New anonymous tipline for reporting suspicious real estate practices in British Columbia (via RECBC)

pexels-photo.jpgThe Province of British Columbia made this announcement by news release (BC Govt news release tipline RECBC 15-Mar-2018) on March 15, 2018. Below are excerpts.

Most importantly:

Consumers and real estate agents will now have an anonymous way to report suspected
misconduct by real estate agents.

There are two ways to share a tip:
• By phone: 1 833 420-2400
• Online: https://www.recbc.ca/about/anonymous-tipline.html

The tipline gives members of the public and real estate professionals the opportunity to let the real estate council know about suspicious activities, while protecting their identities. The council’s trained investigators will review each tip and make sure that appropriate action is taken to ensure consumers are protected and professional standards are met. The new tipline is in addition to the real estate council’s existing complaints process. The council opens an investigation file on every complaint received.

From website: Trained staff are available to receive your tip, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Review the Guide to Reporting before calling the toll-free tip hotline at 1.833.420.2400.

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CityHallWatch comment: We tested the phone line and confirmed it is up an running today. This new tipline should be welcomed and utilized. At the same time, we consider it an indictment of the systemic and institutional failure over the past couple decades of political parties, and most elected officials at every level of government, and of the real estate industry organizations and individuals, for letting things get so bad. Why was such a tipline not in place twenty years ago? This is one clear case of government and industry and even the mainstream media looking the other way for far too long, and then only responding long after the underlying problems grew to enormous proportions.  We hope a collective lesson has been learned.

Also, this is not the end of the story. The public should collectively keep an eye on the RECBC performance as it handles tips. If you find their service to be unsatisfactory, you might want to let your MLA know about it.

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Excerpt from RECBC website …

“The Real Estate Council of British Columbia regulates real estate in the public interest. We license the more than 24,000 individuals and brokerages engaged in real estate sales, rental property and strata management, we enforce standards of conduct, we investigate complaints from the public against licensees, and we impose disciplinary sanctions under the Real Estate Services Act. We’re here to ensure the public is well served by real estate licensees.”

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Excerpt from B.C Government news release…

Quick Facts:
• The Real Estate Council of B.C. was established in 1958. In 2018, the council became a
Crown agency.
• The council protects the public interest by ensuring real estate licensees are competent
and making sure licensees comply with the Real Estate Services Act.
• To give the council better enforcement tools, the Province recently increased fines from
$10,000, for an individual, to $250,000.
Report a concern to the tipline: https://www.recbc.ca/about/anonymous-tipline.html
File a complaint: http://www.recbc.ca/pdf/forms/complaintform.pdf
Real Estate Council of British Columbia: https://www.recbc.ca/
Read the Independent Advisory Group’s report: https://www.recbc.ca/wpcontent/uploads/IAGReport_June2016.pdf

 

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