“These allegations are incredibly serious, and they deserve police attention given the size and scope of the New Coast agency,” said B.C. New Democrat leader John Horgan. “For many British Columbians, buying a home is the biggest investment they’ll make in their life, and they should be able to trust their realtors, not worry that their realtors are lying to them and taking bonuses they’re not entitled to. Yet, these are the allegations against New Coast Realty. It’s time for the police to get involved.”
The regulator of real estate agencies in British Columbia, the Real Estate Council of British Columbia, has said that New Coast Realty is too big for them to suspend the firm’s license despite the serious allegations of deception and fraud, saying that suspending the license would not be in the public interest.
“Metro Vancouver homeowners are already having to contend with an out of control real estate market and a B.C. Liberal government that’s asleep at the wheel, and now we’re seeing the very regulator that’s supposed to be protecting British Columbians refusing to step in,” said Horgan.
The Real Estate Council itself is currently under investigation by a committee chaired by B.C.’s Superintendent of Real Estate for issues including insufficient penalties for rogue realtors, complicated complaints mechanisms that the public doesn’t understand, and permitting management structures that limit accountability.
“Everything from double ending a deal (where a realtor acts for both the buyer and the seller), personal real estate corporations, managing partners who aren’t realtors, and grossly insufficient penalties appears to be on the table for this advisory group, and that’s good news,” said David Eby, B.C. New Democrat spokesperson for housing. “But British Columbians shouldn’t have to wait for a report before there’s an investigation and action. These allegations need to be investigated now.”