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Policy Statements

Real Estate Council of BC Policy Statements

 

 


 

ADVERTISING POLICY STATEMENT #1

Effective May 1, 2009

ADVERTISING OF PERSONAL REAL ESTATE CORPORATIONS POLICY

Section 4-6 of the Rules establishes the following requirements with respect to real estate advertising that identifies a personal real estate corporation:

“(3) If real estate advertising identifies a managing broker, associate broker or representative, this must be done

  • (a) if that person is an individual, by using the licensee name of the individual, or
  • (b) if that person is a personal real estate corporation or a controlling individual of a personal real estate corporation, by using the licensee name of the personal real estate corporation only.”

Section 4-4 of the Rules states that the licensee name of a personal real estate corporation is its legal name. Section 10.3 of the Regulation under the Real Estate Services Act requires that the legal name of a personal real estate corporation must include both, but nothing other than,

  • (a) the legal name, a recognizable short form of the legal name, or the licensee name of the controlling individual, and
  • (b) the term “personal real estate corporation”.

The Council is aware that some MLS® systems, due to space limitations in their data fields, are not able to show the full licensee name of a personal real estate corporation. For this reason, the Council has adopted the following administrative policy:

An advertisement where the name of a personal real estate corporation is generated by an MLS® data base may use an asterisk after the name of the related controlling individual, so long as that asterisk is displayed in a prominent and easily readable way elsewhere in the advertisement followed by the term ‘personal real estate corporation’.

For example, an MLS® generated advertisement identifying the licensee name of ‘Susan Wong Personal Real Estate Corporation’ could display that name in the following manner:

Susan Wong*

with the term “*personal real estate corporation” being displayed in a prominent and easily readable way elsewhere in the advertisement.

This policy applies only to advertisements that are generated by an MLS® data base. All other forms of advertising which identify a personal real estate corporation must do so using its licensee name. In the above example, this would be

Susan Wong Personal Real Estate Corporation

Licensees requiring further information in this regard should contact the Council office at 604-683-9664 or toll free at 1-877-683-9664.


 

BROKERAGE TRUST ACCOUNT POLICY STATEMENT #1

Effective January 1, 2005
Revised April 7, 2005

PAYMENT OF LICENSEE REMUNERATION POLICY

Section 31 of the Real Estate Services Act (RESA) and section 7-2 of the Rules, stipulate how remuneration owing to a licensee engaged by a brokerage is to be paid to that licensee. Section 5-15 of the Rules determines when remuneration is earned for the purposes of payment to licensees.

The Council has developed this policy statement in order to assist brokerages in determining how related licensees are to be paid depending on the nature of their remuneration and how they are engaged by their related brokerage.

1. Licensees Receiving Remuneration in the Form of Commission

Licensees who receive remuneration in the form of commission must, in accordance with section 31(2)(b) of RESA, be paid from either

  • (1) the brokerage’s trust account, or
  • (2) the brokerage’s commission trust account.

Where there is an independent contractor relationship between the licensee and the brokerage
In the event that the brokerage advances remuneration to the licensee in the form of a commission advance or the payment of expenses, and once the remuneration is earned in accordance with section 5-15 of the Rules, the brokerage may then deduct its share of the remuneration, including these advances, from the total remuneration. This amount may then be paid into the brokerage’s general account. The remaining net share of the remuneration that is payable by the brokerage to the licensee must then be paid, at the brokerage’s option, either directly out of the brokerage’s trust account to the licensee or into a commission trust account and, from that account, to or on behalf of the licensee.

Where there is an employee employer relationship between the licensee and the brokerage
In the event that the brokerage advances remuneration to the licensee in the form of a commission advance or the payment of expenses, and once the remuneration is earned in accordance with section 5-15 of the Rules, the brokerage may then deduct its share of the remuneration, including these advances, from the total remuneration. Expenses may include any deductions that the employer has a legal obligation to remit, ie: the employee portion of CPP, EI, income tax, etc. This amount may then be paid into the brokerage’s general account. The remaining net share of the remuneration that is payable by the brokerage to the licensee must then be paid, at the brokerage’s option, either directly out of the brokerage’s trust account to the licensee or into a commission trust account and, from that account, to or on behalf of the licensee.

