Council Meeting Highlights
At its September 2018 meeting, the Council approved changes to RECBC’s publication policy, and heard updates on initiatives including a series of consultations held over the summer with managing brokers and a planned consumer awareness campaign.
See the Council Meetings page for minutes of past 2018 Council meetings and a schedule of upcoming meetings.
RECBC Wins Education Award
RECBC’s newly redeveloped trading services Legal Update course has been honoured with the ARELLO 2018 Continuing Education Award. The award recognizes the Legal Update course as an outstanding continuing education program that contributes to the real estate industry and promotes public protection.
Legal Update is a mandatory relicensing course that is completed in two parts; a self-paced online component followed by a full-day classroom session. Licensees must successfully complete the online component before attending the classroom session. In presenting the award, ARELLO noted that “the platform used for the online component allows RECBC to deliver a multi-modal learning experience that includes interactivity, narration, videos, and quizzes, all within a seamless fully-responsive course interface that supports all device sizes and types.”
RECBC to Publish Administrative Penalties, Hearing Decisions
As part of our ongoing efforts to be transparent to the public and licensees about how we regulate, RECBC will begin publishing more hearing decisions, as well as summaries of the administrative penalties we impose.
At its September 2018 meeting, the Council approved the publication of:
- redacted special compensation hearing decisions
- redacted qualification hearing decisions, and
- anonymized summaries of administrative penalties.
We will continue to protect individuals’ privacy rights by redacting sensitive or personal information in accordance with our Publication Policy. Summaries of administrative penalties will be anonymous.
The Council has the ability to impose administrative penalties for certain minor violations of the Real Estate Services Act and Rules. To help inform licensees about the kinds of infractions that can result in an administrative penalty, in 2019 we will begin publishing quarterly summaries of the penalties that we issue, including the amount of the penalty and the rule violation. These summaries will be anonymous – no identifying information will be included.
Special Compensation Fund Hearing Decisions
When consumers suffer a loss due to the actions of a real estate licensee, they can apply for compensation from the Real Estate Compensation Fund. Decisions resulting from a Special Compensation Fund hearing will be posted on RECBC’s website for a period of five years from the date of the hearing, and then removed.
Qualification Hearing Decisions
Decisions resulting from a qualification hearing will be posted on RECBC’s website for a period of five years from the date of the hearing, and then removed. In cases where a successful applicant has conditions applied to their licence, a link from the licensee search results page to the qualification hearing decision will appear for the duration of the period the licence conditions remain in effect.
Any restrictions on publication and redaction of sensitive or personal information will be in accordance with RECBC’s Publication Policy.
Changes to RECBC’s website to allow for publication of anonymized qualification and special compensation decisions will be launched in the coming weeks. Look for an announcement in the next issue of the Report from Council.
Email [email protected] to find out more about the decisions we publish.
Appointment of New Council Members
We are pleased to announce that on October 22, six new members were appointed by the provincial government to the Real Estate Council of BC. As well, five members were re-appointed, for terms of varying lengths. The Council members, whose terms began on October 31, bring with them a range of expertise in industry, policy and governance best practices, along with a variety of professional skills, including: community planning, communications, regulation, human resources, finance, and local government.
These appointments are in addition to the recent appointments of five new members over the summer and fall. There are 16 members, under the leadership of chair Elain Duvall.
The makeup of the RECBC Council reflects the diversity of our province and includes:
- Ten women and six men
- Four real estate licensees or former licensees
- Three practicing lawyers
- Twelve members from Metro Vancouver/the Fraser Valley and four members from other parts of BC
Learn more about Council members on the Real Estate Council Members page.
BC Government Introduces Speculation Tax Legislation
On October 16, the BC Government introduced legislation to tackle speculation in BC’s housing markets. Once approved, the annual tax will be paid by owners of residential properties in specific regions of BC.
The tax includes exemptions for British Columbians’ principal residences, rented properties, and special circumstances including major home renovations and difficult life events such as divorce. The legislation also has exemptions in place to broadly protect the development of land to support the province’s growing housing supply.
For residential properties where the tax applies, the rate will vary depending on the owner’s tax residency and whether the owner is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, or a member of a satellite family.
The Council recommends that licensees advise their clients to seek independent professional advice to determine if a property may be subject to the speculation and vacancy tax.
Learn more on the BC government’s website.
Licensing Statistics Online
Want to know how many licensed real estate professionals there are in BC? There’s an easy way to find out – check out our new Statistics page on the RECBC website. Along with information about the numbers of licensees and brokerages, you’ll find useful statistics on:
- RECBC disciplinary outcomes
- Complaints and anonymous tips
- Questions from consumers and licensees
- Licensing education entrants
The statistics page will be updated quarterly with the most current information.
Have Your Say on Insurance for Stratas
The British Columbia Law Institute’s Strata Property Law Project Committee has published a Consultation Paper on Insurance Issues for Stratas. The consultation paper proposes options for reforming how the Strata Property Act governs legal issues relating to insurance for strata corporations. Members of the public are invited to give their feedback on the consultation paper, until December 15 2018.
For more information, see: