June 2015 Report from Council Newsletter


Published on 15 June, 2015

  • The Dangers of Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

    Don’t Take the Risk of Providing Services in an Area You’re Unfamiliar With

    Commercial, strata, industrial, or single family home-do you think that it’s all the same? Urban or rural-the differences aren’t that important, right? Lower mainland, south Okanagan, or Sunshine Coast-you can probably figure out anything unique to the location pretty easily, right?

    Don’t bet on it!

    A real estate licence for trading services permits you to provide services related to trades in real estate throughout the province. However, that doesn’t mean you are competent to act in markets all across the province. The expertise necessary to market a waterfront home on Vancouver Island is not the same expertise necessary to assist in the purchase of a cattle ranch in the Cariboo. There are often situations where a prudent licensee should refer business to someone who is more knowledgeable in a particular market or to another licensee within their brokerage who has the knowledge and experience to assist the clients.

    Even in a hot property market, you can’t afford to run the risk of trying to provide services to clients in an area of real estate you are unfamiliar with. Whether your prospective clients want you to help them buy or a sell a type of property you haven’t handled before, or whether they’re interested in buying or selling in an area of the province that’s not well known to you, think twice about trying to provide these services. Before agreeing to assist a prospective client, ask yourself whether you have the knowledge and skills to represent that client adequately.

    Keep in mind that section 3-4 of the Council Rules requires you to “act honestly, and with reasonable care and skill.” If you’re not confident you’ll be able to provide the level of skill the client needs, you should refer the client to another licensee. Section 3-3(d) of the Council Rules requires you to “advise the client to seek independent professional advice on matters outside of the expertise of the licensee.” That applies not only to professional knowledge outside of real estate, but also to real estate matters that aren’t your specialty, and to issues affecting real estate in locations that you’re not familiar with.

    In order to demonstrate competence, you must be knowledgeable about local conditions that may be material to the interests of your clients, whether they are buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants or strata corporations. While licensees are not expected to be experts in all areas that impact real estate, they are expected to be alert to potential concerns in the areas in which they practice.

    Top Tips on Handling the Unfamiliar

    Tip 1: Don’t give advice on matters outside your expertise.

    Tax issues, legal topics, and other matters that are not in your knowledge area should always be referred to professionals in these subjects. If, as a licensee, you advise your client on these issues, you may be running the risk of becoming the subject of a complaint to the Council, and you could face a lawsuit from your client if your advice is wrong. Similarly, if you give your client advice about buying or selling real estate in a geographic area you’re unfamiliar with, you could face discipline if you demonstrate incompetence.

    Tip 2: Find a more experienced licensee to help the client.

    Keep in mind that by referring a valued client to another licensee with more expertise in the area, you’re delivering good service: something the client will appreciate and remember. That’s a much better outcome than the alternative-having something go wrong because you’re practising in an area you’re not knowledgeable about.

    Tip 3: Broaden your expertise before you broaden your practice.

    Figure you’re missing out on opportunities in a particular area of practice? Make an effort to increase your knowledge before jumping in to represent clients. You can take advantage of professional development program (PDP) courses available through your board to learn more about complex subjects you may be unfamiliar with-such as foreclosures, strata sales, or new home sales. Want to represent clients in another geographic area? Start by building relationships with other licensees in that area and learning all you can about its unique

    Want to represent clients in another geographic area? Start by building relationships with other licensees in that area and learning all you can about its unique aspects, before you list a property or help a client purchase in the area. The public relies on your expertise. Don’t betray their trust by pretending to be competent in an area that you’re not.

  • A Note from the Chair

    Our cover story in this issue of the Report from Council deals with the risks that licensees face by working outside their areas of expertise. We always want to do our best for our clients, and this is an important reminder to all of us that occasionally “doing our best” means finding another licensee with greater experience or knowledge to serve the client. I recommend that you read the article thoroughly and take note of this advice.

