The Alberta government announced Wednesday The Real Estate Amendment Act 2019 which it says will bring an end to “ongoing dysfunction” with the Real Estate Council of Alberta by reforming governance of Alberta’s real estate regulator.
The Ministry said the amendments address serious address serious concerns raised by real estate professionals, buyers, sellers and regulatory officials and, if passed, would refocus RECA for the immediate term and ensure efficiency and confidence in the future.
Once the amendments come into force, the act would dismiss the current council members, enable the Minister of Service Alberta to appoint an official administrator to manage RECA’s affairs and continue its functions, such as hearing and appeals processes, and enable the transition to a new council.
“Our government is taking action to stabilize the Real Estate Council of Alberta. For too long, serious concerns and complaints from industry and from council officials themselves have been ignored. That stops now. The council needs to stop focusing on trivial things like advertising guidelines and start focusing on protecting Albertans and addressing the actual issues facing the industry,” said Minister of Service Alberta Nate Glubish in a statement.
The Ministry said proposed amendments to the Real Estate Act are recommended by a recent third-party review by KPMG, which identified significant concerns with the governance of RECA as well as its performance and regulatory effect.
It said an official administrator will be appointed to provide leadership and oversight for RECA over an interim period, until new council membership is established following further amendments to the Real Estate Act during spring 2020.
The Ministry added that RECA continues to provide day-to-day services related to real estate licensing, education and evaluation of professional conduct. No disruption in service to industry professionals or consumers is expected.
“We welcome the amendments and look forward to working with the Minister and the Administrator to ensure compliance,” said Rob Telford, RECA’s Chair of Council, in a statement. “As the independent governing authority for Alberta’s real estate industry, consumer protection is at the core of our mandate, and RECA will continue to operate under that mandate moving forward. Core operations at RECA are not affected by these amendments.
“RECA remains fully committed to transparency and openness and we thank the Government of Alberta for working with us to ensure the ongoing integrity of the industry and protection of consumers.”