RECO Fines Should be Increased Substantially
CBC Marketplace should not be regulating the real estate industry. But, they are indeed exposing some of its flaws.
The maximum fine for a serious transgression in the case of an individual agent is $25,000.00 at the moment.
I would ordinarily think that the maximum fine should be increased to $250,000.00 (just like BC).
The general $3,000 to $5,000 fine is wholly inadequate. This easily amounts to a “licence” to continue to do business in the same way without interference or change. This range is suited to someone who is genuinely surprised that they did something wrong. There is still some degree of innocence here, even though it may be naïve.
It certainly doesn’t work for someone who knowingly breached the rules and whose “business model” is based upon:
· “repetition of unethical behaviour’ and
· “not getting caught”.
These fines should be increased to $15,000.00 to $25,000.00. All commissions earned in the transaction for both the agent and the Brokerage should be forfeited.
Supervision is a misnomer. The Brokerage should pay a minimum fine equal to one half of the agent’s fine. You might find that the Brokerages “supervising the “Group of 6” might take a more “active” role. If a Brokerage is found to have had prior knowledge or has been complicit in some way, then, their fine should be doubled.
The imposition of mandatory supervision by a Brokerage for those agents who have been disciplined would help too. It’s a great deal of additional work for a Brokerage and it just might not be worth it have some particular individuals on board.
Suspension would automatically follow for 6 months for any person who had a fine assessed against them in excess of $15,000. A second offence would result in the loss of registration.
In addition, these agents should attend mandatory classes from OREA and REIC in law and ethics.
1) Increased fines,
2) Forfeiture of commissions,
3) Attendance at courses,
4) Automatic Suspension, and
5) Supervision Requirements.
If these steps were taken, then I think we would see increased “professionalism” within the real estate industry.
Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker