Licence Conditions FAQ
The Council publishes information about licence conditions and restrictions on our website to help consumers make informed decisions when choosing a licensed real estate professional.
Before you begin working with any real estate professional, we recommend you use the Licensee Search to make sure they are licensed, and to find up-to-date information on any current licence conditions, upcoming hearings or past disciplinary decisions against them.
The Council may place conditions on a licence for a variety of reasons. If you have questions about why certain conditions have been placed on a licence, we recommend that you ask the licensee or their managing broker about those issues and any concerns you may have.
For answers to other common questions about licence conditions, please review this FAQ.
The Council will put conditions on the real estate licence of an individual or brokerage when it is in the public interest. By putting conditions on a licence that restrict the licensee’s practice or set out specific requirements for the licensee, the Council can eliminate, mitigate, and/or monitor potential risks, to help ensure that the public is protected.
Some licence conditions are “one-size-fits-all” – for example, all new trading services licensees have a condition on their licence that states they must successfully complete the Trading Services Applied Practice Course within 6 months. Once the course has been completed, the Council will remove this condition from the licence. If a licensee does not successfully complete the course, the licence will be terminated.
Other conditions are carefully chosen by the Council to manage specific risks. These conditions may restrict a licensee’s practice, or require the licensee to report regularly to their managing broker and/or to the Council. For example, the Council may place conditions on a licence that:
- restricts the number of licensees that may be engaged by a brokerage.
- requires a licensee to report to the Council on the progress and conclusion of legal proceedings.
- requires the Council’s approval of anyone engaged as a managing broker at the brokerage.
- requires a brokerage to obtain the Council’s approval of anyone signing on behalf of the brokerage on trust account disbursements.
- requires the licensee’s managing broker to make regular written reports to the Council on the licensee’s real estate activities.
In some instances, conditions are removed on a specific date, if the condition has been satisfied. For example, all new trading services licensees have a condition on their licence stating they must complete the Trading Services Applied Practice Course within 6 months. If this requirement is satisfied, the condition is removed.
The Council can remove conditions from a licence at any time, if it considers it in the public interest to do so. Licensees may apply to the Council in writing to have a condition removed and the Council may consider the request.
You can find up-to-date licence information for all licensed real estate professionals and brokerages, including any current licence conditions, upcoming hearings or past disciplinary decisions against them, by using the Real Estate Council’s Licensee Search.
While all licensees must comply with the Real Estate Services Act, Regulations, and Rules, in certain cases the Council may decide that additional requirements for a particular licensee are in the public interest. By placing conditions on an individual’s or brokerage’s licence, the Council may restrict aspects of a licensee’s practice, require the licensee to report on particular areas of their business, or impose other conduct requirements as necessary.
If you have questions about why certain conditions have been placed on a licence, we recommend that you ask the licensee or the licensee’s managing broker about those issues and any concerns you may have.
Licensees who have received licence conditions as part of a qualification hearing decision or disciplinary decision may appeal the decision to the Financial Services Tribunal.
If the licence condition is part of a disciplinary order, a breach of the condition may result in further disciplinary action against the licensee, including cancellation or suspension of the licence.
In situations where the condition or restriction was not imposed as part of a discipline order, a breach of a condition or restriction would be considered unprofessional conduct and may result in disciplinary action.
The Council publishes all disciplinary actions, including all licence suspensions and cancellations, in the Disciplinary Decisions section of its website.
Whenever you become aware of any actions by a licensee that may contravene the requirements of the Real Estate Services Act, or specific conditions placed on that licensee’s real estate licence, you should immediately report the matter to the Council.
You can make an anonymous report to the Council’s Professional Standards Advisors, by calling 604-683-9664, toll-free 1-877-683-9664, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not necessarily. The Council may have placed conditions on a licence in the following circumstances:
- as a result of a discipline order
- as a result of an order of a qualification hearing committee, before issuing a licence
- with the consent of the licensee when the Council considers it in the public interest.
- while education requirements are completed. All newly licensed trading services licensees have educational conditions put on their licences that must be satisfied. This permits licensees to conduct real estate services while they are completing the post-licensing components of the Applied Practice Course. Licensees may conduct the full range of trading services activities with a temporary licence. However, licensees must complete the post-licensing components of the course within 6 months of the issuance of the temporary licence, or their licence is automatically cancelled.
If the Council has placed conditions on a licence as a result of a disciplinary decision, you may see a link from the licensee search page to the Disciplinary Decision. You can also search the Council’s Disciplinary Decisions.
If you have questions about why certain conditions have been placed on a licence, we recommend that you ask the licensee or the managing broker about those issues and any concerns you may have.
The Council may place conditions on the licence of a licensee who is under investigation when the Council considers it in the public interest.
Complaints and investigations by the Council are confidential. The Council cannot either confirm or deny whether a complaint has been received concerning any licensee or brokerage, or whether there may be an investigation underway into the actions of any licensee or brokerage. When a matter is due to come before a Discipline Committee, the Council will not comment on the matter until a disciplinary decision has been rendered.
If you have questions about why certain conditions have been placed on a licence, we recommend that you ask the licensee or their managing broker about those issues and any concerns you may have.
To protect the privacy rights of all the participants, the Council cannot comment on matters that are due to come before a Hearing Committee.
Disciplinary hearings are open to the public, unless the Disciplinary Committee decides that a hearing or a portion of a hearing must be held in camera to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of financial or personal matters, or other confidential information that would be damaging to any of the parties. Approximately two months in advance of the hearing date, a Notice of Upcoming Hearing will be published on the Council’s Hearings page.
If you have questions about a notice of hearing, we recommend that you ask the licensee or their managing brokerage about the issues and any concerns you may have. Here are some points to keep in mind:
- A Notice of Hearing is not a finding of guilt or misconduct.
- A scheduled hearing will be cancelled if the licensee admits to the allegations and the Council accepts a consent order proposal.
All licensees have the legal right under the Real Estate Services Act to propose a consent order when they wish to resolve a matter by consent rather than proceeding to a hearing. Licensees may submit a consent order proposal to the Real Estate Council up to 21 days before a scheduled hearing. If the proposal is accepted by a Consent Order Review Committee of the Council, no disciplinary hearing will take place. Consent orders are published on the Council’s Disciplinary Decisions webpage and in its newsletter.
If you become aware that a licensee has been disciplined by the Real Estate Council in the past, it may be a good idea to discuss the matter with the licensee before signing a listing agreement, buyer’s agreement, or service agreement. Make sure you are satisfied that the licensee will provide the kind of service you expect.
To find out more about choosing a real estate licensee and the services to expect, you may also want to review the Council’s Consumer Publications.
Before speaking with the licensee, here are some things to consider:
- The nature of the misconduct: misconduct may be as minor as a simple mistake or oversight on the part of a licensee, or more serious matters such as deceptive dealing, or wrongful taking.
- The severity of the penalty: Discipline penalties ordered against licensees can range from a simple reprimand to substantial fines, licence conditions or restrictions, an order to disgorge any commissions, and suspension or cancellation of their licence – or any combination of these. To determine the appropriate penalty, the disciplinary committee considers the nature of the professional misconduct committed by the licensee, their previous discipline history and the degree of public harm caused.
Summaries of disciplinary hearing decisions and consent orders are posted in the Disciplinary Decisions section of the Council’s website and on the Canlii legal website (www.canlii.org) so you can read the facts that led to the disciplinary order.