What RECA Does For Consumers
Commitment to Consumer Protection
The Real Estate Council of Alberta protects consumers through:
- Establishing education standards for entry into the industry
- All licensed professionals must complete pre-licensing education programs before applying for a licence. They are also required to complete periodic mandatory re-licensing education in order to renew their licence.
- Ensuring the suitability and character of individuals who wish to enter the industry
- All licence applicants must provide a Certified Criminal Record Check to RECA, and undergo a suitability screening process. Applicants have to answer questions about past disciplinary proceedings, criminal proceedings, bankruptcies, and more when they want to become licensed and when they renew their licence annually. RECA uses a Good Character Policy as the basis for approving or denying an application for a licence.
- Requiring mandatory participation in an errors and omissions insurance program
- All real estate and mortgage industry professionals must carry errors and omissions insurance as a condition of licensing. This insurance protects consumers against unintentional loss because of mistakes or unintended negligence made by an industry professional. Real estate appraisers must also carry similar professional liability insurance.
- Setting standards of business conduct that promote the integrity of the industry
- RECA’s sets high standards of ethical and professional conduct for licensed industry professionals. Professionals must follow the standards set out in the Real Estate Act and the Real Estate Act Rules.
- Effectively investigating complaints
- When professionals breach the industry standards, consumers can make a complaint to RECA, and RECA will begin an investigation into the conduct of that industry professional.
- The Executive Director and/or Hearing and Appeal Panels have the power to discipline, fine, and suspend industry professionals.
- Administering the Consumer Protection Fund
- The Consumer Protection Fund compensates consumers who have been the victim of fraud, breach of trust, or a failure to disburse or account for money held in trust by an industry member in connection with a trade in real estate or deal in mortgages.
- Providing information to consumers about real estate, mortgage, and appraisal services, and the business of industry members
- RECA has a comprehensive website containing everything a consumer should know about licensed industry professionals, and what to expect when working with a licensed industry member. RECA Information Officers are also available via phone and email to answer consumer questions.