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REAL ESTATE COUNCIL OF BRITISH COLUMBIA DISCIPLINE DECISION

In the matter of the Real Estate Services Act

  S.B.C. 2004 ch. 42

AND in the matter of a Consent Order pursuant to Section 41 of the Real Estate Services Act

 

Respondents:  Robert James Harrington and Harrington Homes Realty Incorporated dba Price Smart Realty 

Files:  11-338, 12-406, 12-474 and 13-117

Date of Consent Order:  September 30, 2014

Issue: Robert James Harrington, managing broker, Harrington Homes Realty Incorporated dba Price Smart Realty, Langley, entered into a Consent Order with the Council that he:

File #11-338

(a) committed conduct unbecoming within the meaning of section 35(2) of the Real Estate Services Act by encouraging unlicensed activity and discouraging members of the public from becoming licensed under the Real Estate Services Act to provide real estate services and by publishing false or misleading statements on “iRealter.com” as follows:

(i) “offer a real estate application program to members of the public to be able to provide real estate services to others without being licensed”:

(ii) “If you chose to purchase a local civic government business license you are now a legally licensed government approved Real Estate Agent, and “irealtor.com…replaces all Real Estate Council, Real Estate Board and Real Estate Office functions with Smart Software”; and

(iii) by publishing on his www.pricesmartrealty.ca website comments that are derogatory to the real estate industry such as: “The agent is basically a matchmaker between sellers and buyers….The agent cannot recommend anything or anyone, accurately measure up anything or take any responsibility for anything”.

File 12-406

(a) as managing broker, committed professional misconduct within the meaning of section 35(1)(a) of the Real Estate Services Act by contravening section 6(2) of the Real Estate Services Act and section 3-1(1)(b) of the Council Rules by failing to ensure that a brokerage representative was properly licensed to provide rental property management services from March 2012 to January 31, 2013 in accordance with section 3(1)(a) of the Real Estate Services Act.

File 12-474

(a) committed professional misconduct within the meaning of section 35(1)(a) of the Real Estate Services Act by contravening section 6(2) of the Real Estate Services Act and section 3-1(1) of the Council Rules by permitting a licensee to provide rental and strata management services when he was not licensed to do those services.

File 13-117

(a) committed professional misconduct within the meaning of section 35(1)(a) of the Real Estate Services Act in that he:

(i) contravened section 4-7 of the Council Rules by publishing false or misleading advertising on websites to the effect that licensing by the Real Estate Council of British Columbia was not necessary to provide real estate services, more particularly as follows:

(I) “you can help your clients list, sell and buy homes and property across the world with our VivaState.com Agent App and you will get paid directly from the buyer’s or seller’s legal representative with your commission deducted from the proceeds of the sale. There are no office, licensing, or board fees.”;

(II) “VivaState is: a virtual Real Estate council, board and association (without the council, board and association fees).”;

(III) “licensed VivaState Agents cannot List on the traditional Multiple Listing Service, however, they can act to assist buyers and collect the full BUY SIDE or sub-agent commission, often amounting to thousands of dollars.”;

(IV) advertised on YouTube “Get Licensed without taking courses”;

(V) advertised a fictitious licence under the name “Real Estate Salespersons License”, “The Real Estate Council of iRealter.com” and “The Real Estate Council for VivaState.com”;

(VI) advertised “VivaState is the world’s first Real Estate software Program App that will make anyone a successful Real Estate Agent. The program licenses you as a VivaState Real Estate agent allowing you to earn great real estate commissions without taking any courses”…; and

(VII) advertised “my new program also licenses real estate agents, handles deposits and pays you out your commission from the buyers lawyer. So if you are tired paying full time fees for a part time Real Sales job…try it. VivaState.com”

(ii) contravened section 4-8 of the Council Rules by publishing properties advertised for sale on other websites for sale on VivaState.com without the consent of the owners of the said properties;

(iii) contravened sections 3-1(a) and 7(3)(a) of the Real Estate Services Act by providing trading services under the name “Robert Realtor” in that he listed multiple properties for sale on the VivaState.com website when he was not licensed to provide trading services and by providing these real estate services separate from his brokerage.

(b) committed conduct unbecoming a licensee within the meaning of section 35(2) of the Real Estate Services Act in that:

(i) he advertised and encouraged members of the public to bypass licensing through the Real Estate Council of British Columbia and become licensed through VivaState.com which was not a licensing authority for real estate licensees in the province of British Columbia; and

(ii) made disparaging remarks about the Real Estate Council of British Columbia on the website as follows: “I have been constantly fined, audited, bullied and shut down by the BC Real Estate Council who does not want successful agents but needs lots of unsuccessful agent for fees… I have just launched VivaState.com a smart transaction real estate program that brings into the 21st century and licenses you for FREE!”

File 12-406

Issue: Harrington Homes Realty Incorporated dba Price Smart Realty, Langley, entered into a Consent Order with the Council that it committed professional misconduct within the meaning of section 35(1)(a) of the Real Estate Services Act by contravening section 7(5)(a) of the Real Estate Services Act in that it provided rental property management services through a person that was not licensed to provide those services.

Result: Robert James Harrington was subject to an Order of a discipline committee that his licence be cancelled effective November 26, 2014.

Result: Harrington Homes Realty Incorporated dba Price Smart Realty was subject to an Order of a discipline committee that it be reprimanded.

Result: Robert James Harrington and Harrington Homes Realty Incorporated dba Price Smart Realty were subject to an Order of a discipline committee that they be jointly and severally liable to pay enforcement expenses to the Council in the amount of $1,250.00.

 P: November 5, 2014