Defence Lawyer for Real Estate Brokerages
Toronto Defence Law Firm for REBBA Offences
The Ontario provincial government requires real estate agents, brokers, and brokerages to follow high standards as they serve clients and the general public.
RECO (Real Estate Council of Ontario) is a not-for-profit organization responsible for enforcing the rules that real estate agents, brokers, and brokerages must adhere to. The organization has to “protect the public interest through a fair, safe, and informed marketplace.”
The provincial government has delegated RECO to administer and implement the REBBA (Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002) and associated guidelines.
KIVLaw defence lawyers are skilled lawyers for real estate agents, brokers, and brokerages before RECO. We are here to help protect your reputation, your licence, and your livelihood.
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In 1997, RECO was established as a delegated administrative authority (DAA) under the Safety and Consumer Statutes Administration Act. The organization was formed due to a shared desire of the government and the real estate industry to maintain a high level of professionalism, ensure consumer protection is increased, and provide an efficient and responsive governing body.
RECO Criminal Offence Charges
If a member of the public files a complaint related to any real estate agent, broker, or brokerage, RECO will conduct an investigation. Some of the common RECO criminal charges are:
KIVLaw has successfully defended real estate agents, brokers, and brokerages in Ontario, facing RECO criminal charges. We have dealt with RECO before, and we are used to their disciplinary procedures. We understand what your legal rights are, and our top priority is to protect you. We have defended real estate professionals before the discipline committee of RECO, the Licence Appeal Tribunal, and the Provincial Offences Court.
Frequently Asked Questions
RECO criminal charges are considered “quasi-criminal” offences under the Provincial Offences Act, 1990. If you are charged, you will be provided by the RECO investigator with a Summons to Appear. This will legally require you to appear at the Provincial Offences Court in the Ontario Court of Justice nearest to where the offence is alleged to have occurred. RECO has prosecutors that will act like a Crown Prosecutor in a criminal prosecution.
- If a member of or applicant to RECO is facing criminal charges, they are required to disclose their criminal offence history to RECO.
- RECO members must inform the registrar’s office of their arrest and RECO criminal charges within five (5) days of their arrest.
- If, however, the member was not aware of this obligation, initially, they should inform the registrar’s office as soon as they do become aware of it and explain that they were not aware of the obligation in the first place.
- It is essential that any criminal offence charge a member of or applicant to RECO is facing have a favourable resolution. Otherwise, their license may be revoked. Someone Filed a Case Against Me. What are my Rights?
- You have the right to be notified about the complaint with enough details to allow you to respond fully to all allegations.
- You have the right to have the complaint dealt with in a timely and unbiased manner.
- You have the right to seek legal advice and to be represented by a lawyer you choose.
- You have the right to receive the decision on the complaint, in writing, including any action RECO has taken.
- If evidence or information obtained by RECO does not support the complaint, no action will be taken. If the complaint falls outside of RECO’s authority or legal jurisdiction, no action will be taken.
- In some situations, RECO may try to resolve the matter or impose a written warning, an educational course, or a requirement (e.g., correct advertisement that does not comply with real estate rules).
- Real estate council discipline hearing – this is when a complaint is referred to a Discipline Committee for a hearing.
- If the defendant is found to have failed in complying with the Code of Ethics, they may be instructed to take educational courses, pay a fine of up to $50,000 for individuals, and $100,000 for brokerages. They may also be ordered to pay for costs.
- Provincial Court Prosecution
- If the licensed professional is found to have breached sections of REBBA 2002 (other than the Code of Ethics), they may be prosecuted in the Ontario Court of Justice system. Those who will be convicted face being fined up to $50,000 and/or a prison term of up to two years. Brokerages are subject to fines of up to $250,000.
- For the most severe RECO criminal charges, RECO can issue a proposal to suspend, refuse to renew, revoke, or apply mandatory conditions to the real estate agent’s registration. Licensed professionals who receive a notice of proposal have 15 days from the date the proposal is served to file a notice of appeal with the Licence Appeal Tribunal for a hearing. If RECO does not receive an appeal, the proposal will be carried out.
- When a proposal to revoke has been issued, RECO can suspend a registration immediately if it is believed to be in the public interest. If suspended, the real estate agent, broker, or brokerage must immediately stop trading in real estate, and they should return their registration certificate to RECO.