Toronto Real Estate Lawyer (Part 14): Organized Real Estate In Ontario Canada

Organized real estate in Ontario is made up of: brokerages, brokers, salespersons, the designated government authority, and federal, provincial and local real estate associations and boards. Each will be examined in turn.

Real estate brokerages are businesses (e.g. sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, etc.) that are licensed to trade in real estate under the Real Estate Business and Brokers Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, c. 30, Sch. C.

Each real estate brokerage must have a “broker of record”, who is registered as a broker under the Act and employed by the brokerage to trade in real estate. Real estate salespersons are individuals who are registered as salespersons under the Act and who are employed by a brokerage to trade in real estate. Real estate brokers and salespersons are also referred to as Realtors, a trademark owned by the Canadian Real Estate Association (discussed below).

The Real Estate Council of Ontario (“RECO”) is the designated government authority charged with administering the Act. RECO’s mandate is twofold: (1) administer the regulatory requirements of the real estate industry (as determined by the Government of Ontario) and (2) protect consumers and members through a fair, safe and informed marketplace.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (“CREA”) is a federal association representing more than 96,000 real estate brokers and salespeople working through more than 100 real estate boards nation-wide. CREA’s responsibilities include national and international representation of the Canadian real estate industry, and the maintenance, protection and standards for certification marks and trademarks (e.g. REALTOR and MLS, discussed below). CREA has its own Code of Ethics, Privacy Code, and Standards of Business Practice, which it requires Realtors to follow and which are implemented at the local real estate board level.

The Ontario Real Estate Association (“OREA”) is a provincial association representing Ontario’s 45,000 brokers and salesperson who are members of the province’s 42 real estate boards. OREA provides all real estate licensing and training courses in Ontario. OREA serves its members through educational programs, publications (e.g. standard forms), and special services (e.g. resolving disputes between local real estate boards). Finally, OREA acts as a liaison between its members and the Ontario government.

Finally, local real estate boards (e.g. the Toronto Real Estate Board) are responsible for the maintaining the local Multiple Listing Service (“MLS”) – a comprehensive online gateway of real estate listings and services accessible only to Realtors. Local real estate boards:

* determine membership prerequisites;
* process memberships;
* develop and implement regulations that support CREA’s national policies;
* enforce CREA’s Code of Ethics and the Standards of Business Practice;
* provide an arbitration service to resolve disputes between members;
* ensures local industry representation; and
* works in liaison with OREA and CREA.

Realtors must be a concurrent member of a local real estate board, OREA, and CREA.

Please note that the information provided herein is not legal advice and is provided for informational and educational purposes only. If you need legal advice with respect to organized real estate in Ontario, you should seek professional assistance (e.g. make a post on Dynamic Lawyers - We have Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, Mississauga, Brampton, and other Ontario business lawyers registered on the website who can answer your questions or help you with your partnership and limited partnership agreements. I should know – I’m one of them and you can contact me directly.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael Carabash, B.A., LL.B., M.B.A.
Dynamic Lawyers Ltd. was founded by Michael Carabash, a Toronto business lawyer with Carabash Law. Virtually everyone has a wide range of legal issues they need help with - such as writing a will, fighting a traffic ticket, buying or selling real estate, writing a contract for services, reviewing a lease agreement, having documents notarized or commissioned, dealing with a motor vehicle accident, etc. Michael wanted ordinary people in need of common legal services to be able to conveniently and cost-effectively get answers and quotes from local lawyers. At the same time, he also wanted lawyers to be able to market their services directly and effectively to the public.

Name: Michael Carabash