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.
The legality of cannabis through Bill C-45 has created some unique challenges for many professionals, including real estate agents. One...READ MORE
As a real estate agent, you have likely been approached by telemarketers (or other marketing companies) who promise to provide...READ MORE
Multiple representation, also known as double ending, occurs when two parties in a real estate transaction are represented by the...READ MORE
The legality of cannabis through Bill C-45 has created some unique challenges for many professionals, including real estate agents. One such challenge arises when your clients express a desire to start growing large quantities of cannabis plants for their personal consumption. It is important that your clients are not only in compliance with their growing licenses, but also with local zoning by-laws, failing which, your client’s actions can result in them facing significant challenges and costs. FACTUAL CONTEXT In the case of Tay (Township) v. Fan, 2018 ONSC 6375, the Township moved for an interlocutory injunction to restrain the occupants of a residential household from growing, cultivating, or otherwise producing marijuana. The injunction was granted by Justice Boswell due to...
As a real estate agent, you have likely been approached by telemarketers (or other marketing companies) who promise to provide you a large number of new, quality, leads. The person who approached you likely seemed friendly and knowledgeable. You likely searched their company online and they had a website and customer testimonials. It seems like a pretty amazing opportunity; however, this isn’t your first rodeo and you ask the person who contacted you how they planned to provide you so many leads. They explained that they will be making calls to people in your area, but not to worry because everything they do is above board. They likely reassured you that you have nothing to worry about. The above is a...
Multiple representation, also known as double ending, occurs when two parties in a real estate transaction are represented by the same brokerage. This can occur when each party to the transaction retains a different representative from the same brokerage, or when a single representative is retained by both parties. This is often a very tempting prospect for any realtor; however, in either case brokerages and sales representatives must adhere to specific disclosure guidelines to ensure that the buyers and sellers are protected. The multiple representation must be disclosed to both parties involved in the transaction, as well as to any other brokerages/sales representatives that are involved in any offer process, and consent of the parties to the transaction must be...