Ontario Real Estate Association released first of the 4 industry white papers on Tuesday that arguing in favour of stringent regulation.
Ontario Real Estate Association lobbied Queen’s Park to review Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 and government has committed to do this. White papers are next step in this advocacy.
Ettore Cardarelli, OREA President said in white paper that Ontario needs stronger deterrents for a regulator and unethical behaviour which is not afraid to throw book at violators.
In white paper, which has been entitled “Better Enforcement and a Regulator that Works,” OREA argues in the favour of heftier fines to breach REBBA’s Code of the Ethics.
There is a maximum fine of $50,000 for brokerages and $25,000 for agents, these figures were set in year 2002 when average resale cost of homes was around $211,000. Average price was more than doubling of $619,000, OREA argues effectiveness of those fines which have been reduced.
OREA suggested maximum fines that have been raised to $50,000 and $100,000.
Ettore Cardarelli, OREA President said that White Paper is first step towards Ontario’s real estate rules. Governing Rules were established by Ontario Realtors 15 years ago i.e it is time to update by keeping Ontario’s real estate market stronger for consumers. OREA committed that raise in bar on professional standards is making no stone unturned to make this happen.
Along with suggested increase in fine, OREA is advocating for:
– Ontario Real Estate Council given ability to order registrant to repay all, or portion, of profits gained which results of breach under REBBA Code of Ethics.
– RECO has given authority to revoke or suspend registration or apply of terms & conditions.
– Permit to Auditor General of Ontario conducted value for money audits of RECO and all these programs ensure that registrants fees and all other sources of revenue being used efficiently.
– Make increase in RECO registration fee that subjected to ministerial approval.
– Make RECO subject to oversight of internal RECO Ombudsman.
– Provide RECO with powers to investigate REBBA and Code of the Ethics violations.
– Make RECO much more transparent when this comes to freedom of the information requests.
John Meehan said that reviews of REBBA are once in lifetime to shape future of professionals and to strengthen the industry. Helping people by largest financial transactions of lives is huge responsibility and enormous privilege. Ontario home sellers and buyers deserve to work with the professionals who held to highest standards.