TREB chief: Realtors have breached client privacy

Don Richardson, TREB’s chief executive, made the disclosure as part of the Competition Tribunal looking into whether the real estate board has the right to limit the public’s access to all of the seller information currently available to Realtors only.

The competition bureau is fighting to have that information made public on the MLS system.

Under cross-examination by the counsel for the Competition Commissioner, Richardson said Realtors are only supposed to release an edited version of the MLS data to their clients and only “when and where appropriate.”

However, he conceded that some brokers have been known to give out full MLS listing information that contain data such as a homeowner’s name, exact address, mortgage details and even notes indicating at what time a home is available for showing.

The tribunal also heard from Richardson that over half of the privacy complaints received by TREB were from sellers surprised to find virtual tour photos of their homes online – long after their homes have been sold.

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