RECO supports government’s review of rules for Ontario real estate brokers, salespersons and brokerages
Toronto, ON, April 20, 2017: The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) supports the provincial government’s planned review of the rules that govern Ontario’s brokers, salespersons and brokerages.
Today, the government announced “Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan,” a package of measures aimed at helping more people find affordable homes in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Included in the plan is a commitment to review and modernize the “rules real estate agents are required to follow.”
As the consumer protection body tasked with enforcing those rules, RECO supports the goal of modernizing the rules to strengthen consumer protection and standards for real estate agents.
We look forward to being an active and thoughtful partner with government in that review. It will be important to ensure that any changes:
- Protect both buyers and sellers
- Are effective in any market condition
- Work in all parts of the province
RECO regulates the conduct of real estate salespersons, brokers and brokerages in the province. We strongly urge both consumers and real estate representatives to file a complaint with us if they encounter agents who are breaking the rules or conducting themselves unethically. RECO will investigate the matter and take action. Punishments range from warnings, to fines of up to $50,000, to criminal charges and revocation of registration.
We are also pleased to see the government’s commitment to consumer education around the real estate transaction. RECO has a long-standing focus on consumer education, reaching out through in-person consumer events, advertising, social media and mainstream media. Buyers and sellers are strongly urged to read the information available on RECO’s website before embarking on the process, including confirming the registration of any real estate agent they may be thinking of working with.
In addition, the government announced plans for a housing advisory group that will meet quarterly to discuss the housing market and the impact of the measures in the “Fair Housing Plan.” As the regulator for Ontario’s brokers, salespersons and brokerages, RECO looks forward to being at the table.
Before you begin working with a real estate broker or salesperson, make sure they are registered to trade in real estate by using the online search feature available on RECO’s website (www.reco.on.ca). The information available includes registration status, expiry date of registration and regulatory activities related to the brokerage, broker or salesperson, such as:
- Registrar’s Proposals to refuse, revoke, suspend or apply conditions to a registration
- Charges under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (REBBA 2002) and related convictions
- Immediate suspensions ordered by the Registrar
- Decisions of Discipline and Appeals Panels related to unethical conduct
The Real Estate Council of Ontario regulates real estate professionals in the province on behalf of the Ontario government by enforcing the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (REBBA 2002). We protect the public interest through a fair, safe and informed marketplace. RECO holds registered brokers and salespersons to professional standards, protects the public interest, and enhances consumer confidence in the real estate profession. In addition, RECO strives to educate consumers to ensure they understand the benefits of a regulated real estate sector. For more information, visit www.reco.on.ca.
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