OREA head calls for reforms in REBBA after exposé

by Ephraim Vecina09 Nov 2016
After the release of a damning exposé by CBC Marketplace, the head of the Ontario Real Estate Association argued that the time is ripe for improvements in the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, which has been in effect since 2002.
 
OREA CEO Tim Hudak noted that the REBBA, which governs the real estate industry in the province, needs to become more “nimble” in response to the growing frequency of fraud.
 
“I think we can modernize that act and I've set up a meeting with [Ontario’s minister of government and consumer services] to do exactly that,” Hudak told CBC News.
 
The priority should be discouraging agents from engaging in unscrupulous practices by imposing severe punishments, the OREA CEO said.
 
Among the changes that Hudak is looking at include provisions for higher fines, along with expanded investigative and enforcement powers for RECO, the province’s main regulatory body governing agents. At present, the maximum fine is set at $25,000, a figure that Hudak said should be at least twice as large.
 
The comments came in the wake of the CBC Marketplace inquiry, which revealed agents assuring undercover investigators (equipped with hidden cameras) that they would hold the advantage in bidding wars should the investigators work with the agents.
 
“That kind of behaviour can't be tolerated. If there are people who are breaking the clear rules that exist or violating the realtors' codes of ethics, they're on their own,” Hudak said.
 
“We're not talking about an ordinary exchange, this is the biggest purchase you're going to make in your life, this has a highly emotional value to all of us. This is where we raise our families.”

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COMMENTS

  • by 11/9/2016 11:44:21 AM

    Terminate their licenses...........solves the problem really quickly

  • by Alex V. 11/9/2016 12:26:37 PM

    Double ending a real estate transaction is a conflict of interest and should not be allowed. It serves only one person and one purpose and that is to put more money in the agent's pocket.

  • by Max Cafissi 11/9/2016 2:15:01 PM

    Increasing fines is not the answer. Eliminating "bidding wars" is the answer. If a Seller wants to sell his/her property to the highest bidder, hire an Auctioneer, not a Professional Realtor. Realtors who promote and encourage bidding wars should not be in this Profession. Likewise, "double ending" should be outlawed. Real Estate is the most "unprofessional" Profession. Higher educational standards are required and RECO should be disbanded. No Profession should be allowed to Police itself. I'm a Realtor and I approved these comments.

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