For immediate release
Bill 141 amending the Real Estate Brokerage Act
The OACIQ wants the public carrying out real estate or mortgage transactions to be even better protected
QUÉBEC, JANUARY 17, 2018 – As a regulator created in 2010 by the Real Estate Brokerage Act (REBA), the Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ) invites the government to take advantage of the adoption of Bill 141 to better protect members of the public in their real estate or mortgage transactions by proposing four recommendations for improvement:
- Clearly defining the brokerage transaction;
- Maintaining and modernizing the supervision of rental real estate brokerage;
- Maintaining mortgage brokerage oversight under the competence of the OACIQ; and
- Ensuring a credible and coherent governance of the OACIQ.
From the outset, Nadine Lindsay, President and Chief Executive Officer of the OACIQ, who was at the National Assembly Wednesday as part of the special consultations on Bill 141, welcomed the government’s desire to significantly increase fines for brokers who violate the REBA. “The OACIQ will thus be able to better exercise its unique and exclusive mission of protecting the public by having a more deterrent effect against offenders.”
1. Clearly defining the brokerage transaction
There are three ways to sell a property: by oneself, through a for-sale-by-owner company or with a real estate broker. “The OACIQ respects the choice of members of the public to carry out their real estate transactions in the way they want. However, the Organization would like members of the public to be able to make an informed choice in this regard, whereas presently there is confusion,” says Ms. Lindsay.
In the parliamentary committee, the OACIQ unveiled the results of a survey1 that revealed that 71% of people believe that they benefit or do not know if they benefit from the protections provided by the Real Estate Brokerage Act when dealing with a for-sale-by-owner company. Every week, the OACIQ receives several assistance requests from members of the public who wrongly believe that it is possible for the regulator to intervene in their case.
To stem this false sense of public protection, the OACIQ asked the government to clarify the notion of brokerage transaction, which can only be performed by a broker. For-sale-by-owner companies should also be required to indicate in their communications that members of the public do not benefit from the protections under the REBA when dealing with them.
2. Maintaining and modernizing the supervision of rental real estate brokerage
The OACIQ believes that the supervision of rental brokerage must be maintained to fight tax evasion and ensure harmonization with other Canadian jurisdictions, all of which require a licence. The protections that are currently set out in the Real Estate Brokerage Act should not be removed from the public.
Regulatory alleviation should be provided for sophisticated property managers and for individuals or companies acting on behalf of vulnerable or senior citizens to better reflect their specific realities and needs.
3. Mortgage brokerage: keeping a single window
The OACIQ is also questioning the government’s intention to transfer the oversight and control of mortgage brokerage to the Autorité des marchés financiers, while it would be possible to even better regulate this sector by granting the necessary powers to the OACIQ. In addition to avoiding regulatory duplication, this would allow the public to continue benefiting from a uniform and coherent protection regime under the same regulator and an access to a single window to deal with each of the aspects of real estate and mortgage transactions that are closely related.
4. Ensuring a credible and coherent governance
The OACIQ is in favour of improving its governance and proposes three recommendations in this regard. To maintain the self-regulatory model, the OACIQ deems it necessary that its board of directors be made up mostly of licence holders. Directors must also be able to elect the president from among all the members of the board of directors based on his or her skills. The regulator proposes to maintain regional representation within the Board to ensure complementarity of skills.
About the OACIQ
The Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec 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.
1 Survey conducted by Synopsis firm with 1,015 respondents, from November 14 to 20, 2017.
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Maude Bujeault Bolduc
Director, Content and Public Relations, OACIQ
Cellphone: 514 743-6248