June 5th - 2013

RECO decision: Illegible document leads to complaint

The following decision from RECO Discipline and Appeals Hearings has been condensed and all names have been changed.

The following decision from RECO Discipline and Appeals Hearings has been condensed and all names have been changed.

THE FACTS
Nancy was working as a broker at Peva Realty. In March 2007, she entered into an oral agreement with the complainant, a buyer named Laura. The agreement involved two condominium units that were being built. Nancy then wrote a partly illegible and unclear promissory note agreeing to pay a referral fee at the closing date, for each unit purchased by Laura. The illegible and misspelled note read as follows:

“I [Nancy] from [Peva Realty] agree to pay [illegible] commion as referal fee at closing date as accupancy. For [Builder A, The City A condo on A Street and B Street unit #1 and 2] which I pay her (Laura) [illegible] referral fee for each unit.” [sic]

At the same time, the builder agreed to sell Laura a penthouse property and another unit. The agreement of purchase and sale for both units included a completion date of July 2009. Peva Realty received commission (including GST) of $8,956 on the first condo and $5,675 on the second condo. Nancy was to receive $8,057 and $5,105 respectively in commission on these properties, including GST. According to the November 2010 complaint to RECO, out of these commissions Nancy was to pay Laura approximately 0.5 per cent of the total purchase prices, totaling $2,394. In her complaint, Laura indicated that Nancy still owed her these monies.

THE FINDINGS
The RECO panel determined that Nancy acted unprofessionally by failing to treat the complainant fairly when she did not clearly document the agreement between herself and Laura. The panel also ruled that Nancy acted unprofessionally by not abiding by the terms of the agreement within a reasonable timeframe and to Laura’s satisfaction. It stated that Nancy breached the following sections of the REBBA 2002 Code of Ethics: (3) Fairness and honesty, etc.; (4) Best interests, and (39) Unprofessional conduct, etc.

PENALTY
Nancy was fined $6,000 and ordered to complete the Real Estate Institute of Canada’s Ethics and Business Practice course. The full case is among those dated 2011/10/07 and can be viewed at www.reco.on.ca. Look under “Complaints and Enforcement” and scroll down to “Discipline and Appeals / Hearings and Decisions.” Choose 2011 and search by date only.

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