    On June 30, 2015 my term as Chair of the Council will come to an end. Serving as Council Chair has been an extremely rewarding experience, thanks to the support of my fellow Council Members and the staff of the Real Estate Council.

    The past twelve months have been an exciting time to be part of the Council. In January 2015, together with the British Columbia Real Estate Association, we launched a new and improved Applied Practice Course for prospective licensees. The course has been very warmly received, both by students and by managing brokers, who are finding their new licensees ready and able to provide real estate services. I’m delighted that real estate licensing education in BC now includes a thorough and very practice-based introduction to agency, contracts, and the legislative requirements.

    In March, amendments to the Real Estate Services Act were passed in the provincial legislature. Before the passage of Bill 13, I had the opportunity to meet with BC’s Finance Minister, the Honourable Michael de Jong, Q.C., to discuss issues related to the amendments and to the future of the real estate industry in our province. Minister de Jong is very supportive of the Council’s ongoing work to ensure that consumer interests are protected in real estate transactions.

    I would like to extend my thanks to the following people and organizations for their assistance and co-operation over the past year:

    • The British Columbia Real Estate Association and its member boards, and in particular President Scott Russell, Past President Jake Moldowan, Chief Executive Officer Robert Laing, Director of Education Marla Gerein, and Instructor and Learner Engagement Manager Monica Morris.
    • David Moore, Director and Kevin Arndt, Associate Director, Licensing Education at the Real Estate Division, Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia.
    • The many volunteers who serve on the Council’s Advisory Groups and Committees.
    • Council Vice-Chair Marylou Leslie, and the Council members, both past and present, who I have had the opportunity to serve with.

    It has been a great pleasure over the past year to serve the interests of the public by ensuring that regulation of the real estate industry in BC is maintained at a consistently high level.

    Susan McGougan, Chair

  • Office Closures

    The Council office will be closed on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 for Canada Day and Monday, August 3, 2015 for BC Day.

  • Election of Real Estate Council

    Each year, the term of several Council members expires and elections are held to fill the vacancies. This year, five vacancies were filled by acclamation, as the candidates were unopposed. Elections were held for a representative member and a managing broker/associate broker member in the County of Vancouver. The following individuals will commence two-year terms as Council members on July 1, 2015.

    Newly Elected Council Members

    District #1 — County of Vancouver

    Representative Member

    Christopher Brown

    Magnum Projects Ltd., Vancouver

    Licensed for 3 years.

    District #1 — County of Vancouver

    Managing Broker/Associate Broker Member

    Calvin Lindberg

    Managing Broker, Angell Hasman & Associates, West Vancouver

    Licensed for 26 years.

    District #2 — County of Victoria

    Managing Broker/Associate Broker Member

    Dennis Fimrite

    Managing Broker, Firm Management Corp., Saanichton

    Licensed for 20 years.

    Elected by acclamation.

    Council Members Re-Elected By Acclamation

    All Districts

    Rental Property Management/Strata Management Member

    Garth Cambrey

    Managing Broker, Cambrey Consulting Ltd., Port Coquitlam

    Licensed for 31 years.

    Districts #4 & #5 — Counties of Westminster (North and South of the Fraser)

    Representative Member

    Marylou Leslie

    Representative, Macdonald Realty, Surrey

    Licensed for 25 years.

    District #6 — County of Yale

    Managing Broker /Associate Broker Member

    Joseph Pearson

    Associate Broker, RE/MAX Vernon, Vernon

    Licensed for 40 years.

    District #7 — Combined Counties of Kootenay, Cariboo and Prince Rupert

    Managing Broker/Associate Broker Member

    Susan Lynch

    Managing Broker, RE/MAX Centre City Realty, Prince George

    Licensed for 28 years.

    Council Members with a Further Year to Serve

    District #1 — County of Vancouver

    Managing Broker/Associate Broker Member

    David Peerless

    Managing Broker, Dexter Associates Realty, Vancouver

    Licensed for 35 years.

