Council Gives Guidance to Real Estate Licensees on Reporting Misconduct
Online FAQ Outlines Steps to Take When Licensees Suspect Misconduct
Vancouver, British Columbia – The Real Estate Council of BC issued a reminder today to real estate licensees of their legal responsibility to report misconduct, along with an FAQ and step-by-step guide to communicating any concerns about the actions of other licensees. The FAQ is available on the Council’s website at www.recbc.ca/complaints/duty-to-report.html.
Licensees are trained in the legislated standards of conduct for real estate professionals, and are uniquely positioned to identify instances when other licensees may be violating those standards or failing to act in the best interests of their clients. By reporting misconduct and providing evidence when they observe wrongdoing, licensees can help to protect the public interest and prevent significant financial loss to consumers. As members of a self-regulated profession, reporting misconduct is not only a public service, it is a duty.
“Over the past several weeks, we’ve heard from many licensees who are dismayed by the reports of misconduct that have been described in the media,” said Robert Fawcett, Executive Officer of the Real Estate Council. “We know that the vast majority of licensees work diligently to provide their clients with a professional level of service, and they want to see misconduct investigated and disciplined. Our message to them today is that they have a crucial role in protecting the public. With this FAQ on how to report their concerns, we’re giving them additional tools to do their part.”
As part of recent enhancements the Council has made to strengthen its investigative, enforcement and advisory capacity, a Professional Standards Advisor position was created to answer questions and concerns from licensees and members of the public. In just three months, the Council has responded to over 1200 licensee questions. By providing online resources to help licensees report concerns, the Council’s goal is to work with licensees to ensure that high levels of competency and integrity are maintained – and that when licensees suspect misconduct, they know how to take action.
On February 9, 2016, the Council initiated an Independent Advisory Group (IAG) to examine whether the current regulatory regime adequately protects consumers and the wider public interest. The IAG’s report is expected at the end of May. On April 1, 2016, the Council announced enhancements to its investigative and enforcement capacities and, in the coming weeks, the Council will initiate a public education campaign giving consumers practical information about real estate transactions.
To ask questions or share concerns about potential misconduct, members of the public and licensees are encouraged to contact the Council’s Professional Standards Advisor at 1-877-683-9664, .
For media inquiries:
Marilee Peters, Communications Officer
Real Estate Council of BC