William (Bill) John Denby and his wife, Gwen, of Cameron, Ont., were convicted of three counts each of trading in real estate without a licence and one count of holding themselves out as a broker or salesperson while not registered. Bill received a $50,000 fine and his wife received a suspended sentence.
“We are pleased with the court’s recognition of the need for consumer protection and for being registered,” Joseph Richer, registrar for the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) said in a statement. “The fines are reflective of the seriousness of the issues at hand. We hope this will serve as a strong deterrent for anyone who tries to circumvent being registered. Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest transactions most people will ever go through in their lives. It’s critical that the person representing you has the skills and knowledge to look out for your best interests in the course of a real estate deal.”
In final submissions in the case, Tim Snell, acting for RECO, said there were three complainants who claimed Denby had estimated a value for their homes and arranged for prospective buyers to contact him through his business, ‘The Negotiators.’
Snell said Denby’s actions violated the Real Estate Business Brokerage Act because he put up signs on the properties and advertised his services online through his business.
John Annen, acting for Denby, said Denby had not broken the law because no money had changed hands between Denby and any of the complainants, nor had any transfer of title to the properties occurred.
An Ontario couple has been convicted of multiple counts under the Real Estate Business Brokers Act stemming from complaints in 2013 that they were acting as real estate agents without a licence.