    District #1 — County of Vancouver

    Managing Broker/Associate Broker Member

    Ralph Archibald

    Polygon Realty, Ltd., Vancouver

    Licensed for 29 years.

    District #3 — County of Nanaimo

    Managing Broker/Associate Broker Member

    Susan McGougan

    Associate Broker, RE/MAX of Nanaimo, Nanaimo

    Licensed for 24 years.

    District #4 — County of Westminster (North of the Fraser River)

    Managing Broker/Associate Broker Member

    Harvey Exner

    Associate Broker, MacDonald Realty, Maple Ridge

    Licensed for 23 years.

    District #5 — County of Westminster (South of the Fraser River)

    Managing Broker/Associate Broker Member

    David Rishel

    Managing Broker, RE/MAX Little Oak, Abbotsford

    Licensed for 29 years.

    Districts #2, 3, 6, 7 — Combined Counties of Victoria, Nanaimo, Yale, Kootenay, Cariboo and Prince Rupert

    Representative Member

    Subhadra Ghose

    Representative, RE/MAX of Nanaimo, Nanaimo

    Licensed for 24 years.

    Government Appointed Public Member

    Barbara Barry, West Vancouver

    Retiring from Council

    District #1 — County Of Vancouver

    Representative Member

    Abdul Ghouri

    Green Team Realty Inc., Vancouver

    Licensed for 30 years.

    District #2 — County of Victoria

    Managing Broker/Associate Broker Member

    R.E. Michael Ziegler

    Newport Realty Ltd., Victoria

    Licensed for 39 years.

    Government Appointed Public Member

    John Nagy of Delta, BC is retiring after 6 years of service as a government appointed public member.

  • Amendments to RESA: What They Mean For You

    Earlier this year, the BC government passed a number of amendments to the Real Estate Services Act. While some of the amendments are minor, others are more significant and will impact the practices of licensees and brokerages.

    In particular, changes relating to referral fees and deposits have some licensees asking questions. To help you understand what the amendments mean, why they were introduced, and how they will affect your practice, we’ve put together the following FAQ.

    Receiving Referral Fees

    Q:I’ve heard that one of the changes has to do with how licensees must handle referral fees. Is that right?

    A: Yes, a new subsection clarifies that licensees must deliver to their brokerage any remuneration paid as a result of the licensee recommending the products or services of a home inspector, mortgage broker, notary public, lawyer or savings institution, or any other person in a business, profession or occupation relating to real estate.

    While licensees have always had an obligation to disclose any remuneration they receive, this expands the requirements. Now, licensees must ensure they promptly deliver to their brokerage any remuneration they receive for recommending individuals or companies relating to real estate. This applies to remuneration received in the form of cash or cheques, as well as to gift cards, certificates, or other benefits they may receive. You may wish to refer to the section in the Professional Standards Manual on “Disclosure When Acting for Buyers” for more information on disclosing referral fees. See also the new subsections in the Real Estate Services Act, section 27 (1).

    Q:Has the brokerage’s responsibility changed as well?

    A: Yes, the brokerage now has a responsibility to ensure that the remuneration received from licensees in relation to referral fees is promptly paid into the brokerage’s trust accounts. (See section 27 (2) (c)).

    Q:What if the remuneration is in a form that cannot be deposited to a trust account, such as gift cards or air mile points, for example?

    A: In cases where the remuneration cannot be deposited in a trust account, it must still be received by the brokerage. Brokerages have a responsibility to record the receipt of the remuneration on the trade record sheet or on another form of documentation if the remuneration does not relate to a trade, or if it is received in relation to rental property or strata management services.

    Given the complexity of receiving nonmonetary remuneration, brokerages may wish to develop guidelines or policies for their licensees, in order to ensure that these forms of remuneration can be consistently and accurately recorded.

    Q:As a managing broker, how can I ensure that all licensees at my brokerage are delivering their referral fees?

