Making a Complaint
If you have been involved in a trade in real estate in which you believe a real estate licensee may have acted improperly, or you have engaged a brokerage to provide you with rental property management or strata management services, and believe that a licensee has not acted properly, you may contact the Real Estate Council to file a complaint. The Council considers all complaints about licensee conduct or competency. We generally receive more than 500 complaints each year.
The Council investigates potential contraventions of the Real Estate Services Act which includes both professional misconduct and conduct unbecoming a licensee.
Examples of matters that the Council investigates:
- mishandling of deposits
- concealing property defects
- unauthorized signing of documents
- unwritten guarantees to resell a property used as an inducement to do business
- secret commissions
- professional misconduct including incompetence and conduct unbecoming of a licensee
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The Council is not empowered to award or mediate monetary damages. Such matters are more properly dealt with through civil action. The Council can impose administrative penalties, order reprimands, fines, suspend or cancel a licence as well as impose hearing costs.
Guidelines for filing a complaint
Many times when a misunderstanding arises between a licensee and a consumer, it is due to a lack of communication between the parties. If this has happened to you, we suggest you use these steps to resolve your problem as quickly as possible:
Discuss the concern with the licensee you are working with.
- If the matter is not resolved, discuss the concern with the managing broker in charge of the real estate brokerage.
Most concerns are settled by these two means.
If the licensee is a member of a local real estate board, it may be approached. The board may be able to assist to informally resolve the concern. Real estate boards can investigate conduct that may be in violation of their Code of Ethics and Standards of Business Practice. These boards will refer all matters to the Council where it appears that the Real Estate Services Act, Regulation or Rules may have been contravened. Please click here for names and addresses of local boards.
If satisfaction is still not forthcoming, you should bring your concern to the Council.
- Complete the Complaint Form (PDF)
- Attach all documentation as specified.
- Send to the Real Estate Council of BC.