Standards of Conduct for all Industry Professionals

RECA developed the Industry Professional Standards of Conduct to help consumers understand the conduct they can expect from industry professionals.

The Standards of Conduct are plain-language summaries of Part 2 of the Real Estate Act Rules, Industry Standards of Practice. Should any discrepancy occur between these summaries and the Real Estate Act Rules, the Rules take precedence.


Sections 41-46 – All Industry Professionals


What industry professionals must do

Industry members must be honest, competent, up front with consumers, and must fulfill their obligations to clients.

  • honesty means telling the truth, and it means not leaving out information.
  • competent service means industry members have the necessary education and experience to provide the services a consumer needs
  • being upfront means telling the client how they are paid, making sure the client understands on whose behalf the industry member is working, and disclosing any conflicts of interest that come up
  • fulfilling obligations means industry members must act in their client’s best interest, keep information confidential, tell their client anything that may affect the client’s decision, obey the client’s lawful instructions, act with reasonable care and skill, and account for any of the client’s money or property in their possession

Industry members must not work with a client if the client asks them to withhold information that they are legally required to disclose.

Industry members have to comply with all applicable legislation and RECA rules, cooperate with RECA investigators, and obey any restrictions on their licence.

Additional Resources
Section 41 of the Real Estate Act Rules
Information Bulletin: Competent Service
Information Bulletin: Comply with Legislation
Information Bulletin: Disclose Cost of Service
Information Bulletin: Ensure Role is Understood


What industry professionals can’t do

Industry professionals can’t:

  • mislead or deceive anyone, It does not matter if they mislead you on purpose, by accident, by omission, or through negligence or incompetence. 
  • act recklessly. Industry professionals cannot recklessly make decisions or give advice or information without performing due diligence. Performing due diligence may require them to do a bit more work (i.e. a seller’s agent says a home is not in the flood plain, and the buyer’s agent takes their word for it without doing anything to verify). This activity may be reckless.
  • commit fraud or otherwise act illegally
  • use confidential information beyond the reason for its intended use (e.g. a real estate professional can’t tell a potential buyer a seller’s reasons for selling)
  • give you advice or information they are not qualified to give. They also can’t discourage you from obtaining expert advice elsewhere (e.g. an engineer, accountant, tax specialist, surveyor, lawyer)
  • deny services to or discriminate against anyone for reasons of race, creed, colour, gender, sexual orientation, family status, marital status, age, national origin, or physical ability
  • abuse anyone involved in a transaction

Additional Resources
Section 42 of the Real Estate Act Rules
Information Bulletin: Competent Service
Information Bulletin: Prohibition – Fraudulent Unlawful Activity


Written Service Agreements

All mortgage brokers, property managers, and residential real estate professionals must outline their relationship with you using a written service agreement. RECA recommends commercial real estate professionals and real estate appraisers use written service agreements, but it’s not a requirement.
Written service agreements communicate:

  • the working relationship between you and the professional
  • the services of the professional
  • the obligations and responsibilities of you and the professional
  • how the professional is going to collect, use, maintain, and distribute your personal information (e.g. to obtain a credit report, bank information, income, etc)
  • the compensation payable to your professional and who pays the compensation
  • the length of the agreement
  • how you or the professional can end your agreement

All of these are negotiable.

Agreements must:

  • be signed
  • include all terms and conditions
  • contain names, and the address of property in question, if the agreement is with a seller

Any changes made to a written agreement must be in writing and signed by all parties.

Your professional must give you a copy of agreements and amendments immediately after signing.

Additional Resources
Section 43 of the Real Estate Act Rules
Consumer Information: Written Service Agreements
Guide to Written Service Agreements


Protecting client information 

Your industry professional can’t share your personal information with anyone unless you give them permission, or they are required by law. This includes your personal information (address, age, marital status, health, financial situation, etc.), and your transaction information (e.g. reasons for buying, selling, or getting a mortgage or appraisal).

All brokerages and real estate appraisal professionals must have policies for protecting client’s personal information. Everyone at the brokerage needs to be aware of the policies and follow them.

Industry professionals must keep your information confidential even after a transaction ends.

Additional Resources
Section 44 of the Real Estate Act Rules
Consumer Information: Protecting Your Information
Information Bulletin: Protection of Client Information
Personal Information and Privacy Act
Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act


Letting you know if they are benefitting by referring you to a service provider

Sometimes industry professionals refer consumers to other real estate industry professionals (e.g. a real estate professional refers you to a mortgage broker) or other service providers (e.g. a lawyer, home inspector, home stager, etc.). If a real estate industry professional refers you to someone, they must tell you, in writing, and have your permission to share your personal information. If they may receive a benefit of some sort (referral fee, business in kind, or some other benefit) as a result of the referral, they also need to tell you that in writing.

Additional Resources
Section 45 of the Real Estate Act Rules
Information Bulletin: Referrals – Industry Member Requirements
Information Bulletin: Recommending Service Providers


Brokerage administrative employees and assistants

Real estate professionals may have support personal and assistants to complete tasks that do not require a licence. The unlicensed individual must be competent, and the real estate professional must supervise them. 

For example, unlicensed assistants or brokerage employees can file documents, set up meetings or showings, or prepare promotional material for the broker’s approval.

There cannot be any suggestion that an unlicensed individual is licensed.

Additional Resources
Section 46 of the Real Estate Act Rules
Consumer Information: Real Estate and Mortgage Assistants
Information Bulletin: Assistants – Real Estate Brokerage
Information Bulletin: Assistants – Mortgage Brokerage
Information Bulletin: Employees