    A: The Council recommends that managing brokers review the changes in the legislation with licensees at the brokerage, to be sure that all licensees are familiar with the new requirements. You may need to update your office procedure manual, forms, or checklists for licensees, to be sure that reporting and promptly delivering any referral fees becomes “standard operating procedure” for licensees at your brokerage.

    Deposits Held by Third Parties

    Q:Are there any exceptions to the requirement that licensees must deliver all money into the brokerage’s trust account?

    A: Yes, there are certain exceptions, which are outlined in two new subsections: 27 (4.01) and 27 (4.02).

    The legislation has always included a provision that if all parties to the trade in real estate agree in a separate written agreement that funds relating to the transaction do not need to be paid into the brokerage’s trust account, but rather are to be held by another party, then the licensee’s obligation to deliver the money to the brokerage is not applicable (section 27 (4) of RESA). With the new subsections, when a licensee receives a cheque, draft, or money order payable to a person other than the brokerage, and the licensee takes no other action with it than to deliver it to the person to whom it is payable, then they do not need to deliver that money to the brokerage, and a separate written agreement is no longer required.

    For instance, if a deposit is payable to a lawyer acting on behalf of a developer, the licensee may receive that deposit (as long as it is in the form of a cheque, draft, or money order) and deliver it directly to the lawyer. A separate written agreement is no longer required, but the deposit must be delivered promptly.

    The Council is currently drafting changes to the Council Rules that will help to clarify the conditions under which licensees can act in relation to the new subsections, and we will be consulting with licensees as we develop them.

    Q:Why has the government introduced these changes?

    A: By putting these changes with respect to referral fees in place, the government is strengthening the consumer protection provisions in the Real Estate Services Act, ensuring that each brokerage has oversight of the remuneration received by its related licensees, and that there are clear records of all referral fees. The changes will help to maintain consumer confidence in the real estate industry in BC.

    Giving licensees the ability to deliver cheques, drafts or money orders directly to the person they are payable to, without the need for a separate written agreement, is something that licensees have asked the Council and the government to consider for a number of years. This change to the legislation will make the requirements regarding payment into trust accounts more straightforward.

    If you have more questions about any of the changes that have been introduced to the Real Estate Services Act, please get in touch with us at [email protected], 604-683-9664, or toll-free at 1-877-683-9664.

    For Further Information

    See the Special Report from Council, May 2015

    www.recbc.ca/2015/05/may-2015-special-report-from-council-2/

  • New Information Required in Brokerage Activity Reports

    At its February 2015 meeting, the Council approved amendments to section 4-10 of the General Bylaws. These amendments, which relate to the information required in the annual Brokerage Activity Report, will come into effect on July 1, 2015. To gather this information, the Council has developed a new Brokerage Activity Report form which is now available online.

    Brokerages with fiscal year ends after June 30, 2015 are required to submit the new Brokerage Activity Report to the Council. The Council must receive the report no later than 120 days following the fiscal year end.

    The changes to the Brokerage Activity Report include:

    • more complete information required regarding the number of strata lots, strata corporations with sections, sections within strata corporations, and the total number of strata corporations being managed,
    • information required on trust account balances for strata corporations (including sections) and rental real estate, in order to ensure that full information on all brokerage trust account balances is submitted, and
    • a requirement that managing brokers complete and sign the Brokerage Activity Report.

    For Further Information

    View the revised Brokerage Activity Report:

    www.recbc.ca/licensing/forms

    Review the amendments to section 4-10 of the General Bylaws:

    www.recbc.ca/licensee/bylaws.html

  • Licence Renewals and Applications Are a Joint Responsibility

    If you plan on submitting a licence renewal or other licensing application in the near future, make sure you set aside enough time to give the application your full and careful attention.

    It is the shared responsibility of both the licence renewal applicant and the managing broker to ensure that all the information on the application form is true and complete. Pay particular attention to the following sections:

    • REP courses: If you are renewing your licence, have you completed the required course? Be sure that you have finished the course BEFORE submitting your application.
    • Bankruptcy and insolvency: make sure that you have made all the required disclosures about any current or past bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings if you have not already disclosed this information at the time of its occurrence.
    • Discipline or criminal charges: if you have been the subject of discipline from another professional body, or charged with a criminal offence, you must disclose this information.

