OREA is urging the Province to say ‘no’ to a ban on multiple representation and ‘yes’ to designated agency with more consumer-friendly disclosures.
OREA supports giving consumers the option of an open offer process and strongly opposes forcing people to gamble their life savings in an experimental government-mandated open offer process.
An outdated piece of red tape is preventing real estate salespeople/brokers from operating their businesses through professional corporations that would allow them to reinvest in their business, hire more staff, and contribute to the local economy.
The Broker of Record should have the ability to designate signing authority to whomever they see fit.
Eliminating part of an unnecessary regulation will reduce the paperwork burden on real estate brokerages by giving the industry and individual brokerages the flexibility to comply with the requirement using whatever process or technology they want.
OREA supports updating REBBA to clarify that salespersons/brokers who transact short-term rental properties do not have to register as travel agents with the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (“TICO”).
As the market continues to become more complex, and consumers more sophisticated, contract provisions should be reviewed to ensure that they reflect a modern real estate market.
OREA is recommending the term “salesperson” be replaced with “agent” as it’s recognized and used by members and the public.
Replacing the term “registrant” with “licensee” will align real estate with other professions and make the legal description of a real estate licensee in Ontario easier to understand for consumers.
Approval for regulator fee increases on real estate registrants should rest with the Minister of Government and Consumer Services, and RECO should be required to consult with registrants.
The Auditor General should be permitted to conduct value-for-money audits of RECO and all of its programs to ensure that registrants’ fees and other sources of revenue are being used efficiently.
An independent Ombudsman within RECO would help ensure confidence from registrants and the public in the programs and processes of the regulator.
REBBA should be amended to permit specialty licensing classes for commercial, agricultural, condominium, and other forms of real estate.
The existing articling program should be strengthened to place a heightened emphasis on direct brokerage involvement and practical experience, so that when new registrants work with their first client, they are providing the optimal level of service.
RECO should offer stand-alone specialty courses to better educate prospective registrants in areas like condominiums, industrial, commercial/retail, agricultural, and waterfront properties.
Ontario should look to modernize the real estate registration exam to ensure new registrants are properly prepared to practice what they have learned.
The successful completion of continuing education courses for registrants should be contingent on individuals passing the examination, as opposed to just completing the course.
It should be mandated that continuing education exams be done in-person, under supervision, at a testing centre or local board office, where a registrant is required to display valid proof of their identity.
REBBA should clearly and decisively prohibit the submission of offers before the advertised offer period begins to ensure a fair offer process for all consumers.
Escalation clauses should be explicitly prohibited in REBBA.
The Government should eliminate the existing exemption for builders and auctioneers in REBBA.
The definition of “trade” in REBBA should be expanded/clarified to eliminate grey areas and to provide the highest possible levels of protection for consumers.
Considering revocations only occur in extremely serious cases, there should be a mandatory “cooling off” period of at least two years before that person can reapply for registration following a major violation of REBBA.
RECO should have clear legislative powers and greater authority to proactively investigate those who break the rules.
The RECO Discipline and Appeals Committee should be given authority under REBBA to consider proposals to revoke and suspend licenses.
All applicants with any violent criminal convictions or fraudulent convictions defined under section 380 of the Canadian Criminal Code within the last 10 years should be denied the privilege of working in real estate, with no right of appeal.
Grant RECO the ability to order disgorgement, which forces a registrant to repay either all, or a portion of, the profits gained because of a breach under REBBA and the Code of Ethics.
RRECO should be granted authority to establish administrative monetary penalties (“AMP”s), or fines under $2,000, for a range of regulatory violations as an intermediary disciplinary tool to better protect consumers.