Ontario strengthens consumer protection with new real estate rules, OREA

October 5, 2017

Ontario strengthens consumer protection with new real estate rules, OREA

Ontario REALTORS® are commending the Government of Ontario for introducing real estate legislation that, if passed, will implement North America leading rules in the province around how real estate professionals can represent consumers. The Mandatory Designated Representation (MDR) model, proposed by the Government, will tackle conflict of interest situations and consumer confusion that can arise in the current multiple representation system.

“These new rules are some of the strictest in North American when it comes to transparency and consumer protection,” said Ontario Real Estate Association President-Elect David Reid. “Ontario Realtors were pleased to work with the Government to bring more clarity to the duties of a Realtor to a consumer and address any real or perceived conflict of interest.”

MDR will set a North American leading standard for greater transparency, enhanced clarity of the duty and obligations of Realtors and tougher consumer protection.

The Province has also committed to allowing consumers to work with a Realtor of their choice as an impartial transaction facilitator under a strict set of rules. The facilitator model would only apply to instances where both clients involved in the transaction consented in writing to the arrangement. Consent would come through a simple, plain language document that clearly outlines the duties and obligations of the Realtor to the consumer with much higher fines for those who break the rules.

“A big part of a Realtor’s job is to act as a facilitator, bringing a willing buyer and seller to the table to find a win-win solution,” said OREA CEO Tim Hudak. “Where a Realtor is acting as a facilitator, the Government’s proposal will ensure a high level of transparency and consumer protection.”

Ontario Realtors are also pleased that the proposed legislation would double fines for breaches of the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (REBBA) Code of Ethics and mandate new disclosures in real estate forms, both of which OREA advocated for as part of the Province’s REBBA review process.

“Right now, too often fines amount to a mere slap on the wrist,” said Hudak. “Ontario needs much stronger deterrents for unethical behavior and a regulator that isn’t afraid to throw the book at the small number rule breakers.”

About OREA:
OREA represents 70,000 brokers and salespeople who are members of the 39 real estate boards throughout the province. OREA serves its REALTOR® members through a wide variety of professional publications, educational programs, advocacy, and other services. www.OREA.com


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