    By making sure that you have answered all the application questions truthfully and disclosed all the required information, you will avoid the consequences of having submitted a false application-which can result in licence suspension or even termination.

    Finally, before you send your application to us, re-read it to make sure you haven’t overlooked any questions. Submitting an incomplete application will result in a delay in receiving your licence-and you’d be surprised how often the Council receives applications missing basic information, such as addresses and full legal names.

    As a managing broker, remember that by signing an application for licensing or licence renewal, you are certifying that you are satisfied that the information is true and complete. Before signing, take time to review the application carefully and make any inquiries necessary to verify that the information is correct.

    Questions? You can contact the licensing department at the Council at 604-683-9664.

  • Becoming a Property Appraiser: A Problem?

    Providing Appraisals is a Real Estate Service

    Our question this month is about a real estate licensee who wants to diversify into providing appraisal services. Like a number of licensees, he’s not aware that this can be a violation of the Real Estate Services Act. Read on to find out why…

    Q:I’ve been licensed to provide trading services for several years, and just recently I’ve also started offering appraisals through a local appraisal services company. Another licensee at my brokerage mentioned he thinks this might be a problem. Is it?

    A: Yes, this is problem. As a real estate licensee, you can only provide appraisal services in the name of and on behalf of the real estate brokerage that you are licensed with. If you are doing appraisals with another company, you are in violation of the Real Estate Services Act (RESA). Your activities could be investigated by the Council, and you could potentially face discipline.

    Here’s why: providing an appraisal of the value of real estate, giving advice on the appropriate price for real estate, or making representations about the real estate, are activities that come under the definition of trading services in RESA. Professional appraisers have an exemption in the Real Estate Regulation, so even though these activities are considered trading services, appraisers don’t need to be licensed to provide them. But the situation is different for individuals who are already licensed under RESA.

    Section 2 of RESA states that the Act “applies to every licensee who provides real estate services, even if the licensee… would otherwise be exempted… from the requirement to be licensed in relation to the provision of those real estate services.” What this means is, as a licensee you are not permitted to provide appraisals or any real estate services under an exemption from the requirement to be licensed. And since your real estate licence allows you to provide real estate services only in the name of and on behalf of your related brokerage, you cannot be employed as an appraiser with another company.

    As long as you are licensed under RESA, you can only provide appraisals through your brokerage, and you can only be paid for providing appraisals through your brokerage. So if you want to work as a professional appraiser, you should speak to your managing broker about providing this service through your brokerage.

    You can find this question, and answers to many more, in the Licensee FAQ section on the Council’s website.

    Do you have a burning question about the practice of real estate that you’d like an answer to? You can send your questions to [email protected]. Use the subject line “You Asked Us question.” We’ll answer your anonymous question in an upcoming issue of the Report from Council.

  • Consumers, Complaints, and the Council

    Helping Consumers and Licensees to Resolve Misunderstandings

    In each issue of the Report from Council, we report on the Council’s most recent disciplinary decisions: licensees who have been reprimanded, fined, suspended, or directed to remedial education. For many licensees, this may be the first section of the newsletter they turn to, eager to find out who has been disciplined, what they did, and what their penalty was. The Council publishes its discipline decisions knowing that licensees are paying attention, in order to help educate everyone about activities that contravene the Real Estate Services Act (RESA), and the risks of engaging in those activities.

    But did you know that the discipline decisions you read about in each issue of this newsletter are really just the tip of the iceberg? Although every year close to 100 licensees are formally disciplined, that doesn’t nearly represent the actual volume of complaints the Council receives-or the amount of work the Council does on behalf of the public and licensees in responding to their issues.

    In fact, the Council receives more than 500 written complaints each year. That’s in addition to many more calls and emails that we receive every day from consumers, inquiring whether a licensee’s actions may have been in violation of the legislation. Clearly, not all complaints received result in a licensee being disciplined.

