No action against BC real estate broker following investigation

A two-year investigation into allegations of misconduct by the owner of a Vancouver-area real estate brokerage has ended without disciplinary action.

The Real Estate Council of BC says that there was “insufficient evidence” to warrant disciplinary action against New Coast Realty following an investigation into allegations that the training provided by the owner and practices at the brokerage put consumers at risk.

However, since 2016, the RECBC has issued 10 fines and 5 suspensions against individuals licensed, or formerly licensed, at the brokerage.

The brokerage was also reprimanded and ordered to pay a discipline penalty of $7,500.00 to RECBC in connection to an earlier, pre-2016 audit.

The investigation was overseen by Len Doust, Q.C., a pre-eminent lawyer in BC with over 50 years of practice in criminal and administrative law. He advised RECBC whether there was evidence to support charges of professional misconduct against the brokerage.

"Many of these allegations were based on a tape recording made at a training session that was provided to a newspaper reporter by an unidentified person,” the RECBC statement reads.

During the course of its investigation, the council reviewed and analyzed translations and interpretations of the tape recording, including the explanations provided by the brokerage for the comments in the tape and sought to find out who had recorded the training session.

Several conditions were placed on New Coast Realty and these were reviewed by the council.

Although the RECBC expects further action to be taken against individual licensees it cannot give further details of this, or of prior investigations that did not end in disciplinary action due to the privacy provisions of the Real Estate Act.

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