B.C. sets up anonymous tip line for reporting shady real estate agents

Consumers and fellow agents can phone or email anonymously to report suspected wrongdoing.

Consumers and fellow agents can phone or email anonymously to report suspected wrongdoing

B.C. has created a confidential tip line so the public can anonymously report real estate agents when they suspect misconduct. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

B.C. has created an anonymous tip line so consumers — and fellow agents — can report shady real estate agents to the provincial regulator.

The province said the line is another measure to ensure that agents are abiding by professional standards, while protecting consumers who report unethical behaviour.

There are now two ways to send tips to the Real Estate Council of B.C.:

In a statement, the council said it will open an investigation file on every complaint and continue to follow up. The new tip line is the latest addition to the regulator's existing complaint process.

"People deserve to know that they can trust the professionals they are working with when they are buying or selling real estate," said Finance Minister Carole James.

A new tip line was one of the recommendations made by the council's Independent Advisory Group in order to further protect real estate consumers in the province.

"I think it's positive, I think anything to bring transparency to our industry is 100 per cent key and these days, needed," said Jay McInnes, a Vancouver-based realtor. (CBC)

'Anything to bring transparency'

Jay McInnes, a Vancouver-based Realtor, said though he's never personally witnessed any behaviour that he would report to the tip line, he considers it a step in the right direction.

"I think it's positive, I think anything to bring transparency to our industry is 100 per cent key and these days, needed," he said.

"In the last handful of years with the frustration people have felt in the market, with it climbing in price so rapidly, we've all seen a lot of legislation come into play to protect the consumer. I think it's going to be used a lot, it gives people another third party to speak to about their situation."

With files from Megan Batchelor

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