A commission trust account must be used in instances where the licensee is responsible for making remittances such as GST and income tax, but the brokerage has agreed to make these remittances on behalf of the licensee. In this instance, the ‘net share of the remuneration’ that is payable to the licensee includes the amounts that are to be remitted on behalf of the licensee. This net share must first be transferred from the brokerage’s trust account into the brokerage’s commission trust account. The brokerage may then make these remittances on behalf of the licensee, and pay the remaining balance to the licensee, out of the commission trust account.

2. Licensees “Employed” by a Brokerage and Remunerated by Regular and Periodic Wages

Brokerages who employ licensees (including representatives, associate brokers, or managing brokers) and who pay these licensees on a periodic and regular basis (e.g. hourly, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or yearly), may pay these wages from the brokerage’s general account, as this remuneration is not dependent on any one trade in real estate or any one service agreement, such as a rental property management service agreement. It will be paid to the licensee irrespective of the number of trades in real estate or service agreements. The licensee’s remuneration is therefore not directly related to money that is held in the brokerage trust account.

Any bonuses that are to be paid to the licensee may also be paid from the brokerage’s general account, provided that the bonus is not based on any trade in real estate or specific service agreement, but rather at the brokerage’s discretion.

Bonuses or commissions based on one or more trades in real estate, or one or more service agreements, may not be paid out of the brokerage’s general account. They must be paid from the brokerage’s trust account or commission trust account. Under this scenario, the licensee could still receive their wage remuneration out of the brokerage’s general account but the bonus must be paid from either the brokerage’s trust account or commission trust account.

Licensees requiring further clarification with respect to the payment of commissions should contact the Council office.

 


 

PUBLICATION POLICY STATEMENT #1

Effective December 1, 2016

Formal Orders
Section 4.3 of the Real Estate Services Regulation states that orders required to be published under section 47 of the Real Estate Services Act must be published by placing a copy on the Council’s website (www.recbc.ca) and, in addition, may be published by any method the Council considers appropriate.

Online Publication of Disciplinary Decisions
Summaries of disciplinary hearing decisions and consent orders are posted in the Disciplinary Decisions section of the Council’s website.

Each summary includes:

  • The licensee’s name;
  • Name and location of current brokerage (if currently licensed);
  • Name and location of the licensee’s related brokerage at the time of the sanctioned activity;
  • General nature of the charges;
  • Discipline ordered; and
  • A link to a pdf of the disciplinary hearing decision or consent order, redacted as necessary.

Discipline summaries are posted on the Council’s website for the applicable publication period:

  • Licence reprimands and/or fines of less than 20% of the maximum fine limit [including those with multiple sanctions (e.g. courses, licence restrictions, etc.)] are posted for a period of five years and then removed.
  • Licence suspensions of less than one year and/or fines from 20% to 99% of the maximum fine limit [including those with multiple sanctions (e.g. courses, licence restrictions, etc.)] are posted for a period of ten years and then removed.
  • Licence suspensions of one year or greater and/or the maximum fines [including those with multiple sanctions (e.g. courses, licence restrictions, etc.)] are posted in perpetuity.
  • Licence cancellations are posted in perpetuity.

Orders in urgent circumstances and orders to freeze property are posted in perpetuity or until the order is rescinded.

For the duration of the applicable publication period, a link to the summary of the disciplinary decision appears as part of the licensee’s record in the online Licensee Search section of the Council’s website.

The Council also publishes the full text of all disciplinary hearing decisions and consent orders on the Canadian Legal Information Institute website (canlii.org), an internet legal research database that is accessible to the public. Disciplinary decisions are not removed from the CanLII website and they remain available for public viewing in perpetuity on the CanLII website.

Online Publication of Licence Surrenders
Publication of a licence surrender and the disciplinary allegations are posted in perpetuity on the Council’s website, and include a statement that there has been no disciplinary hearing, no admission by the licensee, and no findings of fact.

Online Publication of Licence Conditions and Restrictions
The Council publishes on its website, as part of the licensee search results page, any licence conditions or restrictions currently appearing on the licence of an individual or brokerage, other than conditions or restrictions whose publication would constitute an unreasonable invasion of privacy, or which would involve the publication of extremely sensitive personal information.