    So what happens to the complaints that do not end up resulting in a reprimand, a fine, or a suspension?

    Informally Resolved: Getting to the Root of the Issue

    The Council doesn’t have jurisdiction concerning many of the complaints that we receive. In cases involving contractual disputes, or issues that are unrelated to RESA, the Council is not able to act. However, the Council’s compliance officers review and respond to every written complaint the Council receives. We’re committed to handling and resolving complaints objectively, fairly, and in a timely way. It’s one of the Council’s most important duties in its mandate to safeguard the public interest-and it helps to strengthen the public image of the real estate profession when members of the public know that their concerns have been heard and taken seriously by the industry regulator. Each year many licensees benefit from the Council’s assistance in resolving minor complaints.

    Maureen Coleman has been the Manager of Compliance for over a decade and was a managing broker before joining the Council’s staff. She notes that because the Council’s compliance officers help to manage so many consumer concerns effectively and proactively, “we catch small issues before they become big problems. We can help licensees to understand how they can improve their practices and avoid more misunderstandings with their clients that otherwise might eventually result in a complaint, and the stress of a Council investigation and discipline proceedings.”

    In many cases, a consumer’s unhappiness with their licensee is the result of a misunderstanding rather than from any violation of RESA or the Council Rules. The Council’s compliance officers may bring the issues to the attention of the licensee and his or her managing broker, to alert them to the consumer’s concerns. Or they may take the time to help the consumer understand why what they may think went wrong likely didn’t.

    Because of the Council’s experience in handling the large number of complaints we receive every year, we know where misunderstandings between consumers and licensees are most likely to arise, and how they can be easily avoided. Maureen has been delivering presentations to brokerages on the “Top Ten Complaints” for several years, and her advice to licensees is simple and direct: “Pay attention to your clients. Listen deeply to their needs and wants, represent their interests, and follow their lawful instructions. The result will be happy clients and a happy licensee.”

    Five Steps You Can Take To Avoid Complaints

    No one wants unhappy clients. And you definitely don’t want to find yourself in a situation where a client feels they need to take their concerns to the industry regulator in order to resolve an issue or disagreement with you.

    Here are the Council’s top five tips to help you manage your clients’ expectations, maintain a professional business relationship with clients, and fulfill your requirements under the Real Estate Services Act.

    1. Communicate with your clients

    There are three important words to keep in mind when communicating with clients: clear, early, and often. Ensure that your client doesn’t have unrealistic expectations of the services you can provide by clearly describing the scope and limitations of your services and the obligations the client must fulfil, before you begin working for the client.

    2. When clients have concerns-listen to them

    There are many reasons why clients may become anxious or confused: in situations with multiple offers, when subjects can’t be removed, or when deals don’t complete. Help your clients to understand these situations and deal with their concerns in a professional, calm, and knowledgeable manner. Taking sufficient time to help your clients understand each step of the real estate transaction will go a long way to resolving potential conflicts and complaints.

    3. Be business-like

    Sometimes when things get busy, mistakes are made or shortcuts are taken. Prevent that from happening-and backfiring-by ensuring you develop and follow standardized procedures. Use checklists to make sure nothing is overlooked. When in doubt, speak with your managing broker and refer to the Council’s online Professional Standards Manual.

    4. Know who you work for

    The answer to “who do you work for” isn’t “myself.” You work for your clients, and at all times, you must act in their best interests. If you are acting as a limited dual agent, representing both clients’ interests can quickly get very complicated, so be sure to consult with your managing broker whenever you are uncertain about how to act.

    5. Disclose!

    You have an obligation to disclose to your clients all material information relating to the real estate services, the real estate, and the trade in real estate. Moreover, if you don’t have all the information that you know would be material to your client, you must take steps to gather that information. Getting all the facts for your clients is a key part of your responsibility to act with reasonable care and skill.

