Amendments to the BC Real Estate Services Regulation Target Unethical and Predatory Conduct by Licensees; Further Recommendations Forthcoming
“Government will not tolerate unethical or predatory conduct in the real estate market” – Premier Christy Clark
By Larry R. Sandrin and James Struthers
On May 10, 2016, BC Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced amendments to the Real Estate Services Regulation regarding the imposition of additional obligations on licensees (persons described in s 2 of the Real Estate Services Act) as part of a broader initiative by the Province to improve public confidence in the real estate services sector (the amendments are available on the BC Laws website). Licensees acting for buyers must include in any offer to purchase a clause that indicates the purchase contract will not be assigned without the written permission of the seller, and that any profits from an assignment of the contract must be returned to the seller. If any offer does not include these terms, licensees acting for a buyer are obligated to notify the seller of their absence. Licensees acting for a seller must inform the seller whether the contract may be assigned, any conditions on assignment and the seller’s right to profits from an assignment. These amendments are in force as of May 16, 2016.
There are no designated penalties for a breach of these new regulations at this time, but changes to monetary penalties under the Act and Regulations may be coming. Additional changes to rules and regulations governing licensee conduct, the administration of these rules and regulations and public access and engagement are expected to be released in early June. (more…)