When legislation is passed governing an industry, key players in that industry are often involved. This is certainly the case in Ontario real estate law. It is a good idea for residents to understand the provincial and national bodies involved in public real estate policy.
One of the main organizations influencing real estate law is the Real Estate Council of Ontario, or RECO. This is a consumer protection organization designed to regulate real estate professionals and enforce laws. This includes providing buying and selling information, inspecting brokerage offices, and administering an insurance program. RECO is responsible for handing out fines up to $25,000 or kicking people out of business if they do not comply with provincial rules.
While RECO is the main organization most consumers come into contact with, others also play a role in real estate policy and industry decisions. Real estate agents can join local real estate boards, such as the Toronto Real Estate Board, to lobby legislators and address local issues. The Ontario Real Estate Association and the Canadian Real Estate Association also represent these issues to lawmakers on a national and provincial scale.
The main difference between RECO and the various real estate boards is that RECO works on behalf of consumers, whereas real estate boards represent the interests of real estate salespeople. All of these organizations have insights that help Ontario develop meaningful changes to real estate law. Those who have questions about entering the real estate market or who are experiencing a dispute in a transaction should contact a lawyer.
Source: Toronto Star, "A who's who guide to the real estate industry in Ontario: Ask Joe", Joe Richer, Dec. 9, 2017