The group, chaired by Carolyn Rogers, superintendent of real estate, has identified 10 areas that should be addressed:
- additional enforcement tools for the Council, such as requiring the reporting of all contract assignments directly to the Council;
- limiting the ability of real estate licensees to represent both buyers and sellers in the same transaction;
- significantly increasing penalties for those who violate the Real Estate Services Act and creating greater flexibility in the types of infractions that are subject to penalty;
- authorizing the Council to require disciplined real estate licensees to disgorge commissions and profits over and above penalties received;
- simplifying the complaint process for consumers by eliminating duplication between the Real Estate Boards and the Council, and increasing transparency;
- ensuring that expectations for managing brokers and the Council’s powers to hold managing brokers accountable are sufficient;
- examining business models, such as unregulated ownership structures for brokerages, to ensure they do not weaken the ability of managing brokers or the Council to ensure compliance;
- restructuring the proportion of public and industry members on the Council’s governing board to reflect current best practices for governance;
- removing any deterrents that may prevent licensees from reporting misconduct;
- ensuring that resources and services are easily accessible to the public and available in multiple languages.
The Council’s chair Marylou Leslie commented: “The Council fully supports the work of the Independent Advisory Group. We are looking forward to receiving the final recommendations and to implementing measures to strengthen consumer protection.”
Carolyn Rogers is confident that the advisory group’s final report will “meet public expectations of a stronger and more effective regulatory system.”
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The BC Real Estate Council says it is pleased with the broad scope of measures being considered by an independent advisory board which is examining regulation of real estate in the province.