The Complaints Committee will not reassess a property’s value or in any other way alter an appraisal report.
Click here for information about what to do if you are unhappy with the value of your real estate appraisal.
Under the law (the New Brunswick Association of Real Estate Appraisers Act, or “the Act”), the purpose of the complaints process is to regulate the practice and conduct of real estate appraisers. The Act grants NBAREA the authority to take action practice if the outcome of an investigation and hearing determines that the member is incompetent or has committed professional misconduct.
Read the information below to find out how to make a complaint and what happens after NBREA receives a complaint.
How to Make a Complaint
- Your complaint must be sent to NBAREA in a recorded format. You can make a complaint by submitting the online complaint form, or by sending a written letter via fax or mail.
- In your complaint, include: the name of the appraiser, describe what happened, where the incident took place and who was involved.
- Include your name and your contact information.
- If the complaint is made by several people, each person must sign the complaint and give their contact information.
What Happens After NBAREA Receives a Complaint?
NBAREA ensures that the complaint process and outcomes are fair, consistent, and unbiased. We have a legal obligation to investigate a complaint and make a decision.
Both the complainant (the person who has submitted the complaint) and the real estate have the right to participate in the investigation and provide information for consideration. NBAREA does not require it, but complainants and real estate appraisers may seek independent legal counsel at their own expense if they choose. For real estate appraisers, professional liability insurance may cover this. Real estate appraisers should consider discussing the matter with their insurance carrier if they are interested in having legal counsel represent them.
Confirmation in Writing
NBAREA will send the complainant confirmation in writing that their complaint has been received. In some cases, NBAREA may ask the complainant to sign a summary of the issues for investigation. This helps ensure that we have accurately captured the concerns described in the complaint.
The Real Estate Appraiser is Notified
NBAREA then notifies the real estate appraiser of the complaint. Under the law, the appraiser must be provided at least 14 days to submit a written response.
Investigation by the Complaints Committee
NBAREA’s Complaints Committee reviews all the information provided by the complainant and the appraiser. The role of the Complaints Committee is to investigate and to determine whether the complaint should be referred to the Discipline Committee for a full hearing. The Complaints Committee’s investigation is a neutral, objective fact-finding process. The timeline of the Complaints Committee’s investigation depends on various factors, including the complexity of the complaint.
NBAREA staff are not involved in Complaints Committee decisions.
The Complaints Committee’s Decision
Once the investigation is completed, the Complaints Committee reviews all of the information gathered and makes a decision. The Complaints Committee can decide to:
- Dismiss the complaint;
- Refer the complaint to the Discipline Committee; or
- Take other appropriate action to resolve the complaint (this is used most often where the appraiser has made a small mistake in a report that does not warrant a disciplinary hearing).
If the complaint is referred to the Discipline Committee, the appraiser is given the opportunity to admit guilt and negotiate a Settlement Agreement with the Discipline Committee. The Settlement Agreement will include penalties such as paying a fine, or taking a course, as appropriate.
If the appraiser does not admit to guilt, then the matter proceeds to a Discipline Committee Hearing.