Ending real estate regulator dysfunction

Minister of Service Alberta Nate Glubish announces proposed changes to the Real Estate Act.

The amendments address serious concerns raised by real estate professionals, buyers, sellers and regulatory officials and, if passed, would refocus the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) for the immediate term and ensure efficiency and confidence in the future.

“Our government is taking action to stabilize the Real Estate Council of Alberta. For too long, serious concerns and complaints from industry and from council officials themselves have been ignored. That stops now. The council needs to stop focusing on trivial things like advertising guidelines and start focusing on protecting Albertans and addressing the actual issues facing the industry.”

Nate Glubish, Minister of Service Alberta

The proposed amendments to the Real Estate Act are recommended by a recent third-party review by KPMG, which identified significant concerns with the governance of RECA as well as its performance and regulatory effect.

“There are too many issues with the current composition and operations of Council to enable an effective governance body. Dismissing only a subset of Council could contribute to a further deterioration in trust amongst Council, Administration and industry.”

Governance Review of the Real Estate Council of Alberta (2019), pg.1

Once the amendments come into force, the act would:

  • Dismiss the current council members.
  • Enable the Minister of Service Alberta to appoint an official administrator to manage RECA’s affairs and continue its functions, such as hearing and appeals processes.
  • Enable the transition to a new council.

An official administrator will be appointed to provide leadership and oversight for RECA over an interim period, until new council membership is established following further amendments to the Real Estate Act during spring 2020.

RECA continues to provide day-to-day services related to real estate licensing, education and evaluation of professional conduct. No disruption in service to industry professionals or consumers is expected.

Quick facts

  • RECA was established under the Real Estate Act as the regulator for Alberta’s real estate industry. The 12-member council has a mandate to protect consumers, establish and enforce professional standards and provide services to the real estate industry.
  • In 2018, more than 15,000 real estate professionals, including real estate agents and brokers, mortgage brokers, real estate appraisers and property managers, were licensed in Alberta.
  • Alberta’s resale housing market saw about $21 billion worth of sales in 2018.
  • The real estate industry, which includes new home sales, rentals and appraisals, accounted for about 9.2 per cent of Alberta’s real GDP in 2018.

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