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Bill 16: The OACIQ proposes to oversee co-ownership and set out guidelines for building inspection
Brossard, May 9, 2019 – Appearing before a parliamentary committee today to present its comments on Bill 16, the Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ) reiterates its support for the government's desire to better regulate divided co-ownership and building inspection. While making several recommendations to enhance the bill, the OACIQ wishes to play a role consistent with its public protection mission and its expertise. Therefore, the Organization would accept with honour and humility the responsibility for overseeing co-ownership property managers and certifying building inspectors.
An experienced and concerned regulator
As a regulator established by the Minister of Finance to enforce the Real Estate Brokerage Act, the OACIQ's unique mission is to protect consumers in their real estate transactions involving a residential, commercial or mortgage broker. This represents almost 16,000 licence holders subject to the OACIQ’s supervision. We also act as the liability insurer for brokers and agencies and play an active role with the Real Estate Regulators of Canada.
Given their significant impact on real estate transactions, the OACIQ has been playing, for many years, a leadership role regarding issues related to co-ownership property management and supervision of building inspectors.
The OACIQ administers over 520 training activities, including some fifty activities covering building inspection and co-ownership. We have the tools and expertise to deliver these online training courses 24 hours a day, in webinar and classroom formats, with the help of experienced trainers across Quebec.
Here are the Organization’s major recommendations related to these sectors and presented before the parliamentary committee.
Divided co-ownerships: Towards a more effective oversight
The OACIQ believes it is essential that Bill 16 provide for the supervision of co-ownership property managers, which is not currently the case. Implementing this mechanism, which exists and fulfills its role in other provinces, would help increase public trust.
"We are confident that the OACIQ, as regulator of real estate and mortgage brokerage, has the experience, the expertise and the organizational structure to act as a regulator of co-ownership property managers with the necessary balance to carry out this mandate, “says the President and CEO of the OACIQ, Nadine Lindsay.
In addition, the OACIQ proposes certain improvements to Bill 16, including:
- adding, to the list provided for in Article 1070 of the Civil Code of Québec, the certificate of location of the immovable, useful for preventing disputes, particularly in the event of non-compliance with municipal by-laws;
- extending the right to consult the register and various documents of co-ownership, in order to allow a consultation for the buyers or their representatives; and
- implementing a form of supervision of co-ownership property managers to ensure consistent practices.
In order for the guidelines proposed in the bill to have the desired effect, it is also important for the Government to ensure that an appropriate body is there to enforce them and handle complaints from the public. Otherwise, disputes will continue to be heard by the courts, with the costs and deadlines we know.
Building inspection: A first step to pursue
We are very pleased to see that the bill provides for the supervision of building inspectors. The OACIQ fully supports the government's desire in this regard.
The OACIQ has proactively implemented a mechanism for accrediting building inspection associations with voluntary membership and established criteria through regulations in the context of real estate brokerage transactions.
A clearer definition of the types of inspection, the harmonization of inspection practices, including service agreements concluded with the public and standardized consumer inspection reports, are elements that we believe require prompt legislator's action. Our brief deals with concrete situations that are in favour of greater public protection in this area.
We would be inclined to certify building inspectors in continuity with the current approach of accrediting associations of building inspectors we put in place.
"In anticipation of the important regulatory work to be carried out both in the area of co-ownership and building inspection, the OACIQ offers all its expertise and cooperation to the government for the future," says the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Organization.
About the OACIQ
The OACIQ ensures the protection of members of the public who enlist the services of real estate and mortgage brokerage professionals governed by the Real Estate Brokerage Act. It is a member of the Real Estate Regulators of Canada (RERC), an organization that brings together all Canadian regulators in the area of real estate brokerage, building inspection, and co-ownership property management for some provinces.
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