Recently the Ministry of Government & Consumer Services (MGCS) issued a consultation paper proposing three major changes to the Real Estate & Business Brokers Act:
- Establishing a new mandatory designated representation requirement with limited exceptions;
- Requiring that mandatory standardized disclosure clauses be used; and
- Increasing the maximum fine for Code of Ethics violations from $25,000 to $50,000 for individual salespersons and brokers and $100,000 for brokerages.
The potential measures being considered in this first phase of the review of REBBA 2002 are intended to:
- Increase consumer confidence by minimizing the conflict of interest involved in multiple representation situations;
- Make it easier for consumers to better understand the nature of the agreements they are entering; and
- Strengthen consumer protection by modernizing the penalties for unethical behavior for contraventions of the Code of Ethics.
The consultation is the first phase of the government commitment to review REBBA 2002. The second phase will review all other aspects of the Act and extend into 2018. The focus on multiple representation is in response to negative media coverage (CBC Marketplace) which occurred late in 2016.
RAHB has submitted comments to OREA which is in the process of formulating a response on behalf of Ontario REALTORS®. This response will be made available to members.
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