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New laws affecting BC realtors coming June 15th

Jun 14 2018
New laws affecting BC realtors coming June 15th

New provincial laws in the real estate industry will be implemented on June 15th of this year. These laws will tighten up regulations for Realtors® while improving consumer protection.

Originally scheduled to come into effect a few months earlier, the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate in BC delayed doing so to allow for more training and a smoother transition. The extra time also provided an opportunity for the real estate industry to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the new laws and how they will impact Realtors® as well as allowing for completion of any regulation or Realtor® requirements.

 

English Proficiency

While most of the new laws were postponed, the Superintendent of Real Estate did mandate that the English proficiency test be implemented immediately. This rule change requires Realtors® to achieve higher comprehension on reading, speaking and communication in English.

 

Continuing Education

The continuing education requirement is for all upcoming new rule changes. This policy goes into effect on June 15th and, for every rule change, Realtors® must attend continuing education courses relating to the rule change. The education requirement may also apply to “…other circumstances” that might be in the professional and public interest. The first course was developed by the Real Estate Council of British Columbia.

 

Dual Agency

Over the past few years, this has become one of the more contentious issues within BC’s real estate industry.

In a dual agency situation, one Realtor® represents both the buyer and the seller. This contradicts the real estate code of conduct that states a Realtor® is mandated to always have the best interests of their client in mind. In a dual agency situation, however, this is often viewed as being virtually impossible. As of June 15th, Realtors® will no longer be able to represent both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction, except for under-served or remote areas in BC where there may be a significant lack of available Realtors®.

There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, two Realtors® working for the same company could represent the buyer and the seller, which would essentially mean that the same Realtor® would be representing both parties.

 

Remuneration Disclosures

As of June 15th, new remuneration disclosures for sellers must include a dollar amount if the remuneration is received as money. In the past, this was typically presented as a percentage of the sale price. Bringing this new rule in should ensure that sellers understand how much the Realtor® will be compensated and provides both accountability and transparency.

 

Contact RDM Lawyers, LLP

If you work in the real estate industry and have questions about the new provincial laws, contact RDM Lawyers LLP today to learn more about your rights and responsibilities and how the new rules will affect you.

 

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