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In-Person Open Houses are Prohibited - How to Report Violations
Wednesday, Jul 29, 2020 @ 03:42 PM

In-person open houses are PROHIBITED under city, county, and state coronavirus regulations, and are strongly recommended against by C.A.R.s COVID-19 best practices. The Los Angeles County safer-at-home order specifically states “There can be no open houses to show properties. All residential viewings must only occur virtually or, if a virtual viewing is not feasible, by appointment. Showings should be limited to serious potential buyers who are either pre-approved or have submitted a contingent offer. The in-person showing may only include the real estate agent and no more than two (2) visitors, who reside within the same household or living unit, at a time.”


Agents should not be advertising in-person open houses - anywhere. Since hosting open houses is currently prohibited, advertising of in-person open houses is currently prohibited as well. Traditional open houses are generally understood to be on a walk-in basis without needing an appointment. Appointment-based showings are not “open houses” in the general understanding of the industry and the public. Therefore, to present a true picture under Article 12 of the Code of Ethics, REALTORS® should conform to the normal understanding of the term - and should not be advertising open houses.


This means in-person open houses cannot be advertised on social media, in advertising, and NO posting of open house signs. DRE is stepping up enforcement of coronavirus-related violations; agents are strongly urged to comply with government and industry regulations and to comply with social distancing, sanitization, and safety protocols. Violation of the ban on open houses may result in fines from county government and/or action from the California DRE.


HOW TO REPORT VIOLATIONS - SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING! Continued violations could result in the reversal of Real Estate being considered as an Essential Service. - If you see someone violating the ban on open houses, you may report the violation to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health by calling (888) 700-9995, via email at Ehmail@ph.lacounty.gov or online via the county’s online reporting portal. Should DRE discover a violation by a licensee, the licensee may be contacted by DRE and egregious or rampant violations may be forwarded to the relevant authorities by DRE for further action.


Violations of the open house orders in the City of Los Angeles can be reported here. Violations in Culver City can be reported to the City’s Coronavirus Hotline at (310) 253-6890 or via email at coronavirus@culvercity.org


Los Angeles County has also announced a new compliance plan to enforce health officer orders. The new plan will implement a tiered system of fines for non-compliant businesses beginning at the end of August, with fines ranging from $100 - $500 and/or a 30-day loss of permits.


GLAR is working with county officials to further understand the compliance plan’s impact on real estate and will share updates as we receive them.


 



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