Checking a broker's record
It is always preferable to know what kind of record the professional to whom you are entrusting the sale, purchase, lease or financing of your property has before you embark on this adventure.
The OACIQ puts at your disposal several tools to check the record of a real estate or mortgage broker:
- Make sure that the broker has a valid licence and see the training activities he completed by checking the Register of licence holders;
- Consult the Calendar of disciplinary hearings to see if the broker is concerned by an upcoming hearing;
- Visit the website jugements.qc.ca, where disciplinary hearing decisions are posted;
- Search the notices issued by the Discipline Committee or the Licence Issue or Maintenance Committee. These notices pertain to licence suspensions or revocations, or the imposition of conditions or restrictions on a licence.
Register of licence holders
It also indicates:
- The broker’s licence number and type;
- The contact information of the establishment with which he is associated, the name of the agency and its executive officer, the company name or pseudonym, if any;
- The broker's photo;
- The list of training activities completed;
- Whether the licence is suspended or subjected to conditions or restrictions.
A suspended licence means that the licence holder’s right to practice has been interrupted; this may be administrative in nature (retirement, abandonment of the practice, maternity leave, etc.), or the result of a decision by the OACIQ Discipline Committee or the Licence Issue and Maintenance Committee. To verify whether the suspension is of disciplinary nature, contact the Registry Service at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Discipline Committee receives the complaint from the Syndic and informs the concerned broker or agency. If the defendant pleads guilty to the offences brought against him, the Committee determines the sanction to be imposed at a hearing. If the defendant pleads not guilty, the Committee provides for a hearing on guilt. In the light of evidence presented by each of the parties, the three members of the Discipline Committee will first render their decision on the defendant's guilt and, if applicable, a second decision on the penalty imposed: this means that it is possible to have two decisions pertaining to the same file, one in which the defendant is found guilty, and the other specifying the penalty.
The decisions of the Discipline Committee may be appealed according to the terms and conditions set out in the Real Estate Brokerage Act and the Professional Code.
Finding a disciplinary decision
The decisions rendered by the Discipline Committee are public: you may access them free of charge on the website jugements.qc.ca.
Use caution when searching:
- Read the decision in its entirety as the defendant may have been acquitted;
- The fact that a broker’s name appears in a decision doesn’t necessarily mean he is the defendant; he may simply be a witness in the case;
- A decision concerning a broker may appear on the jugements.qc.ca website while no notice from the Discipline Committee in the broker’s name is posted on the OACIQ website. This could mean that the period for which a measure was ordered is now over.
To avoid any misunderstanding, we recommend that you contact the Discipline Committee Secretary.
You may also consult the secretary to:
- Access a decision that does not appear on jugements.qc.ca;
- Verify whether a broker or an agency (real estate or mortgage) has a disciplinary record;
- Verify whether a broker or agency has been the subject of one or more disciplinary sanctions.
450-462-9800 or 1-800-440-7170, ext. 8350
Section 94 of the Regulation respecting brokerage requirements, professional conduct of brokers and advertising prohibits brokers or agency executive officers from using a decision rendered by the Discipline Committee for the purpose of harming a licence holder. In addition, because more than one person can have the same name, we recommend that you verify with the Organization the identity of persons who have been the subject of disciplinary penalties.
Calendar of disciplinary hearings
Discipline Committee hearings are public. Most take place at the OACIQ's Brossard office at 4905 Lapinière Boulevard, Suite 2200, and in Québec City.
A disciplinary hearing is where a decision is rendered on guilt or on the penalty to be imposed. The parties and witnesses must appear on the date and time indicated on the notice of hearing or summons sent by the Discipline Committee secretary.
It should be noted that the Discipline Committee has the same powers as the Superior Court to subpoena witnesses to appear, including that of issuing a warrant.
Here is the latest hearing schedule provided by the clerk of the Discipline Committee. Where appropriate, postponements or cancellations are indicated in the description of the hearing.
