Complaints about COVID-19 clauses and releases
| April 03, 2020
RECA is receiving complaints where the viewing conditions stipulated by sellers in light of COVID-19 are not being followed. In one instance, three additional persons whose health background was unknown to the seller were given access to the property.
Sellers’ representatives should document the seller’s instructions in writing and communicate the instructions to the buyer’s representative, also in writing.
Buyer’s representatives must not allow anyone to have access to the property, without the approval of the seller. They also must ensure the buyers follow all conditions set out by the seller. Real estate professionals can use the Buyer’s Condition to View the Premises Checklist and Seller’s Condition to Access the Premises Checklist forms RECA created to document the conditions set out by buyers and sellers to continue viewing or showing properties.
RECA has also received complaints from clients of real estate professionals about COVID-19 clauses and releases, indicating these clauses and releases are being thrust upon them without being advised to seek legal advice before signing.
These clauses and releases can significantly impact clients. The practice of not advising the client to seek legal advice is not in line with acting in a client’s best interests. Clients need to consult with their lawyer. If a client chooses not to consult, real estate professionals must document the client’s decision not to consult in writing. Please continue to use the client checklists on reca.ca.
Expanded COVID-19 information on RECA’s website
RECA has expanded the information for industry professionals on trading and dealing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Including:
- updates to the Discussion with the Sellers section. Enhanced information on conversations with sellers regarding viewing conditions, COVID-19 clauses and releases, the inclusion of a form to document seller’s viewing conditions, and more
- updates to the Residential Property Managers: Discussions with Landlords section to include legislation preventing residential landlords from evicting tenants for nonpayment of rent and preventing the issuance of late fee
- updates to the Commercial Property Management Response Planning section, including information on creating a rent deferral agreement
- updates to the RECA Operations section concerning how RECA will deal with Certified Criminal Record Checks for new licensees given fingerprinting organizations are shut down due to COVID-19
- a new section on Government Aid and Assistance Programs That May Apply. This section provides a brief description and links to the various government aid and assistance programs that may apply to industry professionals
- a new section on COVID-19 Scams and Frauds, which lists the active scams RECA has come across that could happen in the real estate industry
The first thing professionals should do is discuss COVID-19 with their clients, and work cooperatively to find a solution that best fits everyone’s concerns.
RECA will continue to regularly update our COVID-19 and Real Estate page.
RECA encourages brokerages to include a link to RECA’s COVID-19 for Real Estate Consumers page on your brokerage’s website, and to encourage all professionals to refer your clients to the COVID-19 for Real Estate Consumers page.