MLS Rule Changes: Lockboxes & Keys

At the September Board of Directors meeting the Board voted to approve the following revisions to the MLS Rules and Regulations. These rules will go into effect on October 28, 2019.

New verbiage is in red italics.

Deletions are in black underline


Section 15. Lockbox Security Requirements. Administration of a lockbox system as an activity of the Ruidoso/Lincoln County Association of REALTORS® may, at the discretion of the association, be delegated to its multiple listing service. The lockbox and key system are owned by the Ruidoso/Lincoln County Association of REALTORS®. (Amended 2/07) Every MLS Participant and non-principal broker, sales licensee and licensed or certified appraiser, who is affiliated with an MLS Participant and who is legally eligible for MLS access, shall be eligible to hold a DisplayKEY or an eKEY hereinafter “key” subject to their execution of a lease agreement with the lockbox system administrator. 15.1 Eligibility for Lockboxes and Keys. MLS Participants and Subscribers are eligible for lockbox privileges if they otherwise qualify under this section. MLS Participants and Subscribers shall be eligible to hold a lockbox key provided:

  1. The keyholder continues to comply with all MLS rules relating to lockbox keys.

  2. The keyholder and Participant to whom the keyholder is licensed remain eligible for MLS services.

Unlicensed personal assistants, administrative or clerical staff are not eligible for lockbox privileges. Acquisition and possession of a key is not a requirement of the RLCAR MLS. Possession of a key, however, obligates each user to be bound by the MLS lockboxes and Keys Rules and Regulations governing the operation of the lockbox system. 15.2 Affiliate Access to Lockboxes and Use of Keys. Affiliates shall have no access to lockboxes or keys. 15.3 Set-up Fees. An initial non-refundable set-up fee fee (non-refundable) of $161.72 which includes gross receipts tax is required from each keyholder and is above and beyond any fees assessed by the key and lockbox company. The Ruidoso/Lincoln County Association of REALTORS® does not hold key deposits. 15.4 Key Fees. Keyholders will be billed annually for their DisplayKEY service fee and assessed charges against their credit card or debit card monthly for their eKEY. 15.5 Key Use, Service and Security. Each keyholder must maintain the security of each Key and the Personal Identification Number (“PIN”) of each Key, if applicable, to prevent the use of the Key by unauthorized persons. Each keyholder, whether such Key is being actively used or not, shall abide by the following conditions:

  1. To keep the Key in the keyholder’s possession or in a safe place at all times;

  2. Not to allow the PIN for the Key, if applicable, to be attached to the Key for any purpose whatsoever or to be disclosed to any third party;

  3. Not to lend or otherwise transfer the Key to any other person or entity, or permit any other person or entity to use the Key for any purpose whatsoever, whether or not such other person or entity is a real estate broker;

  4. Not to duplicate the Key or allow any other person to do so;

  5. Not to assign, transfer or pledge the Key;

  6. Not to destroy, alter, modify, disassemble or tamper with the Key or knowingly or unknowingly allow anyone else to do so;

  7. To notify RLCAR immediately of a loss or theft of the Key and of all circumstances surrounding such loss or theft; to pay in full for any lost or stolen Key or cradle or to complete and deliver to RLCAR a police report prior to and as a condition of the issuance of a replacement Key;

  8. To follow all additional security procedures as specified by the MLS;

  9. To safeguard the code for each lockbox from all other individuals and entities, whether or not they are authorized users of the Key System;

  10. Keyholders must never attach a lockbox shackle code to a lockbox.

15.6 Current Update Code. The Supra Key products have an update code that expires daily to prohibit further use of the Supra Key products until a new current update code is obtained from Supra or RLCAR and entered into the Supra Key. Update codes shall be issued only to keyholders in good standing with the MLS. A keyholder is in good standing if he or she is in full compliance with all obligations related to the Service and Key System, including, without limitation, the terms of these Rules and Regulations. 15.7 Key Accountability. Keyholders must account for keys at the time of any inventory conducted by the RLCAR or at any time requested by RLCAR. Keyholders who cease to participate or subscribe to the MLS shall return all key(s) in their possession to the RLCAR. Failure to return a key(s) will subject the keyholder and/or the keyholder’s participant to fines and penalties and to being responsible for all costs incurred by RLCAR to secure the lock box key system as a result of the failure to return the key(s). Further, key lease agreements may contain a liquidated damages provision to offset some or all of the costs in reestablishing the security of the system if it is determined that the security has been compromised through the negligence or fault of the keyholder. 15.8 Deemed Unaccountable. Keys shall be deemed unaccounted for if a keyholder refuses or is unable to demonstrate that the key is within the keyholder’s physical control. 15.9 Key Returns. If a keyholder decides to:

  1. no longer participate in the lockbox service

  2. no longer remain an active licensed sales licensee or appraiser

  3. transfer to a different company

The keyholder is responsible for contacting RLCAR and notifying them of your action. In the case of electing out of the service, the keyholder is responsible for turning in their key (DisplayKEY keypad, cradle and cord) and fulfilling any other requirements as agreed upon in their lease agreement. The keyholder is responsible for all equipment damages and any outstanding fees. The keyholder must contact Supra directly to cancel any recurring billing. 15.10 Lockboxes.

