Gill & Mulholland LLP has been representing the interests of real estate agents, brokers and brokerages with respect to their interactions with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) for many years and has acquired a great deal of experience in, and familiarity with, the rights and obligations of registrants under their governing legislation as well as all aspects of the governance process.

RECO is the regulatory body that governs the regulatory framework created by the provisions of the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act of Ontario (REBBA)and any disciplinary processes can be both confusing and stressful (not to mention expensive).

We make it our goal to bring much needed clarity to the regulatory process and ensure that registrants have an understanding of how matters will progress and what is expected of them, while, at the same time, aggressively advocating for their interests in all matters.

If a registrant is faced with a negligence claim arising out of their alleged actions or omissions, they immediately notify their E & O insurer and counsel is appointed to act on their behalf. In addition, and for the most part, if any damages are found to have been suffered as a result, those damages are paid by the insurer.

Unfortunately, this Is not the case for complaints made to RECO with respect to alleged breaches of a registrant’s professional obligations. A complaint can come form a client, another agent or that agent’s client or can be brought directly by RECO. A registrant has no insurance to pay the legal costs associated with a disciplinary complaint or to pay the potential penalties that can be imposed.

The maximum fine that can be imposed on an individual agent or broker for a disciplinary offence under the Code of Ethics is now $50,000.00, whereas for a corporation that maximum fine jumps to $100,000.00.

If the matter proceeds as a breach of the provisions of REBBA, other than an Ethics breach, the matter proceeds through Provincial Offences Court where, in addition to the possible imposition of a fine, there is a possible maximum 2-year prison sentence.

Finally, there is always the risk, if the offending behaviour is deemed to be serious enough, that a registrant’s registration could be in jeopardy.

As a result, we highly recommend that legal counsel be sought out immediately upon receipt of a request for a response from RECO, or receipt of any other legal process, regardless of how meritless the complaint may appear. The value of your hard earned reputation and your ability to continue to make a living the way you know best, cannot be underestimated.


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