The short answer to why some violations are considered penalty violations is based on the potential negative impact to the MLS data.

Think back to when you first joined ARMLS. You might remember signing off on a lengthy document called the ARMLS Rules and Regulations. You might also recall hearing about our Data Integrity team, the ones tasked with keeping our MLS data high quality and clean.

Part of DI’s role is to give all subscribers an even playing field by enforcing penalty and non-penalty violations from the ARMLS Rules and Regulations. With the exception of the first penalty of the year, penalty violations result in monetary fines for the subscriber. But what makes some violations penalty and others non-penalty?

Penalty Violations vs. Non-Penalty Violations

The ARMLS Board of Directors has deemed penalty violations more serious because, even if corrected, they cause some degree of irreversible damage or negative impact to the listing agent, brokerage and/or buyer’s agent. The fine assigned for each penalty violation reflects the gravity of that violation. Non-penalty violations are those that have a much lower impact and are mostly factual errors.

Penalty Violation Examples

  • Incorrect sales price data or cooperating subscriber
  • Access code entered in the wrong field
  • Contact information in any media
  • Unauthorized copied media
  • Failure to submit photo within allowed period
  • Publishing a conditional offer of compensation
  • All incorrect listing statuses
  • Failure to maintain current, accurate email address

Non-Penalty Violation Examples

  • Incorrect School Code
  • Incorrect Square Footage
  • Incorrect Assessor Number
  • Incorrect Dwelling type
  • Incorrect Ownership Type
  • Incorrect Tax Municipality

Who Decides?

But who actually decides which violations are penalty vs. non-penalty? The ARMLS Rules Committee regularly evaluates the severity of the violations and makes recommendations to the ARMLS Board of Directors who have the final say. You can find out which violations are non-penalty vs. penalty and the dollar amounts for each penalty violation inside the ARMLS Penalty Policy.