When required, members of the Discipline Committee form a Hearing Panel to hold formal discipline hearings involving licensees. The panel hears the evidence and renders a decision, which may include:
- there is insufficient evidence to substantiate the allegations;
- the allegations that are substantiated constitute unprofessional conduct;
- the allegations that are substantiated constitute a violation of the Real Estate Trading Act, the Commission Bylaw or Commission policies; or
- the allegations that are substantiated constitute both unprofessional conduct and a violation of the Real Estate Trading Act, the Commission Bylaw or Commission policies.
Where the Hearing Panel has determined a violation, it can:
- terminate a licence permanently;
- suspend a licence for a specified period;
- suspend a licence pending the satisfaction and completion of any conditions specified by the Panel;
- permit the licensee to remain licensed, but only under conditions specified by the Panel, which may include, but are not limited to:
- successfully completing specified classes or courses
- obtaining treatment, counselling, or both;
- order the licensee pay a fine;
- send a letter of reprimand to the licensee; or
- make a recommendation to the Commission that an amount be paid from the Recovery Fund in accordance with the Bylaw, to a person(s) to compensate them for financial loss or damage suffered as a result of fraud or breach of trust.
In addition to these penalties, the Panel can make any other order it considers just and in the public interest, as per Act Section 19(2).
The Discipline Committee is unique in that the decision it renders is final and can only be appealed through the Nova Scotia Court of Appeals.
Commission Bylaw 839 provides the authority to the Commission to publish the names of licensees and a situational summary depending on the nature of the sanction imposed.
Complaints Review Committee
The Complaints Review Committee (CRC) is made up of licensees and members of the public from across the province. The committee’s role is to review all of the Registrar’s complaint decisions where they may accept, reject or make recommendations to amend the decisions.
The CRC also hears complainant’s requests for review of the Registrar’s decision to dismiss a complaint and make recommendations to the Commission Board of Directors on conduct, trade practices and standards of business practice.
The Commission is mandated by the Real Estate Trading Act to set licensing standards for Nova Scotia real estate industry. The role of the Licensing Committee is to review the Registrar's licensing decisions upon request, and make additional decisions on any appeals or requests for exemptions.
The Committee also makes recommendations to the Board of Directors on licensing issues and continuing education requirements.
NSREC Mandatory Forms Committee
The Commission's Bylaw mandates the use of certain real estate contracts and acknowledgements by licensees in their work with real estate consumers. The role of the Mandatory Forms Committee is to make recommendations for amendments of existing Commission-mandated forms to the Board of Directors or the creation of new forms. Committee membership is defined in the NSREC Mandatory Forms Committee Policy.
In 2011, the Nova Scotia Real Estate Trading Act was amended in part to create the Commercial Committee, whose role is to address matters of interest to commercial real estate licensees, such as the organisation of educational events for commercial licensees. The committee is chaired by the elected commercial representative on the Board of Directors.
Recovery Fund Trustees
The Real Estate Recovery Fund (“the Recovery Fund”) is established through the Real Estate Trading Act and administered by the Commission. Its purpose is to ensure claims of the Recovery Fund involving fraud or breach of trust by a licensee are processed properly and that the Recovery Fund is maintained at or above the minimum set by the Regulations.