Notices from the discipline committee
The Discipline Committee is responsible for imposing penalties on brokers or agencies found guilty of a violation of the Real Estate Brokerage Act. Following the disciplinary hearing, the offender could receive various penalties, including suspension or revocation of his licence, or the imposition of conditions or restrictions.
Where this is the case, a notice of decision by the Committee must be published in an official publication of the OACIQ or on its website. Furthermore, the Discipline Committee may decide to have a notice of its decision published in a local newspaper of the area where the licence holder’s establishment is located.
It is important to know that these notices are removed from the OACIQ website as soon as the period during which the measure was in effect (suspension, restriction, revocation, imposition of conditions, etc.) is over.
CLARIFICATION REGARDING THE REFERENCE TO THE BROKER (now called agency) IN THE NOTICES PUBLISHED BEFORE MAY 1, 2010
The Real Estate Brokerage Act and its regulations that were in force before May 1, 2010 required that the notices of certificate (now called licence) suspension refer to the place of practice of the person concerned at the time the suspension of his certificate took place or, if not, to his last place of practice. This “place of practice’’ represented the area where the broker (now called agency) that employed or authorized the person to act on its behalf or, if not, the area where the last broker (now called agency) that employed or authorized him to act on its behalf
Therefore, in the notices published before May 1, 2010, the reference to the broker (now called agency) that employed or authorized the person, referred to in the notice at the time of its publication, to act on its behalf does not necessarily imply that the licence holder was employed or authorized to act on behalf of this broker (now called agency) at the time he committed the offences for which he was found guilty.
Notices from the licence issue and maintenance committee
The mission of the Licence Issue and Maintenance Committee, under the Real Estate Brokerage Act, is to make decisions regarding licence issue or maintenance where an applicant or a licence holder has had his licence revoked, suspended or made subject to restrictions or conditions by the Discipline Committee of the OACIQ or by another body supervising real estate brokerage, or was the subject of an assignment of property, a receiving order, or a protective supervision of a person of full age.
The role of the Licence Issue and Maintenance Committee under the Real Estate Brokerage Act (R.S.Q., c. C-73.2) consists particularly in determining whether public protection warrants the application of such measures as provided under the Act where an applicant or a licence holder has been found guilty of or has pleaded guilty to a criminal, penal or disciplinary offence, to the extent where the Committee has established that this offence has a link with the activity of real estate broker or agency.
If a licence issue application is submitted to the Committee, the latter has the power to review all criminal, penal or disciplinary convictions, regardless of when the person was found or pleaded guilty.
When deciding on licence maintenance, the Committee may take into account any criminal, penal or disciplinary conviction occurred since May 1, 2010.
In addition, the Committee may review cases involving bankruptcy, guardianship, curatorship or appointment of an adviser to a person of full age, as well as cases where an applicant or licence holder has had his licence revoked, suspended or made subject to restrictions or conditions by the OACIQ Discipline Committee or by a body in another province or State responsible for overseeing and monitoring real estate brokerage. The Committee may also review the case of a licence applicant who, before May 1, 2010, violated a provision of the Act respecting the distribution of financial products and services, while he engaged in brokerage activities relating to loans secured by immovable hypothec. In the latter cases, the Committee may decide to impose one of the measures as provided for under the Act where the protection of the public warrants such measure.
Depending on circumstances, the Committee may refuse to issue a licence to an applicant, or to issue it by imposing restrictions or conditions thereon. The Committee may also take measures against a licence holder, including suspending or revoking a licence or making it subject to restrictions or conditions.
Members of the Licence Issue and Maintenance Committee
- Georges Halasz, Chartered Real Estate Broker
- Paul Huard, Chartered Real Estate Broker
- Bertrand Côté, Real Estate Broker
- Guy Huneault, Chartered Real Estate Broker
- Jean-Luc Pulinckx, Real Estate Broker
- Jean-Guy Savoie, Chartered Real Estate Broker