First Phase of Ontario’s ‘Modernized’ Real Estate Rules Officially in Effect
The first phase of Ontario’s regulatory changes related to the Trust in Real Estate Services Act, 2020 (TRESA) officially came into effect today.
The new changes will modernize rules for registered real estate brokerages, brokers, and salespersons across the province while also addressing consumer concerns.
“Today is a historic day for Ontario’s 80,000 Realtors,” said OREA President Sean Morrison. “We are thrilled that our members can now benefit from the same modern business tools as other professions and Realtors in other provinces.”
“With this new regulation, Realtors will be able to improve their customer services and hire more people. Furthermore, [Personal Real Estate Corporations] PRECs are going to offer Realtors substantial tax savings and help them plan their tax payments with the ups and downs of the real estate market.”
The first phase includes regulations that more closely align real estate brokerages and professionals with modern business practices including:
- Allow real estate professionals to incorporate and be paid through Personal Real Estate Corporations (PRECs).
- Let salespersons and brokers use additional advertising terms such as “real estate agent” and REALTOR® in their advertisements, better reflecting the services they provide to consumers across the province.
The first phase of the TRESA regulations came into effect today allowing:
– Real estate professionals to incorporate
– Registrants to use terms such as “real estate agent” and REALTOR® in their advertisements
— ConsumerProtectionON (@ONconsumer) October 1, 2020
According to the province, the second phase is expected to roll out later this fall and it will include public consultations with consumers and real estate professionals that focus on further measures to support trustworthiness and the highest ethical standards in the real estate sector, including:
- Updating and modernizing the Code of Ethics for real estate professionals;
- Implementing disclosure requirements to better protect consumers; and
- Improving regulatory efficiency and enhancing professionalism in the industry by updating the authority and powers of the Real Estate Council of Ontario.
“The real estate sector is an important part of life here in Ontario, for individuals, families, and the overall economy,” said Minister of Government and Consumer Services Minister, Lisa Thompson.
“These changes will go a long way toward fostering a healthy, open, and competitive real estate marketplace for consumers and businesses. I encourage real estate professionals to take advantage of the opportunity to file incorporation documents before the end of the year, as the government works to bring the second phase of the TRESA amendments into force.”
The Trust in Real Estate Services Act, 2020, was passed by the legislature on February 28 and received Royal Assent on March 4, 2020. The provincial government says the ministry received over 100 submissions during the first phase of regulation development.
With the first phase announced, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) says it is applauding the provincial government’s efforts.
“Since 2005, TRREB has been strongly advocating on behalf of our Members to allow salespeople and brokers the ability to incorporate in Ontario, similar to other industries and professionals in Ontario and other provinces. We are excited that REALTORS® in Ontario are finally being treated fairly in this regard. We applaud the government for helping REALTORS® function as efficiently as possible,” said Lisa Patel, TRREB President.
TRREB was instrumental in working with the rest of the real estate industry and the provincial government to pass TRESA earlier this year, pushing for PRECs as one of the main centrepieces of this Act. After the passage of TRESA, TRREB worked closely with the provincial government to provide feedback on regulations to implement PRECs.
“Ensuring that REALTORS® are treated fairly and governed with a modern set of rules is a priority for TRREB. With that in mind, we look forward to continuing to work cooperatively and closely with the provincial government as they work to draft regulations needed to implement the remaining aspects of TRESA,” said John DiMichele, TRREB CEO.