September 10th - 2010

RECO Decision: Stolen identity, misrepresentation punished

The following RECO Discipline decision has been condensed and can be viewed in its entirety on the RECO website at

The following RECO  Discipline decision has been condensed and can be viewed in its entirety on the RECO website at

The Case
This case involves violations of the REBBA Code of Ethics including Sections 2(1), 3, 4, 5, and 38.

Registrant A was registered with Brokerage A but was about to transfer her registration to Brokerage B when she was contacted by Consumer A1 and A2 who were looking for a residential property to lease. Registrant A arranged for them to view a property for lease and they decided to make an offer.

Consumer A1 and A2 met with Registrant A and signed a lease application and an offer to lease. Also, at Registrant A’s direction, they acknowledged a Confirmation of Cooperation and Representation form. The offer and Confirmation of Cooperation and Representation indicated that Brokerage B was the cooperating brokerage representing Consumer A1 and Consumer A2. However, Registrant A had not yet transferred her registration to Brokerage B. The salesperson on behalf of the cooperating brokerage was shown on the documents to be Registrant B, from Brokerage B. However, Consumer A1 and Consumer A2 had no dealings with Registrant B when they viewed the property or made the offer to lease. Registrant A never provided Consumer A1 and A2 with a written representation agreement for their signatures in respect of her services.

As part of the lease application and for the purpose of making the offer, Consumer A1and A2 provided Registrant A with documents and information about their identity and financial situation, including credit history and employment income.

The offer to lease was not accepted and Consumer A1 and A2 had no further dealings with Registrant A.

A short time later, Registrant A applied for a loan of $200. To support the loan application, she provided the lender a statement of employment earnings and deductions purporting to contain information about herself. In fact, the statement contained information about Consumer A1. Registrant A falsified Consumer A1’s statement of earnings and deductions by inserting her own name, address and bank account number on the document. Although she received the $200 loan from the lender, the company later contacted Consumer A1 and confirmed that the statement provided by Registrant A was false.

The Findings
The RECO panel determined that Registrant A acted unprofessionally by:

  • Improperly and without authorization using information about a client or customer provided in the course of trading in real estate to obtain a personal loan under false pretences, including by falsifying a document containing the personal financial information of a client or customer.
  • Trading in real estate on behalf of a brokerage to which she was not registered at the time and caused or acquiesced in false information being inserted on representation and transaction documents to hide that fact.
  • On behalf of the brokerage on whose behalf she was trading, did not make and submit for signature a written buyer agency agreement at the earliest practical opportunity.

Registrant A therefore breached the following sections of the REBBA Code of Ethics:

Section 3 – Fairness, Honesty etc. – A registrant shall treat every person the registrant deals with in the course of a trade in real estate fairly, honestly and with integrity.

Section 4 – Best Interests – A registrant shall promote and protect the best interests of the registrant’s clients.

Section 5 – Conscientious and Competent Service – A registrant shall provide conscientious service to the registrant’s clients and customers and shall demonstrate reasonable knowledge, skill, judgment and competence in providing those services.

Section 38 – Error, Misrepresentation , Fraud – A registrant shall use the registrant’s best efforts to prevent error, misrepresentation, fraud or any unethical practice in respect of a trade in real estate.

Section 2(1) Brokers and Salespersons – A broker or salesperson shall not do or omit to do anything that causes the brokerage that employs the broker or salesperson to contravene this regulation, i.e.

Section 14. Buyer Representation Agreements - If a brokerage enters into a buyer representation agreement with a buyer and the agreement is not in writing, the brokerage shall, at the earliest practicable opportunity, reduce the agreement to writing, have it signed on behalf of the brokerage and submit it to the customer for signature.

Penalties and Costs
Registrant A was ordered to pay a penalty of eight thousand dollars ($8,000.00) and to successfully complete the OREA Land Structures and Real Estate Trading classroom course.

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Ontario Real Estate Association

Jean-Adrien Delicano

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416-445-9910 ext. 246