The Real Estate and Business Brokers Act of Ontario
In Ontario, there is a set of rules and acts that are mandatory for all the real estate market participants, including sellers and brokerage companies.
So, since these companies have recently bought their offices in Ontario, they turned out to fall under the RECO regulation as well, as they became the real estate market participants:
The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) is the supervisory body. RECO, on behalf of the provincial government, ensures full compliance with all the rules and regulations. These laws are collected in the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (REBBA), 2002, S.O. 2002.
Rebbareform.ca is the complete guide to the REBBA. Here you can find basic information about the Law and its latest changes. Below is also a list of normative and legislative acts that regulate the activities of real estate specialists and all market participants.
What Is REBBA?
This legislation Act governs the activities of registered companies and individual brokers engaged in the selling of real estate in Ontario – a province of Canada. The provincial government passed the first Real Estate and Business Brokers Act in 1930. RECO fully regulates the REBBA on behalf of the Ontario Department of Consumer Services.
The 2002 edition of the REBBA is an updated version of the 1990 Act. The main changes made in the updated version of the regulation include:
- an established and clear framework for the registration process, as well as the regulation of the activities of brokers and sellers and brokerage operations;
- trading rules were moved to the Provisions section of the new edition from the previous version of the Law;
- programs and procedures were supplemented that relate to insurance, the code of ethics, as well as the complaints process;
- the maximum size of fines for violating any paragraphs of the Law was also increased.
The Area of REBBA Application
Through a series of regulations, the Government of Ontario is successfully taking steps to strengthen legislation system and improve the quality of service to consumers, including homeowners, real estate professionals and tenants.
The REBBA implies to:
The Importance of the Act
Given the changes in the real estate sector of Ontario, there is a need for tighter and thorough regulation of the market, as well as a revision of some points of the Act.
Since 2002, the maximum penalty for violating REBBA clauses has not changed and currently stands at $25,000 (for individual sellers) and $50,000 (for brokerage companies). The fines were set back when the average price of a second home in the province was $211,000. Now, this figure has more than doubled.
Consequently, the effectiveness of fines as a way to eliminate or significantly reduce cases of unethical behaviour in accordance with all the principles of REBBA has decreased. Therefore, low fines are seen as an incentive for the wrong behaviour of real estate market participants.
There are a number of other issues that consumers face today because of incomplete legislation, including RECO’s inability to revoke the license of unscrupulous brokers, the lack of transparency in RECO’s activities and failures in communication with consumers and resolution of all complaints.
That is why the government of Ontario is working today to modernize the Act, making incremental changes and amendments to shape the updated Law, strengthening the industry and establishing high standards in the real estate industry for years to come.
Latest Amendments of the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act of Ontario
The Government of Ontario continues to work for the benefit of the people by modernizing the legislation regulating real estate specialists’ activities. All additions and changes are designed to reflect today’s Ontario market better, reduce bureaucracy, increase transparency in the buying process, and protect consumer rights.
The last major update to the Law came into effect on March 31, 2006. In 2005, on November 7, additional and updated articles 50-53, which describe the process of creating regulations, came into force. In addition, section 8 on the certification of real estate market specialists were also updated.
Updates for the period from 2021 to 2022 include:
- Document version dated December 8, 2020 – October 18, 2021
- Document version dated October 19, 2021 – February 28, 2022
- Document version dated March 1, 2022 – April 3, 2022
- Document version dated April 4, 2022 – current.
Full details of all changes and amendments can be found here.
The following significant amendments to the Act, enacted by the government of Ontario, will come into effect on April 1, 2023.
Planned edits include the following issues:
Amendment To The Act 1
Changing the REBBA name to the Real Estate Trust Act of 2002 (TRESA, 2002).
Amendment To The Act 2
Replacement of the current Code of Ethics, which governs the behaviour of registrants, with a new code.
Amendment To The Act 3
Greater clarity on the obligations of brokerages and sellers to disclose key information to buyers.
Amendment To The Act 4
Adding clearer information regarding options for buyers to interact with registered brokerages.
Amendment To The Act 5
Measures aimed at removing all obstacles in open proposals. This will open up the possibility for brokers to use this process to sell properties while maintaining the privacy of the individuals making the offers.
The upgrades are expected to strengthen consumer protections as well as increase Canadians’ confidence in the province’s real estate sector.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the REBBA?
It is a legislative act that regulates the relations of all participants and processes of the Ontario real estate market. It stands for Real Estate and Business Brokers Act.
When was the first version of the REBBA passed?
The first edition of the Act regulating the real estate market was adopted by the relevant authorities and approved by the provincial government as early as 1930.
Which body in Ontario regulates the real estate market?
The main body that controls and enforces all points of the Act is the Real Estate Council of Ontario.
Is the Law updated, and when are the next changes planned?
Yes. Since the real estate market is constantly evolving, legislation and regulation must be modified in line with trends. Therefore, the oversight body makes regular changes to the REBBA. The following edits are expected to take effect as early as next year.
Who We Are
We are consultants in the real estate field and the legislation governing this market. The Rebbareform.ca site aims to provide comprehensive information regarding the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002, S.O. 2002. Here you will find all the important information about the Act, and ask our specialists any questions you may have.
If you have any questions regarding the Act, please contact us using the form below. We are here to make your understanding of the real estate market and brokerage business easier.