What does “immediate” mean to you? Image

What does “immediate” mean to you?


We have been told some industry professionals get a bit of satisfaction from reading the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) case summaries a couple of times a month. It’s through the case summaries that industry professionals can read about other industry professionals who have been sanctioned or otherwise penalized.

Over the past few years, many of you have commented to us on the number of individuals breaching section 40 of the Real Estate Act Rules.

Among other things, section 40 requires that industry members provide written notice to the Executive Director if they are charged with a Criminal Code offence, have a judgment rendered against them, been the subject of any bankruptcy proceedings, or been disciplined by any real estate board or other regulatory body, etc.

In recent weeks, I’ve spoken with a few industry professionals about the meaning of the word “immediate.” When exactly does an industry professional have to notify the Executive Director of something that occurred pursuant to section 40 of the Real Estate Act Rules?

The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines immediate as “occurring or done at once or without delay.” RECA defines “immediate” in much the same way.

Think about your work as a real estate industry professional, if a client asked you to immediately arrange for a home inspection, you would do so without delay and the client would hold you to that. Should you not meet your client’s standard of immediate, there would be negative consequences in the relationship with your client. Notification to the Executive Director must be done in the same fashion – immediately.

Keep in mind that notification to the Executive Director can be provided via snail mail, email or facsimile, so it should take very little of an industry professional’s time to provide the required notification.

But again, the questions sometimes persist in attempt to get RECA to define “immediate” as being a specific period of time or number of days. The fact is, when such notification is received by RECA, RECA considers all aspects of the notification in a determination of whether it was “immediate.” Any aggravating or mitigating circumstances will be taken into consideration and each incident is evaluated on its own merits.

And for those industry professionals who receive a penalty as the result of a delayed notification pursuant to section 40, they are able to appeal their Letter of Reprimand or Administrative Penalty, as the case may be. In those cases, the appeal will be processed and heard in accordance with the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness, and the industry professional will be provided with an opportunity to present evidence regarding their notification.

What does immediate mean in your brokerage?