Ontario real estate plays catch up to BC reforms

Although some REALTORS® have struggled with the regulatory changes BC has undergone the last couple of years, it turns out we’re not only in stride with the rest of Canada, but possibly ahead of other jurisdictions striving to catch up.

Take Ontario’s Real Estate Council (RECO) for example. It has made several new recommendations to the province for broad reforms to the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act of 2002 (REBBA), most of which already exist here.

It is apparent from reviewing RECO’s proposals that many of the same issues that have dogged real estate in BC, continue to hound Ontario’s REALTORS® and regulators, namely; agency representation, conflict of interest, confusing legal terms, one-sided contract language, and complaint procedures that are slow and ineffective.

RECO’s proposals focus on enhancing consumer protections, streamlining procedures and standardizing disclosure and representation forms.

The Council wants to see specific training and certification recognized by the regulator, and a review of role categories, including designations that would better reflect the needs of the sector. It wants the option for a licensee to withdraw their licence as an alternative to disciplinary proceedings, and Mandatory Designated Representation whereby representatives provide services exclusively to one client in a transaction.

Does any of that sound familiar?

RECO also wants rule-making authority similar to other Canadian Councils.

But RECO is also asking for changes in Ontario that BC doesn’t have in place such as: rules to address “under pricing” associated with bidding wars, removing business brokerages from the province’s real estate regulations, the authority to impose administrative penalties without the formality of a hearing, and specific legislation or written policy to prohibit licensees from paying complainants to withdraw complaints.

Find out more about Ontario’s proposed reforms here.