Real Estate Agents and Brokers
The Real Estate Council of Ontario (“RECO”) is an organization responsible for the regulation of real estate professionals in Ontario. RECO was established under the Safety and Consumer Statutes Administration Act. It is a not-for-profit corporation responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act. RECO operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services.
RECO’s mandate is to provide regulatory services that create a fair and informed market place so that the public interest may be protected. RECO’s role is the interpretation, enforcement, and improvement of the regulation of real estate professionals. RECO is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of twelve (12) persons – nine (9) of which are elected representatives licensed under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act and three (3) non-members appointed by the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services.
Real estate professionals licensed under RECO are categorized under two (2) tiers – real estate salesperson and real estate broker. Both titles require the individual to take specific courses in preparation for the role. However to become a salesperson an individual must also complete articling courses during their first two (2) years on the job, and to become a broker an individual must have been employed as a salesperson for a minimum of twenty-four (24) of the last thirty-six (36) months prior to application. More specifically, a salesperson works for a brokerage and will usually be the one dealing with clients and prospective buyers. Brokers, on the other hand, possess a license that allows them to operate their own brokerages and to employ real estate sales associates.
In accord with its mandate to safeguard the public interest RECO has established complaint and disciplinary procedures. In order to file a complaint one must visit RECO’s website and complete the online complaint form. RECO’s registrar will review the complaint and will determine the outcome. The registrar may take no action if there isn’t enough evidence to support the claim, impose conditions on the license of the accused member with their consent, mediate or attempt to otherwise resolve the complaint, issue a written warning to the accused member, require the accused member to take further educational courses, suspend the member’s license, propose to revoke or not renew the license, or finally, refer the matter to the Disciplinary Committee where a fine of up to $25,000.00 may be imposed along with a requirement to pay fixed costs, or an order for further courses may be made.
If you are a Real Estate professional facing a disciplinary proceeding or have been terminated from your employment due to alleged professional wrongdoing we urge you to give us a call to discuss your matter immediately. In addition to saving your license, you may be entitled to damages from your former employer.