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NOTICE OF PERMANENT SURRENDER OF LICENCE
Grace Tin-Lan Szeto

 


 

Grace Tin-Lan Szeto, currently unlicensed, requested that the Council discontinue disciplinary proceedings against her as she has decided to permanently surrender her real estate licence. Ms.Szeto, while licensed with Maxxus International Real Estate Group (“Maxxus”), was facing a disciplinary hearing into her professional conduct, and would have been required to appear before a hearing committee of the Council to respond to these allegations.

The allegations against Ms. Szeto were –

  1. That she committed professional misconduct within the meaning of section 35(1)(a) of the Real Estate Services Act. In particular, while acting for the buyers (the “Buyers”) in the purchase and sale of a property located at XXX, XXX, BC (the “Property”), she:
    1. failed to take reasonable steps to avoid a conflict of interest and failed to promptly and fully disclose the conflict to her clients when she provided, through an insurance company (“the insurance company”), a $40,000 deposit to Maxxus in order to assist the Buyers with the purchase of the Property,
    2. failed to advise the Buyers to seek independent professional advice on matters outside of her expertise when she, through the insurance company, provided a $40,000 deposit on behalf of the Buyers for the purchase of the Property, and
    3. failed to act in the best interests of the Buyers and failed to act honestly and with reasonable care and skill when she, through the insurance company, provided a $40,000 deposit on behalf of the Buyers by way of a certified cheque contrary to the terms of the Contract of Purchase and Sale which required a bank draft.
  1. While acting for the Buyers in the purchase and sale of the Property, she committed conduct unbecoming a licensee within the meaning of section 35(2) of the RESA or, in the alternative, committed professional misconduct within the meaning of section 35(1)(a) of the RESA, specifically in breach of her duty to act honestly and with reasonable care and skill, contrary to section 3-4 of the Rules. In particular, she:
    1. Caused the insurance company, to disburse $40,000 from its trust account in order to assist the Buyers with the purchase of the Property and failed to immediately repay the unauthorized withdrawal, contrary to the interests of the parties on whose behalf the funds were being held in the said trust account; and
    2. advised her managing broker that she provided the $40,000 deposit through the insurance company, given the urgency created by a backup offer which would “take over” her clients’ deal if the said deposit was not paid immediately, when she knew or ought to have known that there was no such backup offer.

There has been no discipline hearing or finding of fact with respect to these allegations, and no admissions to these allegations by Ms. Szeto.

The Council was satisfied that, in the circumstances of this case, permanent surrender of Ms. Szeto’s licence in lieu of disciplinary action was appropriate. The permanent surrender of Ms. Szeto’s licence was effective as of June 4, 2019.

CONTRAVENTIONS

Real Estate Services Act

Real Estate Rules


POSTED ON: July 9, 2019
LENGTH OF PUBLICATION ON WEBSITE: In perpetuity