Online Publication of Notice of Disciplinary Hearings
Disciplinary hearings are open to the public. The following policy reflects the public’s right to know about and attend disciplinary hearings.

The notice of hearing is published on the Council’s website in the Complaints and Discipline section. The notice of hearing posting includes:

  • The respondent’s name;
  • Date, time and place of the hearing; and
  • A link to a redacted pdf copy of the hearing notice.

The notice will be updated to reflect any changes in the time and place, or any cancellation.

Members of the public who wish to attend a hearing should contact the Council in advance of the hearing date, in order to ensure there is sufficient room to accommodate all those who wish to attend.

Members of the media who wish to attend a hearing should contact the Council’s Communications Officer in advance of the hearing date.

Use by Third Parties
While the summaries of disciplinary decisions are posted on the Council’s website and removed in accordance with the Council’s policy, third parties, such as internet search engines, media outlets and private individuals, often index and/or copy the summaries for the purposes of reposting on other websites, or making the information available through internet searches.

The Council does not control the availability of Council disciplinary decisions on other websites, or the duration of any search engine’s reporting of disciplinary decisions.

The Council is not responsible for the decisions of third parties to make content from the Disciplinary Decisions section of the Council’s website available for public viewing for periods longer than that set by Council policy. This also applies to news stories based on Council disciplinary decisions, which a media outlet may choose to post online and make permanently available to the public.

Other Publication
The Council publishes summaries of disciplinary decisions resulting from a disciplinary hearing or consent order, and licence surrenders, in its Report from Council newsletters. Each issue of the Report from Council newsletter is archived on the Council’s website. Therefore, summaries of disciplinary decisions and licence surrenders published in the Report from Council remain available for public viewing in perpetuity. The online archive begins with the February 2004 issue of the newsletter.

Other Methods of Publication
The Council may issue a media release, place a paid advertisement in an appropriate media outlet, and/or use other methods of publication and notification when it determines that such actions would be in the public interest, such as in the event of a lengthy suspension, large fine, licence cancellation, order in urgent circumstances, or order to freeze property.

Redaction
The full text of disciplinary decisions resulting from a disciplinary hearing or consent order, and notices of hearing, are made available on the Council’s website through a link to the pdf document. Where necessary, these documents are redacted to remove exempt information before posting online. Commonly redacted information includes:

  • Names and contact details of consumers and/or complainants;
  • Bank account details of both individuals and businesses; and
  • Property addresses or other property identifiers.

 

FINANCIAL REPORTING REQUIREMENTS POLICY STATEMENT #1

Effective January 1, 2009

ELIGIBILITY TO FILE A NOTICE TO READER REPORT

Section 25 of the Real Estate Services Act (RESA) stipulates that a brokerage must keep proper books and records in accordance with the rules; section 7-7 of the Rules specifies the annual reporting requirements of such books and records; section 4-9 of the General Bylaws under the Act provides the detailed requirements.

The Council has developed a policy which will allow a brokerage to qualify to file a Notice to Reader Report along with financial statements.

A brokerage will be eligible to file a Notice to Reader Report if the brokerage has:

  • (a) filed either a Review Engagement Report or Audited financial statements with Council for at least three fiscal years;
  • (b) during that three year period there has been no significant trust or general books and records exceptions reported, or discovered in any Office & Records Inspections conducted in that time period; and
  • (c) a positive working capital position for each of these three fiscal year ends reported to Council.For the purpose of this policy, Council staff will have the discretion to exclude the following current liabilities from a brokerage’s working capital position:
    • – Shareholders loans
    • – Bonuses payable to owners
    • – Deferred management wages/salaries to owners
    • – Unpaid dividends
    • – Redeemable preferred shares
    • – Money due to related parties
    • – Current portion of long term debt/capital leases

The brokerage will be notified by Council of its eligibility and will have the option to file a Notice to Reader. The brokerage will be notified within two weeks after their fiscal year end what report will be required, at minimum, by Council. All other reporting requirements, including the trust audit, remain the same and the brokerage must file an Accountant’s Report, and a Brokerage Activity Report with the specified financial statements.


