Act and Board Rules
Purpose: This bulletin reviews the relationship between the Real Estate Act, the Real Estate Act Rules and real estate association and board rules including listing database rules.
This bulletin applies to all real estate brokerages, brokers, associate brokers and associates who members of a real estate board.
Real estate professionals must follow the standards of practice and professional obligations set out in the Real Estate Act (Act) and the Real Estate Act Rules (Rules). The requirements of the Act and Rules prevail over association and board rules when there is a conflict.
The Act and Rules
The Act is the statute that regulates the real estate industry in Alberta. It contains the regulatory framework for the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) to govern the industry. Any person who trades in real estate as a real estate brokerage, broker, associate broker or associate must hold a licence with RECA.
Council makes rules prescribing standards of conduct and industry practices for all industry members, and the legislature has determined these are the law of Alberta.
Council develops Rules in consultation with industry stakeholders. They detail:
- eligibility requirements
- education requirements
- classes of licence and licence applications
- licence approvals/refusals/suspensions
- standards of conduct and business practice
- activities of a real estate professional for activities that form the business of a real estate professional
The Act and Rules are law in the Province of Alberta, and real estate professionals must comply with them. RECA enforces the Act and Rules through a variety of enforcement mechanisms including investigating complaints, conduct review and disciplinary processes. Conduct review outcomes can include:
- dismissal of the investigation
- advisory note or letter of reprimand
- administrative penalty
- fines and hearing costs
- suspension or cancellation of an industry professional’s licence
Real Estate Board Rules
Authorized real estate professionals may want to join a local real estate board. Real estate boards are private, voluntary associations. Real estate professionals who join a local board automatically become members of the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA) and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
Boards have private membership rules including those that apply to the operation of the specific board, its listing database, standards of business practice, and others. The listing database and its rules originate with CREA. CREA, under a licensing agreement with boards, permits them to operate their local listings database. All local board rules must comply with the laws in the Province of Alberta including the Act.
To join a board, a person must agree to follow the Board’s rules. Board rules are important for the board and its listing database, but Board rules are not laws in Alberta. The Alberta legislature does not legislate or pass Board rules. Real estate professionals who are board members must operate within the law of the Province of Alberta and comply with the Act. Statutory responsibilities override any rights or duties an industry member has as a real estate Board member.
The standards of practice and real estate industry member obligations set out in the Act and the Rules prevail over association or Board rules, including a listing database’s rules.