  1. The electronic lockbox system is leased by the Ruidoso/Lincoln County Association of REALTORS® and ownership of the lockboxes remains with RLCAR.

  2. Lockboxes cannot be transferred between Member Participants. Should a keyholder transfer to another office within RLCAR the Qualifying Broker must collect and return the lockboxes to his/her brokerage. Transferring keyholders may then checkout lockboxes from their new office’s inventory.

  3. Existing keyholders creating a new office will be issued new lockboxes by RLCAR.

15.11 Authorization to Use a Lockbox. The property owner, as well as any tenant(s) in possession of the property, if applicable, must provide prior written authorization to install or use a lockbox before a lockbox is installed or used on any piece of real property. 15.12 Use of Lockboxes on Properties. Active RLCAR MLS Listings where lockbox service is requested and authorized by a Seller must have a RLCAR MLS approved lockbox. This rule does not require the use of a lockbox nor preclude the use of additional lockboxes authorized by the Seller, including combination boxes and lockboxes from other MLS’s or Associations. RLCAR MLS approved lockbox use is not required for listings outside the RLCAR MLS service area. 15.13 Lockbox Serial Number in Listing. If an active listing has a lockbox assigned to it the serial number of a RLCAR MLS approved lockbox must be entered into the “Lockbox #” field in the MLS, within five (5) days of the MLS listing entry date. Note: Lockbox serial numbers must be the actual number of the box on the listing. Violation of this rule including failure to enter the lockbox serial number or entry of an invalid or duplicate lockbox serial number will result in a $50.00 (fifty dollar) fine. 15.14 Use of Lockbox Contents.

  1. No participant or subscriber may enter a property with or without a lockbox without the listing broker’s permission. The listing broker may grant such permission by specifying permission to use the lockbox through the MLS.

  2. Appraiser participants are expressly prohibited from using lockbox keys to enter a property without either the owner’s or listing broker’s permission.

  3. Participants and Subscribers shall at all times follow the showing instructions published in the MLS.

  4. Participants and Subscribers shall not remove contents of the lockbox for purposes other than showing the home and shall promptly return the contents to the lockbox upon exiting the property.

  5. Participants and Subscribers shall keep lockbox contents in their possession at all times after removal from the lockbox. The lockbox and/or contents shall not be removed from the property site without prior consent from the listing agent.

15.15 Lockbox Inventory. Each firm is responsible for maintaining up-to-date records of the location of each lockbox leased to the firm’s Member Participants and Subscribers. RLCAR MLS reserves the right to recall keyboxes based on a firm having a surplus of keyboxes. To balance the keyboxes in the system, an audit will be taken once a year.

  1. If a Participant’s records disagree with the inventory figures, the Member Participant may request an inventory detail list. This list will include serial numbers of all keyboxes assigned to that Member Participant. The Member Participant will have 10 days to compare the detail list to their firm’s records and resolve any discrepancies. If discrepancies cannot be resolved the Member Participant will be invoiced full replacement cost plus applicable taxes and shipping.

  2. If a Member Participant refuses, then the lockbox will be considered unaccounted for and the Member Participant will be invoiced full replacement cost plus applicable taxes and shipping.

  3. Each Member Participant will be allowed to hold keyboxes equal to the inventory figure plus 10%. In the event that a Participant exceeds his/her figure, the RLCAR office may recall excess lockboxes.

  4. In the event a lockbox is stolen or damaged, there will be no replacement costs with the presentation of a police report to the Ruidoso/Lincoln County Association of REALTORS®.

15.16 Timely Removal of Lockbox. Lockboxes are to be removed from listed property no later than 24-hours after closing. Lockboxes are to be removed immediately if listing is Expired (X) or Withdrawn (W). If RLCAR is notified of a lockbox still on a property, the Member Participant to whom the lockbox is registered to will be notified by RLCAR to remove the lockbox immediately. If RLCAR has to have the lockbox removed for reasons other than lockbox failure, the Member Participant to whom the lockbox is registered to will be billed the cost of having the lockbox professionally removed. 15.17 Rules Violations. Failure to abide by rules relating to lockboxes as set forth in this section or failure to abide by the key lease agreement may result in discipline as provided in sections 9 of these rules, in addition to loss of or restriction on all lockbox and key privileges.

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