Earlier this spring, RECO issued an e-blast to brokers of record and branch managers regarding new rules for handling written offers, stemming from Bill 55, the Stronger Protection for Ontario Consumers Act, 2013. In response to feedback from brokers of record and branch managers, RECO has updated the fact sheet.

Bill 55, the Stronger Protection for Ontario Consumers Act, 2013, takes effect on July 1, 2015 and there are new rules you must know for handling written offers.   Your brokerage must create processes and policies that comply with these legislative changes.

RECO has prepared a detailed fact sheet about the changes. All registrants should review it so that they can ensure compliance as of July 1, 2015.

Here is an outline of the changes:

  • Offers must be made in writing. Please keep in mind that a written offer must be signed to be valid.
  • A registrant cannot indicate that they have an offer, unless they have a written offer.
  • The seller’s brokerage must keep a record of all written offers that it receives.
  • RECO is developing a process to confirm the number of offers that were received for a property.
  • RECO will provide updates between now and July 1 in response to questions that registrants submit.

To review the relevant changes, see section 35.1 of REBBA 2002 and section 19.1 of Ontario Regulation 579/05 made under REBBA 2002.

(Note:  OREA will design a new form for brokerages to use to comply with the requirements of Bill 55.  See following article and stay tuned for more information.)