Complaints & Investigations
What do you do when issues arise between you and the licensee or brokerage that you are have an agreement with? What do you do if you witness a licensee acting in what you perceive to be an unethical or unprofessional manner?
The Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission is responsible for setting standards of practice for the real estate industry. This role serves both the industry and the public: to create consumer confidence and trust in the industry it is essential to limit unethical, incompetent, and illegal practices. This includes a thorough complaints and investigations process.
The Commission receives complaints from consumers, industry members, real estate associations, financial institutions and police agencies. The Registrar also has the authority to order an investigation if information comes forth from sources other than a formal written complaint. In particular, information regarding issues of serious threat to the public interest would result in an investigation.
NO ANONYMOUS COMPLAINTS
The Commission will not proceed with a complaint unless it receives sufficient information to determine if the matter should be investigated. Often, the complainant is an important witness and without their cooperation the Commission will not be able to make that determination.
RESOLVING DISPUTES WITH A LICENSEE
Prior to submitting a formal complaint, consumers should attempt to resolve complaints with an Industry Member where possible. The Industry Member may be able to provide an explanation for his or her actions.
You can also attempt to resolve the issues by contacting the Industry Member’s broker. The broker is the head of the brokerage with which the Industry Member is licensed. Brokers have a responsibility:
- to supervise Industry Members and Industry Member brokers to ensure they comply with the Real Estate Trading Act.
- to inquire into and deal with inappropriate conduct.
- The broker may be able to resolve the issue (e.g., by assigning another Industry Member). To determine the broker of a particular real estate brokerage, visit www.nsrec.ns.ca and click on ‘Search for Industry Member’ and type the name of the brokerage.