During the 2013-2014 fiscal year, RECO received 1,528 complaints. Of those, 50.7 per cent concluded with no action – in turn, 3.3 per cent of those were due to the complaint being withdrawn. Another 44.2 per cent of the 1,500 complaints resulted in administrative action, including a written warning, or some combination of a written warning, corrective action, mandatory education courses, and mediation. Only 5.1 per cent of complaints were referred to legal, registration or investigations.
“It’s important to note that on the whole registrants do their jobs well,” Matthews says. “These are low numbers when you consider there are close to 70,000 registrants and there were nearly 200,000 homes sold through MLS last year.”
If you have an issue with an agent who you believe is not serving the public to the best of their ability, or who is perhaps engaging in shady business practices, Matthews urges you to submit a complaint to your local real estate council.
“Anyone – consumer or registrant – who believes that they have not been treated fairly, honestly or with integrity is welcome to submit a complaint to us,” he says. “After all, if we don’t know about the situation, we won’t be able to address it.”
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“Once the investigation is complete, the Registrar looks over the details and decides on a course of action,” Matthews says. “A new complaint resolution approach we added last year is mediation. In certain cases, it is preferable to resolve a matter by inviting the two parties to mutually come to an agreed-upon resolution.”