Ford government proposes changes for Ontario real estate professionals

Ontario real estate sold sign

New rules could soon be coming for the business behind Ontario real estate, with the Ontario Government’s new Trust in Real Estate Services Act (TRESA) announced yesterday, which aims to strengthen consumer protection and professional standards for the industry in the province.

The Act would replace the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002, putting Ontario at the forefront of professional standards, training and tools for real estate professionals in North America.

“We are in full support of the new regulations that will help govern how Ontario real estate professionals conduct business,” says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “Consumer protections remain at the forefront of our advocacy, as the relationship between a real estate professional and a homebuyer or seller needs to be built on a foundation of trust.”

What this means for Ontario real estate:

The Trust in Real Estate Services Act will:

    • Address gaps in the disciplinary system by giving the Real Estate Council of Ontario greater capacity to suspend or revoke licenses and pursue investigations.
    • Levy financial penalties for rule-breakers. for failure to comply with regulations. Fines would increase to $50,000 for salespeople, and up to $100,000 for brokers and brokerages.
    • Raise education standards for Ontario real estate professionals that would allow homebuyers and sellers to identify agents who specialize in a particular area of real estate, such as commercial or waterfront.
    • Allow for personal real estate corporations. Like other regulated industries, Ontario real estate professionals will finally be able to incorporate.

“The Ford government’s implementation of incorporation for real estate professionals will be a positive step forward for this industry,” Alexander adds. “The ability to incorporate only raises the bar for the industry, as it helps uphold the standards of what it means to be a full-time, regulated real estate professional. This recognition from the Ford government is a step in the right direction of helping real estate professionals acquire the same rights as many other regulated professionals in the province.”