It has been proposed and discussed that a fee of some nature be charged by a Listing agent or a Buyer’s agent to the Self-Represented Party (SRP) for services like the identification of such party under FINTRAC.
In my view, this is not permissible.
It would actually be extremely difficult to justify any fee whatsoever to the SRP. They don’t have to report. You do! You are doing this for yourself not them.
Saying anything along the lines that you would propose to charge them money would be a breach of both the Act and the Code of Ethics. This could result in discipline. Further, it also runs a major risk under the Criminal Code. I do appreciate that it’s an inconvenience. If you wish to send a bill to anyone, then it should be the Federal government.
The provisions under the Act would be s. 34, and s. 35.
34 No registrant shall falsify, assist in falsifying or induce or counsel another person to falsify or assist in falsifying any information or document relating to a trade in real estate.
Furnishing false information
35 No registrant shall furnish, assist in furnishing or induce or counsel another person to furnish or assist in furnishing any false or deceptive information or documents relating to a trade in real estate.
The applicable provisions under the Code of Ethics would be s.35, 37, 38, 39, and 40:
35. A registrant shall be financially responsible in the conduct of business.
37. (1) A registrant shall not knowingly make an inaccurate representation in respect of a trade in real estate.
(2) A registrant shall not knowingly make an inaccurate representation about services provided by the registrant.
Error, misrepresentation, fraud, etc.
38. A registrant shall use the registrant’s best efforts to prevent error, misrepresentation, fraud or any unethical practice in respect of a trade in real estate.
Unprofessional conduct, etc.
39. A registrant shall not, in the course of trading in real estate, engage in any act or omission that, having regard to all of the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded as disgraceful, dishonourable, unprofessional or unbecoming a registrant.
Abuse and harassment
40. A registrant shall not abuse or harass any person in the course of trading in real estate.
It is the real estate registrant in the transactions who bears the responsibility. The SRP doesn’t have to be identified. They have no obligation. Consequently, any registrant would have to misrepresent the purpose of the FINTRAC identification in order to have the SRP agree to pay any fee.
Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker