Government seeks input on draft REBBA regulations

December 10, 2021

Comment by January 24 on REBBA reforms

The Government of Ontario is seeking input from registrants and the public on the second phase of draft regulations needed to bring the related Trust in Real Estate Services Act, 2020 legislative changes into force.

Please see below for highlights of the proposals. For details, visit the Ontario Regulatory Registry and submit your comments online or by email to rebba@ontario.ca by the deadline of January 24, 2022. The government will consider stakeholder input as it finalizes the regulations, which are proposed to come into force on September 1, 2022, along with associated changes to the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (REBBA).

The first phase of regulation changes allowed salespersons and brokers to incorporate and be paid through a personal real estate corporation (PREC), and allowed them to use more recognizable terms, such as “real estate agent” and “REALTOR®,” to describe brokers and salespersons in advertisements. This past summer, the government also sought input on a new Code of Ethics to enhance professionalism and consumer protection.

Highlights of proposed changes

New Code of Ethics

The government is proposing a new principle-based code, informed by feedback from the earlier consultation, and placing the technical requirements from the existing code in other regulations under REBBA.

Offer process

Proposal would remove the barrier that prevents registrants from conducting an open offer process and would allow them to disclose the details of competing offers at the seller’s direction. Prospective buyers would have the choice whether to participate in this process.

Auctioneer exemption

Proposal would add a condition to the exemption for auctioneers involved in real estate transactions so that, if not registered under the Act, an auctioneer has no duties other than receiving, managing, and recording competing bids, and accepting the highest bid as part of an auction bidding process.

Elimination of the customer relationship

Proposal would eliminate the “customer” relationship with a registrant, allowing a consumer to choose between being either a client, or being self-represented.

Information and disclosure obligations

Proposal would broaden the information registrants must provide to buyers, sellers and others in relation to real estate services, and would require registrants to provide and explain a RECO- published information guide to a person before providing services or assistance.

RECO powers and tools

Proposal would help RECO operate more efficiently and focus compliance and enforcement efforts where they are most needed and most effective.

Proposed changes include:

    • updates to the rules about the information RECO must make publicly available
    • specifying purposes for which RECO can require registrants to provide transactional data and related information to the registrar

Don’t miss this opportunity to have your voice heard! Please visit the Ontario Regulatory Registry for more information.

Joseph Richer
Registrar