TRESA: Unprofessional Conduct

The new provision under TRESA states as follows:

“Unprofessional conduct, etc.

2. A registrant shall not engage in any act or omission that, having regard to all of the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded as,

(a)  being disgraceful, dishonourable, unprofessional or unbecoming a registrant; or

(b)  likely to bring the sector into disrepute or to undermine public confidence in the regulation of registrants under the Act.”

The new part is s. 2 (b).

Part 1: Test applies to the Individual

We are looking at either an actual act, which would include a statement, or an omission which, as it applies to the individual would be regarded as

  • disgraceful
  • dishonourable,
  • unprofessional or
  • unbecoming

a registrant.

Naturally, this would apply to what might be expected of a reasonable registrant under the circumstances. Any one single classification would be sufficient to meet the minimum threshold.

Part 2: Test applies to the Sector

The new provision is twofold:

  1. likely to bring the sector into disrepute or
  2. likely to undermine public confidence in the regulation of registrants.

The word “sector” is not defined in TRESA. Presumably, it refers to “all registrants”. That would mean all 110,000 registrants under the Act.

The second part of the new restriction appears to be focused on RECO’s role and its ability to control, manage, supervise, discipline, oversee, censure, restrict, limit, punish, suspend, or expel its registrants.

So, the new provision appears to apply to:

  1. the industry itself, (the “sector), and
  2. RECO’s role.

As a result, the concept of unprofessional conduct applies to an individual registrant in relation to themselves, the industry and RECO.

It should also be pointed out that the earlier provision had been restricted to “in the course of trading in real estate”. That restriction has been eliminated. So, now it applies to any activity.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

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