Province to End Self Regulation in Real Estate
Prince George, B.C. – Premier Christy Clark has announced her government will bring an end to self -regulation in the real estate industry and overhaul governance, oversight, transparency and accountability of the sector.The decision follows the release of a report prepared by an independent advisory group for the BC Real Estate Council.
Among its recommendations, the report called for stiff fines of up to $250 thousand dollars for agents who don’t follow the rules, and an end to agents acting for both the buyer and seller.
“After reading the report, our conclusion is that the privilege of self-regulation in the real estate industry must end,” Premier Christy Clark said. “This report examines shady practices and challenges plaguing the real estate market, particularly in the Lower Mainland, putting consumers at risk and tarnishing the reputations of honest professionals in the sector. We will act to protect British Columbians when they are making one of their most important family investments –
purchasing a home.”
She says the Government accepts the recommendations of the independent advisory group and will:
* Establish a dedicated superintendent of real estate, who will take over the council’s regulation- and rule-making authority to carry out the changes required to restore public confidence.
* Reconstitute the Real Estate Council with a majority of public- interest, non-industry members.
* Implement the recommended penalties, as well as increased fines for unlicensed activity and other offences.
* Allow for commissions from licensees engaging in misconduct to be taken back to the council.
* Make the managing broker responsible for ensuring the owner of the brokerage does not engage in the business of the brokerage if the owner is not a licensee.
* No longer permit licensees to offer dual agency representation.
The changes could come soon says Finance Minister Michael de Jong “We are working on legislation that will expand the powers of the superintendent of real estate to address these issues, ensure appropriate public representation on the
board, and implement higher disciplinary and administrative penalties.”