 

LICENSING POLICY STATEMENT #1

Effective January 1, 2005

BROKER’S EDUCATION REQUALIFICATION POLICY
FOR RELICENSING AS A MANAGING BROKER OR ASSOCIATE BROKER

An applicant for a new managing broker’s or associate broker’s licence who has been previously licensed as a managing broker or associate broker is required to meet the requirements of section 2-8(4) [educational requirements for managing broker and associate brokers] of the Rules. However, section 2-7(3) [waiver of educational requirements] of the Rules states that the Council may waive, on the basis of the applicant’s previous knowledge or training, some or all of the requirements in relation to a course, a corresponding examination, or a course and its corresponding examination.

The Council will waive the requirements in relation to a course or examination if the applicant has been unlicensed for less than five (5) years immediately preceding the date of application. An applicant who has been unlicensed for five (5) or more years immediately preceding the date of application will be required to successfully complete the applicable service category licensing examination and the Broker’s Licensing Course Examination. An application who wishes to become licensed for more than one service category will be required to also complete the applicable supplemental examination(s). 

 

BROKER’S EDUCATION REQUALIFICATION POLICY
FOR RELICENSING AS A REPRESENTATIVE

An applicant for new representative licence who has been previously licensed as a managing broker or associate broker and has been unlicensed for five (5) or more years immediately preceding the date of application is required to meet the requirements of section 2-8(1)(b) [pre-licensing examinations] and section 2-8(2) [applied practice course] of the Rules. However, section 2-7(3) [waiver of educational requirements] of the Rules states that the Council may waive, on the basis of the applicant’s previous knowledge or training, some or all of the requirements in relation to a course, a corresponding examination, or a course and its corresponding examination.

The Council will waive the requirements in relation to a course or examination if the applicant has been unlicensed for less than five (5) years immediately preceding the date of application. An applicant who has been unlicensed for five (5) or more years immediately preceding the date of application will be required to successfully complete the applicable service category licensing examination. An applicant who wishes to become licensed for more than one service category will be required to also complete the applicable supplemental examination(s).

In the case of an applicant who rewrites the Trading Services Licensing Examination, completion of the Residential Trading Services Applied Practice Course will be waived if the applicant has previously completed the applied course within two (2) years of the date of relicensing. Applicants who have not completed the Residential Trading Services Applied Practice Course within the two (2) years preceding the date of relicensing will be required to take the Accelerated Residential Trading Services Applied Practice Course.


 

LICENSING POLICY STATEMENT # 2

Effective March 1, 2015

EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR NEW LICENSEES

 

Section 2-8 of the Rules requires that education be completed as a condition of licensing.

2-8 (1) Licensing courses – In order to be issued a licence, an applicant for a new licence who is an individual must have

  1. taken the applicable licensing courses respecting the real estate services in relation to which the application is made, and
  2. successfully completed any assignments corresponding to those courses, no longer than 2 years before the date of writing any corresponding examinations, and
  3. passed the examinations corresponding to those courses, no longer than 1 year before the date of the application.

(2) Applied practice courses – Subject to subsection (3), in order to be issued a licence, an applicant for a new licence who is an individual must have taken the applicable applied practice courses, if any, respecting the real estate services in relation to which the application is made, no longer than 2 years before the date of the application.

(3) Temporary licence exception – An applicant who has not completed the applied practice courses referred to in subsection (2) may be issued a temporary licence under section 14 [temporary licences] of the Act that is conditional on taking those courses, or having them waived by the council, within the period specified in the licence.

With the introduction of the revised Trading Services Applied Practice Course (blended format) in January 2015, and its requirement to complete certain components within required time periods, both prior to licensing and during a temporary licence period, the following policy articulates how the Rule will be applied to applicants.

Trading Services Applicants who have completed the 5-day in-class Applied Practice Course
Prior to being issued a licence, a new applicant must have:

  1. passed the Real Estate Trading Services Licensing Examination no longer than one year before the date of application, and
  2. completed the applicable 5-day in-class Applied Practice Course no longer than two years before the date of application.

If it is more than two years from the date of having completed the Applied Practice Course, the applicant must retake the revised Trading Services Applied Practice Course (blended format). Successful completion of Components 1 and 2 are required in order to qualify for licensing as noted below.

