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If you are a real estate professional in Ontario, society will hold you to a high standard of professional conduct. Your investment into qualifying for and practising your profession can be in jeopardy in the event of allegations of misconduct. If you do not handle such charges appropriately, damage to your reputation might have long-term consequences.
The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) regulates the real estate industry on behalf of the Ontario government. Real estate brokerages and agents must comply with provincial legislation and regulations.
What are your rights?
Accusations of professional misconduct will naturally be stressful, and although you must take any complaint seriously, keep in mind that it is, at the outset, only an allegation. RECO will not make assumptions or determinations without a thorough investigation to determine the merits of the accusations against you. The complaints process aims to be fair, and you have the following rights:
What must you do after receiving a notice of a complaint?
Upon receiving notification of an investigation into misconduct allegations, you may discuss the complaint with your legal counsel who can help you with the following:
What could be the outcome?
RECO will review your response along with your documents and other information investigators gathered before reaching a decision. You will receive written notice of the outcome, which might be any of the following:
Who can provide support and guidance?
As noted above, you have the right to legal counsel. By retaining the services of a lawyer who has experience in dealing with cases involving professional misconduct allegations in Ontario, you could receive much-needed support with the administrative requirements and any legal procedures that may ensue. A lawyer can create a strategic defence aimed at achieving the best possible outcome.