Consultation Opens on Superintendent’s Rules
On Wednesday, March 21 the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate asked real estate licensees and members of the public to comment on proposed amendments to the Real Estate Rules. The Superintendent’s consultation is open for 30 days, until April 20, 2018.
You can submit your comments to the Superintendent using this online survey.
The rules proposed by the Superintendent will:
- incorporate the Real Estate Council of British Columbia’s English language proficiency requirement for new applicants into the Rules;
- create a new requirement for licensees to complete continuing professional education courses from time to time, typically when significant new rules are introduced;
- designate the first continuing professional education course to be completed by trading services and rental property management licensees;
- mandate that new remuneration disclosures include a dollar amount; and
- create new rules to address conflicts of interest where a licensee finds themselves potentially working with multiple parties that would constitute dual agency.
We encourage all licensees and members of the public to contribute their thoughts on the package of new rules which have been published for consultation. To submit your comments, complete the consultation survey. The consultation period closes on April 20, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.
3 Things You Need to Know Before Adding a New Service Category to Your Licence
Are you thinking about adding another service category to your licence? Maybe you’re licensed to provide trading services, and you’re thinking of adding rental property management to your licence, to expand the range of services you can offer to clients. Here are a few key facts you should know:
1. You Have a Year to Add the Service after passing the exam
You will need to complete a supplemental licensing course, and then pass a supplemental exam for the service category you’d like to add to your licence. After passing the supplemental exam, you will have up to one year to add the service category to your licence.
If you passed a supplemental licensing exam before September 2017 and you haven’t added the category to your licence yet, please email [email protected], or call 604-683-9664 to find out more information.
2. Your Brokerage Must Provide the Service
If you are interested in adding additional real estate service categories to your licence, check with your managing broker to make sure that your brokerage is licensed to provide those services.
You cannot provide a service that your brokerage is not licensed to provide.
3. Don’t Forget about the Applied Practice Course
If you plan to add trading services to your licence, in addition to completing the supplemental course and passing the exam, you must also successfully complete the Residential or Commercial Applied Practice Course.
For more information, review the Council’s Frequently Asked Questions About Education and Licensing Requirements.
Listening to Licensees and the Public: Complaints and Discipline
We are committed to providing a complaints process that is thorough, effective, timely and fair to both the individuals who make complaints and to the licensees who are named in complaints. To understand better where we can enhance our processes, and how we are doing at meeting the expectations of complainants and licensees, earlier this month we launched an online survey.
The survey asks members of the public who have filed complaints and licensees who have been named in complaints to give us feedback: did they receive enough information throughout the investigation; were their interactions with Council staff handled professionally; did the investigation and discipline process meet their expectations. The results of the survey will assist us in making enhancements to the services we provide to protect the public interest.
We will continue to survey complainants and licensees throughout the coming year, and we will be reporting on the results, along with any changes to our processes as a result of the feedback we’ve received.
Sanction Guidelines Published
At its February meeting, the Council approved publication of Sanction Guidelines, now available on the Council’s website. The Sanction Guidelines will assist the Council’s discipline committees in determining appropriate penalties and remedial measures for licensees who have been found liable of professional misconduct.
They also can help the public and other stakeholders to understand the basis for penalties and remedial orders and why some may be chosen over others in a particular case.
Publishing Sanction Guidelines is part of the Council’s ongoing commitment to improving the transparency of its complaints and discipline processes.
To learn more, read the Sanction Guidelines.
Changes to the Strata Property Regulation
Effective March 7, 2018, amendments to Strata Property Regulation 6.9 clarify that variable user fees are permitted for the use of strata common property.
A consumption-based rate may be charged to users to recover expenses as long as it is reasonable and in a strata bylaw or rule. For example:
- water use in bare land strata corporations or
- electricity usage for strata residents charging their electric vehicles.
These amendments are part of ongoing efforts to reduce regulatory barriers and are expected to promote the approval of and access to electric vehicle charging stations in strata properties.
To learn more, read the:
BC HOME Partnership Phased Out
On March 6, BC Housing announced that the BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity (HOME) Partnership program will end March 31, 2018.
In its place, the Province will create a HousingHub that will facilitate new partnerships to increase the supply of affordable housing, and develop innovative models to allow prospective homeowners to purchase homes and build equity. The HousingHub will be funded in part by winding down the BC HOME program.
Until March 31, applications for the BC HOME Partnership will continue to be considered for approval, and current program recipients will not be affected by the phase-out.
For more information, review BC Housing’s recent news release.