 

Trading Services Applicants who complete the revised Residential Trading Services Applied Practice Course (blended format)

Prior to being issued a licence, a new applicant must have:

  1. passed the Real Estate Trading Services Licensing Examination no longer than one year before the date of application, and
  2. completed consecutively, no more than one year apart, Components 1 and 2 of the revised Residential Trading Services Applied Practice Course (blended format) and no longer than two years before the date of application. If more than two years elapses from the date of completing Components 1 and 2 of the revised Residential Trading Services Applied Practice Course (blended format), the applicant will need to retake those components in order to be eligible for licensing.

Applicants are advised that Components 3 and 4 of the revised Residential Trading Services Applied Practice Course (blended format) must be completed during the first six months of licensing.

 

Trading Services Applicants who complete the revised Commercial Trading Services Applied Practice Course (blended format)

Prior to being issued a licence, a new applicant must have:

  1. passed the Real Estate Trading Services Licensing Examination no longer than one year before the date of application, and
  2. completed Component 1 of the revised Commercial Trading Services Applied Practice Course (blended format) no longer than two years before the date of application. If more than two years elapses from the date of completing Component 1 of the revised Commercial Trading Services Applied Practice Course (blended format), the applicant will need to retake that component in order to be eligible for licensing.

Applicants are advised that Components 2, 3 and 4 of the revised Commercial Trading Services Applied Practice Course (blended format) must be completed during the first six months of licensing.

 

Both Residential and Commercial Course Learners

If more than one year elapses from the date of passing the licensing examination, the applicant must:

• retake and pass the licensing examination if it is less than two years since the applicant completed the licensing course assignments, or
• retake the licensing course and pass the licensing examination if it is more than two years since the applicant completed the licensing course assignments.

Re-qualifying applicants

In order to be issued a licence, a requalifying applicant must have:

  1. passed the Real Estate Trading Services Licensing Examination no longer than one year before the date of application, and
  2. completed either the applicable 5-day in-class Trading Services Applied Practice Course or all 4 components of the applicable revised Trading Services Applied Practice Course (blended format) no longer than two years before the date of application.

If it is more than two years since the applicant completed the Applied Practice Course, the applicant must retake the applicable accelerated revised Trading Services Applied Practice Course (blended format) as follows:

Residential Course:
For the revised Residential Trading Services Applied Practice Course (blended format), complete Component 1 prior to being issued a temporary licence and, as a condition of that temporary licence, complete Component 3 during the first six months.

Commercial Course
For the revised Commercial Trading Services Applied Practice Course (blended format), complete Component 1 prior to being issued a temporary licence and, as a condition of that temporary licence, complete Component 3 during the first six months.

 


 

RELICENSING EDUCATION PROGRAM POLICY STATEMENT #1

Revised February 26, 2013

POLICY FOR REINSTATEMENT OF A LICENCE

Section 2-8.1 of the Rules requires that education be completed as a condition of relicensing.

2-8.1 Educational requirements for licence renewal

  • (1) This section applies to a licence renewal that takes effect on or after January 1, 2009.
  • (2) In order to have a licence renewed, an applicant for licence renewal must
    • (a) have completed the applicable continuing education courses respecting the real estate services and the level of licence in relation to which the application is made, and
    • (b) have passed the examinations corresponding to those courses prior to the date the licence is renewed.

In order to ensure that all licensees are treated equitably with respect to the Relicensing Education Program (REP) requirements, relicensing education requirements also apply to individuals applying for licensing whose licence has become inoperative, suspended, or has been voluntarily surrendered. The resulting policy is detailed accordingly.

Reinstatement Applicants (within licence period)

Reinstatement applicants applying for a licence are not required to complete REP requirements in order to reinstate their licence.

Re-licensing Applicants within their Requalification Date (after previous licence has expired)

Re-Licensing applicants who are applying for a licence and have been licensed for any period of time after January 1, 2007 are required to complete one applicable Legal Update course.

Re-Licensing Applicants after their Requalification Date (after previous licence has expired)

Re-Licensing applicants who are past their requalification date are required to fulfill the requirements of relicensing set out in the Council’s Representative’s Education Requalification Date Policy and/or the Broker’s Education Requalification Date Policy detailed in the Council’s Education and Waivers Guidelines booklet and are not required to complete any REP requirements.