Building a better real estate regulator
The Government of Alberta is strengthening the governance of the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) after an independent report cited major concerns with the regulator.
If passed, the Real Estate Amendment Act, 2020, will restructure and refocus RECA with a mandate on licensing and regulating Alberta’s real estate sector. These amendments are a continuation of actions that began last fall to address severe problems with RECA’s governance.
“Eight months ago, I began the work of cleaning up a dysfunctional real estate regulator by firing the Real Estate Council of Alberta. Today, I’m pleased to be taking another important step by bringing forward reforms to increase transparency, ensure accountability, and improve the governance of RECA and to restore the trust of Albertans and the real estate industry in the regulator.” Nate Glubish, Minister of Service Alberta
“Last fall, the Minister appointed me to oversee the functions of RECA and help restore regulatory oversight and prepare for transition to a new council. This is an exciting time for the industry as we see the Minister incorporate the feedback he received from the many industry stakeholders and implement a positive new beginning for RECA.” Duane Monea, administrator, Real Estate Council of Alberta
The proposed changes will restructure RECA to consist of a board of directors, as well as four new industry councils: residential real estate agents and brokers; commercial real estate agents and brokers, and commercial property managers; mortgage brokers; and residential property managers and condominium managers.
These new industry councils will be responsible for identifying and addressing emerging issues related to their parts of the real estate sector, setting standards and rules, and determining licensing requirements. The RECA board will be responsible for oversight of RECA’s strategic direction and staff, and help to facilitate coordination between the industry councils.
“It has been key for us not just that we were included throughout the Minister’s consultation process, but also that commercial real estate agents/brokers and property managers will continue to have a seat at the table under the new structure. I’m confident that the new RECA will be on the right track going forward.” Percy Woods, president and CEO, Building Owners and Managers Association – Edmonton
“REALTORS® are pleased the Alberta government has heard our concerns and is taking action to improve regulation of the real estate industry. This legislation demands greater openness and transparency, which will help rebuild eroded trust in the real estate regulator.” Kristie Kruger, chair, Alberta Real Estate Association
“We’re pleased that the Minister has addressed our major concerns and specifically that mortgage brokers will finally be regulated by mortgage brokers when the new council is in place. We look forward to working closely with RECA as they transition to the new structure.” Mary Swaffield, executive director, Alberta Mortgage Brokers Association
“The changes the Alberta government has made to the Real Estate Council of Alberta for more transparency include the regulation and licensing of condominium managers, while ongoing education will be addressed through the condominium industry. This separation will benefit Alberta’s condominium community by ensuring that condominium managers in Alberta receive supportive and specific educational opportunities that will further professionalize management services.” Anand Sharma, president, Canadian Condominium Institute – North Alberta
“We have appreciated the opportunity to be involved in the conversation about improving RECA. While we as real estate appraisers will no longer be included under RECA’s oversight, we will continue to maintain strong consumer and marketplace protections via our existing system of self-regulation, professional standards and consumer protection.” Terry Brooke, president, Appraisal Institute of Canada – Alberta
Other proposed amendments
Services beyond the scope of RECA’s newly focused mandate will be removed from RECA’s purview, including education, professional advice beyond regulatory information, promotion of the real estate industry, and setting of standards beyond the minimum for licensing and transactions.
Real estate appraisers will be removed from RECA oversight as they are self-regulated through their own industry associations.
New business and financial reporting requirements to improve RECA’s transparency and accountability to industry, government and the public.
Mandatory governance training and dispute resolution procedures for all board of directors and industry council members to improve the identification and resolution of issues.
Improved intervention measures that will give the minister the tools needed to ensure RECA meets its commitments and delivers its duties.
Condominium managers will be added to the groups overseen by RECA when the new industry council model comes into force.
Provincial Press Release June 3, 2020 @ 3:00 PM