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Professional Standards Manual

Notice of Change: Information in this manual changed when new agency and disclosure rules came into effect on June 15, 2018. Learn more about the new rules.

II. General Information

Licensing Information

(a) Applications for Licensing

Licensing is regulated by RESA, the Real Estate Services Regulation, Rules and Bylaws. RESA establishes the requirement of licensing, the qualifications for licensing, and the different levels and categories of licensing. RESA establishes the Real Estate Council as the licensing authority. The Regulations set out the exemptions from licensing. The Bylaws set out the process and information required in applications for licences or the reinstatement of licences. The Rules contain the qualification requirements for licensing.

All forms and information regarding applications for licensing can be found on the Council’s website at www.recbc.ca.

RESA creates the following four levels of licensing:

  • Brokerage — a licensee which must engage other licensees, including a managing broker.
  • Managing broker — a licensee responsible for a brokerage.
  • Associate broker — a licensee who meets the qualifications of a managing broker, but who provides real estate services under the supervision of a managing broker.
  • Representative — a licensee providing real estate services under the supervision of a managing broker. An individual may obtain any level of licence.

Section 2-1 of the Rules sets out the following categories of licence:

  • Trading services;
  • Rental property management services; and
  • Strata management services.

Licensees may be licensed in a single category or in any combination of categories. The licensing categories apply to each level of licensing. A licensee may, therefore, be licensed as a managing broker in relation to trading services, rental property management, strata management services, or any combination of categories.

RESA sets out the qualifications that an applicant for licensing must meet, which include satisfying the educational and experience requirements established by the Rules. In addition, RESA provides that all applicants must be determined to be fit to be licensed. An applicant’s fitness for licensing considers whether the applicant has been refused a real estate, insurance, mortgage broker, or securities licence in any jurisdiction; whether the applicant had a real estate, insurance, mortgage broker, or securities licence suspended or cancelled in any jurisdiction, or whether the applicant has been convicted of an offence.

Section 2-8 of the Rules sets out the educational requirements for new licensees. Section 2-10 sets out the experience requirements for applicants for a managing broker’s or associate broker’s licence, and section 2-11 sets out the financial qualifications for applicants for a brokerage licence. Under section 2-11, an applicant for a brokerage licence must satisfy the Council that the applicant is in sound financial circumstances. The Council has established the following guidelines with respect to the meaning of ‘‘sound financial circumstances’’. An applicant for a brokerage licence is considered not to be in sound financial circumstances if the applicant:

  • is an undischarged bankrupt;
  • has outstanding judgments; and
  • is in arrears on several trade accounts.

In all cases, where the Council intends to refuse a licence, the Council must give notice to the applicant and provide the applicant with an opportunity to be heard respecting the matter. If the Council decides to refuse to issue the licence, the applicant can appeal the refusal to the Financial Services Tribunal.

[updated 06/15/2018]

(b) Personal Real Estate Corporation

Individual real estate licensees are permitted to form a Personal Real Estate Corporation. A Personal Real Estate Corporation allows a licensee to take advantage of incorporation, which may permit better planning of income and tax streams.

 

Learn more about Personal Real Estate Corporations.

 

 

(c) Licence Renewals

Generally, licences are issued for a two-year period. RESA permits the Council to issue temporary licences that may be of a shorter duration. Before the end of the licensing period, the licensee must apply for a renewal of their licence. RESA provides that if the application for renewal is made before the end of the licence term, the licence continues in effect until the Council notifies the licensee of its decision with respect to the renewal application.

If a licensing period ends before a licensee submits an application for renewal, the licensee is no longer licensed and must cease carrying out any activity for which a licence is required until the Council issues a licence.

In the past, the period of time that a licensee could remain unlicensed and subsequently obtain a licence without being required to requalify was dependent on the length of time that the licensee had been licensed. Section 2-9 of the Rules requires that a licensee whose licence was suspended, inoperative, or surrendered within the first five years of continuous licensing must retake the pre-licensing examination and the applied course before a licence will be reinstated. The Rules contain limited exceptions to this requirement if the licensee had ceased to be licensed for less than 30 days, was on parental leave approved by the Council, or had been registered under the Mortgage Brokers Act.

(d) Licensees Must Give Notice of Discipline, Bankruptcy, Criminal Proceedings

Section 2-21 of the Rules states that:

(2) A licensee must promptly notify the council, in writing, if any of the following circumstances apply:

(a) the licensee is subject to any disciplinary or regulatory proceedings in which the licensee may be or has been made subject to a discipline sanction under legislation in British Columbia or another jurisdiction regulating

(i) real estate, insurance or securities activities, or

(ii) mortgage brokers, accountants, notaries or lawyers;

(b) the licensee has any court order or judgment made against the licensee in relation to

(i) real estate services,

(ii) a dealing in insurance, mortgages or securities, or

(iii) misappropriation, fraud or breach of trust;

(c) any business that the licensee owns, or of which the licensee has been a director, officer or partner at any time during the past 2 years, has any court order or judgment made against the business in relation to

(i) real estate services,

(ii) a dealing in insurance, mortgages or securities, or

(iii) misappropriation, fraud or breach of trust;

(d) the licensee is charged with or convicted of an offence under a federal or provincial enactment or under a law of any foreign jurisdiction, excluding

(i) highway traffic offences resulting only in monetary fines or demerit points, or both, and

(ii) charges initiated by a violation ticket as defined in the Offence Act or by a ticket as defined in the Contraventions Act (Canada);

(e) the licensee is the subject of any bankruptcy, insolvency or receivership proceedings, including

(i) an application for a bankruptcy order filed against the licensee,

(ii) an assignment in bankruptcy made by the licensee,

(iii) a bankruptcy order made against the licensee,

(iv) a proposal made under Division I of Part III, or a consumer proposal made under Division II of Part III, of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, or

(v) an insolvency proceeding, including a receivership or an arrangement under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act;

(f) any business that the licensee owns, or of which the licensee has been a director, officer or partner at any time during the past 2 years, is the subject of any bankruptcy, insolvency or receivership proceedings, including

(i) an application for a bankruptcy order filed against the business,

(ii) an assignment in bankruptcy made by the business,

(iii) a bankruptcy order made against the business,

(iv) a proposal made under Division I of Part III, or a consumer proposal made under Division II of Part III, of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, or

(v) an insolvency proceeding, including a receivership or an arrangement under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

(3) In addition to providing a written notice, the licensee must provide

(a) particulars, and

(b) any additional information or documentation,

as requested by the council.

(4) In the case of notice required to be provided by an associate broker or representative, the licensee must give a copy of the notice under subsection (2) to the managing broker of the related brokerage.

Licensees must not wait for either licence renewal or licence transfer to report this information to the Council.

(e) Other Licensing Applications

Information relating to licence transfers, change of licence level, reinstatements, and licence amendments is available on the Council’s website at www.recbc.ca.

[updated 06/15/2018]