Bill 145, also known as the proposed Trust in Real Estate Services Act recently went through and passed the third and final reading in our provincial parliament. The Bill still needs to receive Royal Assent and be proclaimed into law, but this is huge news for the industry that we’ve come this far.
For the past several months, I’ve had the privilege of serving on the Government Relations committee for the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board. As a part of my role on the committee, we had the distinct pleasure of viewing the announcement in person.
Now, I want to share a story with you.
It was an average day in Toronto. The sun was not shining, the air was cold, as it usually is in November. And I don’t know if you’ve ever driven straight down University Avenue in downtown Toronto. I mean, if you’re from the city, it’s pretty hard to avoid, but for those of you in the GTA in general - picture this… you’ve got towering buildings on either side of you. Some are new, they’re made of glass with beautiful modern lobbies, super high ceilings. And then there are others that are more traditional - old, if I may. But charming nonetheless. Anyway, so University Avenue is a road that is about 6 lanes wide in some parts, plus a really long island that runs right in the middle of the road - so the road is in total about the size of Hwy 427. And, like the 427 at rush hour, it’s filled bumper to bumper with traffic. If you’re standing at the Queen & University intersection, looking north like I was, at the end of the metaphorical hall. you can see this huge, authoritative-looking building, smack dab in the middle of University Avenue, with a traffic circle going around it on either side.
The distance to Queen’s Park (and I’ve measured this) was only about 1 km, so you’d assume that it wouldn’t take 20 minutes to get there. And you’d be wrong.
So on this average, cold day in November, my colleagues and I hopped into an Uber from Queen St, to take us down the 20-minute 1-kilometre University Avenue stretch to Queens Park.
Now, why am I telling you all this, you ask? Well, because that day at Queen’s Park would be the day that MPP Lisa Thompson, the Minister of Government and Consumer Services, would be announcing the proposed Trust in Real Estate Services Act, in the Ontario parliament, for the first time ever.
Being a Realtor myself, it was an amazing experience to see that being announced, first hand. I sat in the gallery of the actual Legislative Chamber and heard and saw Minister Thompson make the announcement just a few feet away from me.
Bill 145 amends the existing Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002, bringing forward a series of changes that, if passed, will raise professional standards, strengthen consumer protection and create a stronger business environment for Ontario REALTORS®.
So, fast forward about 4 months, and the bill has passed all it’s readings in the Ontario parliament, and is on its way to becoming a law.
But if and when it does, then here are some of the changes to REBBA that would come about:
Rename the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002, to the Trust in Real Estate Services Act, 2019
Permit real estate professionals to form personal real estate corporations
Continue to allow to multiple representation
Encourage RECO (real estate council of ontario) to increase professional standards and enhance compliance across the real estate sector
Enable registrants to hold a specialist certification, provided certain criteria have been met
Enable regulatory changes to streamline and modernize the REBBA Code of Ethics to improve professionalism among real estate professionals and brokerages.
I want to make clear that this bill is technically not yet a law. There has to be a due process in Ontario for it to become law. The legislation still needs to receive Royal Assent and be proclaimed into law.
If you are a Realtor or a related industry professional like a mortgage agent or someone, and you want to share insight on how you think the Trust in Real Estate Services Act will impact you, your business, your clients, or the industry, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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