The Real Estate Council of British Columbia (RECBC) is a regulatory agency that was established by the provincial government in 1958. Its mandate is to protect the public interest by enforcing the licensing and licensee conduct requirements of the Real Estate Services Act. They license more than 24,000 individuals and brokerages engaged in real estate sales, rental property and strata management. Moreover, they enforce standards of conduct, investigate complaints from the public against licensees and impose disciplinary sanctions under the Real Estate Services Act. The aim is to ensure that real estate licensees serve the public well.
Steve Hamilton of Hammerberg Lawyers, acknowledged that there are problems in the British Columbia real estate market over such things as shadow flipping, where brokers transfer the purchase of a property to another buyer to gain multiple commissions but said there are already enough tools available to fight misconduct such as the RECBC’s already existing complaints process.
THE SUGGESTED SOLUTION/THE NEW TIP LINE:
British Columbia’s real estate industry is launching a new anonymous tip line to report misconduct by real estate agents or other industry professionals. The tip line, which will be an additional option used for complaints, will be followed up directly by the Real Estate Council of British Columbia. The organization has been adding staff to ensure it has enough resources to adequately investigate each complaint to ensure appropriate action is taken to maintain professional standards.
- By phone: 1 833 420-2400
- Online Form: https://www.recbc.ca/about/anonymous-tipline.html
The Real Estate Council did note, although tips are anonymous, that there is a chance that the people involved in any disciplinary proceeding may be able to deduce the tipster’s identity, as it shares information and documentation with the subjects of any reports and is subject to the provincial Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Establishing this tip line was one of the recommendations made by the real estate Council’s independent advisory group report on conduct and practices in British Columbia’s real estate industry. This move will undoubtedly help protect people from unethical conduct in our real estate market.