    For Further Information

    The Council’s Complaints and Discipline Procedures includes more details about the complaint process:

    www.recbc.ca/complaints/complaintdiscipline.html#Resolution

  • Notice of Permanent Surrender of License

    John Shiong-Choy Ma

    John Shiong-Choy Ma, currently unlicensed, while licensed as an associate broker with Multiple Realty Ltd., Vancouver, requested the Real Estate Council of British Columbia to discontinue disciplinary proceedings against him as he had decided to permanently retire from real estate practice. Mr. Ma was facing a disciplinary hearing into his professional conduct as managing broker with Multiple Realty Ltd. and would have been required to appear before a hearing committee of the Real Estate Council to respond to these allegations.

    The allegations against Mr. Ma in the Notice of Discipline Hearing are that he committed professional misconduct within the meaning of section 35(1)(d) of the Real Estate Services Act by demonstrating incompetence in respect of his responsibilities as managing broker; and/ or within the meaning of section 35(1) (c) of the Real Estate Services Act in that he failed to fulfill his responsibilities as managing broker for the said brokerage as required by section 3-1 of the Council Rules and section 6(2) of the Real Estate Services Act in that he:

    1. failed to ensure that there was an adequate level of supervision over a licensee of the brokerage, contrary to section 3-1(1) of the Council Rules;
    2. failed to ensure that the business of the brokerage was carried out competently and in accordance with the Real Estate Services Act, Regulation, Rules and Bylaws, contrary to section 6(2) of the Real Estate Services Act and section 3-1(1)(b) of the Council Rules;
    3. failed to inquire further before crediting bank drafts of $110,000, $25,000 and $40,000 to a transaction on Hudson Street, Vancouver, BC under circumstances where he knew or should have known that further inquiries were necessary, contrary to sections 3-1(2) and (3) of the Council Rules;
    4. failed to inquire further before releasing the buyer’s deposit for a transaction on Hudson Street, Vancouver, BC to the sellers under circumstances where he knew or ought to have known that further inquiries were necessary, contrary to sections 3-1(2) and (3) of the Council Rules;
    5. failed to inquire further before crediting a bank draft of $400,000 to a transaction on East 6th Avenue, Vancouver, BC under circumstances where he knew or ought to have known that further inquiries were necessary, contrary to sections 3-1(2) and (3) of the Council Rules;
    6. failed to inquire further before releasing money paid to the brokerage in trust for a transaction on East 6th Avenue, Vancouver, BC to unrelated third parties under circumstances where he knew or ought to have known that further inquiries were necessary, contrary to sections 3-1(2) and (3) of the Council Rules; and
    7. failed to determine that deposits had not been received for transactions on Sophia Street, Vancouver, BC and Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC and failed to provide notice to all parties of this fact, contrary to section 3-1(4) of the Council Rules.

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

    The Council was satisfied that, in the circumstances of this case, permanent surrender of Mr. Ma’s licence in lieu of proceeding with disciplinary action was appropriate. The permanent surrender of Mr. Ma’s licence was effective as of February 26, 2015, although he surrendered his licence to the Real Estate Council on February 17, 2015.

  • Notice of Permanent Surrender of License

    Chi Yuen (Julia) Lau

    Chi Yuen (Julia) Lau, currently unlicensed, while licensed as a representative with Local Venture Corp. dba Homeland Realty, Vancouver, requested the Real Estate Council of British Columbia to discontinue disciplinary proceedings against her as she had decided to permanently surrender her real estate licence. Ms. Lau was facing a disciplinary hearing into her professional conduct while licensed as a representative with West Coast Realty Ltd. (Van49) dba Sutton Group-West Coast Realty (Van49), Vancouver and would have been required to appear before a hearing committee of the Real Estate Council to respond to these allegations.

