News Bytes: February 2020
| February 05, 2020
Remembering Graham Downey
It is with great emotion we announce that Graham Downey, former Chair of Council, passed away in December.
Graham was a real estate professional for more than 55 years, and a real estate appraiser for more than 50 years. Graham served on Council from 1998-2004, served as Chair in 2002, and also sat on the Board of Governors for the Real Estate Insurance Exchange (REIX).
During his term as Chair, Graham oversaw the first steps for RECA to license and regulate real estate appraisers in Alberta. This was a major undertaking that Graham navigated with unyielding professionalism.
RECA and industry professionals who worked with him will remember Graham’s passion for real estate and his extremely professional demeanour and outlook. Graham was steadfast in advocating for what was best for the industry and for Alberta.
Our hearts and condolences go out to his loved ones.
We will be attending the following upcoming events in order to build consumer awareness and connect with industry professionals. Stop by to say hi!
Calgary Home and Garden Show
February 28–March 3
BMO Centre, Calgary
Edmonton Home and Garden Show
Expo Centre, Edmonton
Fraud Prevention Month Calgary Launch Event
Calgary Public Library – Central Branch, Calgary
Fraud Prevention Month Edmonton Launch Event
Rogers Place Ford Hall, Edmonton
RECA Launches Enhanced Exam Engine
RECA Education launched an enhanced examination program for pre-licensing education courses on January 27, 2020.
This enhancement moved the examination engine to Yardstick Assessment Strategies (YAS)—a full service professional testing organization dedicated to ensuring examinations are valid, reliable, and defensible.
YAS follows the International Organization of Standardization’s (ISO) 17024 standards and the National Commission for Certification Agencies’ standards that dictate how they provide exam development services.
Yardstick also follows the National College Testing Association’s standards for test centre security, requiring that high stake exam centres follow these standards to ensure exams are secure and consistent.
How this upgrade benefits you
- increased security
- improved efficiency
- higher exam defensibility
- consistent exam fee across Alberta
- constructive response examination that will ensure our new licensees show competence in their sector (coming soon)
- easy single sign on from myRECA
- bookmarking capabilities, a timer, and other enhanced features
- when you complete a pre-licensing course, you will be automatically authorized to write or re-write the corresponding exam. Simply go to myRECA and click Book Exam
RECA 2018-2019 Annual Report
Did you know that RECA was the 4th largest education provider in Alberta in 2018-2019 measured by number of unique learners? With 19,514 students, RECA is behind only Athabasca University, University of Alberta, and University of Calgary!
This interesting insight and others are presented in the RECA Annual Report, which—along with the updated Financial Statements—is now available on reca.ca. Additional highlights include updates on strategic goals, the Real Estate Assurance Fund, organizational achievements, education programs, and professional conduct review.
Amended Condominium Property Act and Regulations
On January 1, 2020, amendments to the Condominium Property Amendment Act and Condominium Property Regulation came into force. Many of the revisions in this phase centered around governance issues and will affect all condominium owners and boards in Alberta.
Some key changes in the regulations include:
- cost for documents rose to $10 for 40 pages or less, and $0.25 per page for documents that are more than 40 pages
- condominium corporations can borrow up to 15% of their annual revenue as the default limit but can also change the limit through their bylaws
- condo boards no longer need to provide the minutes of all board meeting in the hard-copy Annual General Meeting (AGM) package
- the timeline to provide owners a copy of the draft AGM minutes increased from 30 to 60 days after the AGM
- condo associations can now levy fines of up to $500 for a first offence and $1,000 for a subsequent offence if an owner violates bylaws
- condo owners’ rental damage deposits have been limited to $1,000 or one month’s rent, whichever is higher
- a wider range of professionals can now conduct reserve fund studies
- associations can now charge up to $200 for an estoppel certificate (which outlines condo fees, schedules and interest rates), up to $300 for a rush document, and up to a $100 fee for a disclosure statement document
To learn more about these changes visit Service Alberta.
Fraud Prevention Month 2020
March is Fraud Prevention Month! RECA will be teaming up with organizations across Alberta to promote awareness of fraud. Through this campaign we hope to build consumer knowledge so Albertans—including you, industry professionals—can protect themselves from scams.
Additionally, we will be providing industry professionals with information so you can spot fraud related to trades, deals, and appraisals, and report it to the proper authorities.
Themes for this year’s Fraud Prevention Month include:
- Week 1: Cyber Crime and Online Scams (protecting consumer files)
- Week 2: Identity Theft (fraud for title)
- Week 3: Business Fraud (money laundering & mortgage fraud in general)
- Week 4: Mass Marketing and Phone Scams (business reputation blackmail)
- Week 5 Immigration Fraud