OREA head calls for reforms in REBBA after exposé

OREA head calls for reforms in REBBA after exposé

OREA head calls for reforms in REBBA after exposé 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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  • Geoff L. 2016-11-08 9:59:21 AM
    As a Mortgage Agent and a part owner of a brokerage, and being married to the Broker of Record, the CBC report causes some welcome visibility to the sad state of our industry. The issues highlighted by the CBC are neither new nor newly discovered. Everybody in the industry - including OREA and RECO - knows there are a lot of shady operators out there. The ONLY reason they are expressing their public outrage now is the negative fallout from the CBC item is causing them discomfort.

    The fact is OREA's education doesn't go nearly far enough to ensure new Realtors are properly equipped and RECO simply does not bother to enforce any of the operating standards the Act requires.

    (We've submitted several complaints to RECO only to have them fall on deaf ears. In one case we included close to 80 pages of supporting documentation included sworn affidavits from our customer and screen shots of texts from another Realtor to our customer only to have RECO say there wasn't enough evidence of foul play.)

    So good for the CBC for forcing these bodies to publicly acknowledge the problem; hopefully something meaningful will come out of it.

    But then again, my cynical side says there will be some official puffery around this for a bit and things things will settle back into their symbolically bureaucratic but highly ineffective ways of doing things.
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