    The allegations against Ms. Lau in the Notice of Discipline Hearing are that she:

    1. failed to ensure that there was an adequate level of supervision for her unlicensed assistant while the unlicensed assistant was performing duties on her behalf in connection with obtaining listings for certain properties;
    2. either paid, offered to pay, or agreed to pay, or some or all of them, remuneration to her unlicensed assistant in relation to her performance of real estate services, and more particularly but without limitation, in relation to the unlicensed assistant’s efforts to obtain listings for certain properties, for which the unlicensed assistant was required to be but was not licensed; and
    3. in connection with her response to the Council’s inquiries about her conduct, described in paragraph (a) and (b) above, made or allowed to be made false or misleading statements in a document that was required to be produced or submitted under the Real Estate Services Act by providing an account of her conduct to the Council which was false or misleading or both.

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

    The Council was satisfied that, in the circumstances of this case, permanent surrender of Ms. Lau’s licence in lieu of proceeding with disciplinary action was appropriate. The permanent surrender of Ms. Lau’s licence was effective as of January 9, 2015, although she surrendered her licence to the Real Estate Council on January 8, 2015.

  • Notice of Permanent Surrender of License

    Malcolm Keith Lutsiak

    Malcolm Keith Lutsiak, currently unlicensed, while licensed as a managing broker with Fort Nelson Realty Ltd. dba Royal LePage Fort Nelson Realty, Fort Nelson, requested the Real Estate Council of British Columbia to discontinue disciplinary proceedings against him as he had decided to permanently retire from real estate practice. Mr. Lutsiak was facing a disciplinary hearing into his professional conduct and would have been required to appear before a hearing committee of the Real Estate Council to respond to these allegations.

    The allegation against Mr. Lutsiak in the Notice of Discipline Hearing is that he:

    1. failed to fulfill his responsibility as a managing broker relating to the supervision of licensees in his brokerage in that he permitted a licensee to list and offer a manufactured home for sale without ensuring that it had a valid CSA approval sticker or silver label to reflect alterations made to the subject property, as required by Section 21 of the Electrical Safety Regulation of the BC Safety Standards Act.

    There has been no discipline hearing or finding of fact with respect to this allegation, and no admission to this allegation by Mr. Lutsiak.

    The Council was satisfied that, in the circumstances of this case, permanent surrender of Mr. Lutsiak’s licence in lieu of proceeding with disciplinary action was appropriate. The permanent surrender of Mr. Lutsiak’s licence was effective as of March 5, 2015, although he surrendered his licence to the Real Estate Council on January 7, 2013.

  • Notice of Permanent Surrender of License

    Lashell Ann Skage

    Lashell Ann Skage, currently unlicensed, while licensed as a representative with Best Results Real Estate Inc. dba RE/MAX Best Results Realty, Fort Nelson, requested the Real Estate Council of British Columbia to discontinue disciplinary proceedings against her as she had decided to permanently retire from real estate practice. Ms. Skage was facing a disciplinary hearing into her professional conduct and would have been required to appear before a hearing committee of the Real Estate Council to respond to these allegations.

    The allegation against Ms. Skage in the Notice of Discipline Hearing is that she:

    1. failed to use reasonable efforts to discover relevant facts pertaining to the property the buyer was acquiring, in that she failed to discover that the manufactured home did not have a valid CSA approval sticker or silver label to reflect the alterations made to the subject property as required by section 21 of the Electrical Safety Regulation of the BC Safety Standards Act.

    There has been no discipline hearing or finding of fact with respect to this allegation, and no admission to this allegation by Ms. Skage.

    The Council was satisfied that, in the circumstances of this case, permanent surrender of Ms. Skage’s licence in lieu of proceeding with disciplinary action was appropriate. The permanent surrender of Ms. Skage’s licence was effective as of March 5, 2015, although she surrendered her licence to the Real Estate Council on July 31, 2013.

  • Disciplinary Decisions

    Since the April 2015 Report from Council newsletter, the following actions have been taken as a result of disciplinary hearings and Consent Orders conducted by the Council.

    Trading Services

    Rental Property Management

    Strata Management

    • Michael Kenneth Roblin