October 11th - 2013

RECO: Unsupervised access to seller’s home

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.

Lyn was selling her house. She was represented by Sola Brokerage, with Jenny as the listing salesperson. Lyn accepted a March 2010 offer to purchase her home from a couple represented by Mark, a sales representative from Iza Realty. The couple’s offer was conditional upon a home inspection.

While Lyn was home, the inspector arrived at 1:00 p.m., one-and-a half hours early for the 2:30 appointment scheduled by Mark. Lyn allowed him to begin his inspection of the outside, giving him access to the garage and house exterior. At 3:30, the inspector rang the doorbell and asked if he could start the indoor inspection. Lyn asked the inspector whether Mark or the buyers arrived and the inspector said they had not. Lyn asked the inspector how he would have entered her home had she not been there. The inspector said Mark had given him the lockbox code.

Lyn complained to RECO that Mark, whom she did not know, had given the inspector, also a stranger, unsupervised access to her home. The buyers eventually arrived at Lyn’s home but Mark never attended the inspection. Mark informed RECO that he had told Jenny that he would not be attending the home inspection. Jenny said this was never communicated to her.

The RECO panel determined that Mark acted unprofessionally when he gave unsupervised access to Lyn’s home to the home inspector and buyers by giving out the lockbox access code without permission from Lyn or Jenny. The panel ruled that Mark potentially put Lyn’s home at risk as well as the buyers and the home inspector, by giving non-registrants access to the home without a registrant’s supervision or attendance.

The panel also ruled that Mark breached the following sections of the REBBA 2002 Code of Ethics: (3) Fairness and honesty, etc.; (5) Conscientious and competent service, etc. and (39) Unprofessional conduct, etc.

Mark was fined $5,000 and ordered to complete OREA’s Real Property Law course. The full case is among those dated 2012/04/30 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 the year 2012 and search by date only.

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