FAQ Document Re. Competition Tribunal Order June 3, 2016




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Competition Tribunal Order June 3, 2016

re: Commissioner of Competition vs. Toronto Real Estate Board


*Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. As the situation continues to evolve, more

questions and answers will be added as appropriate.


As a TREB/BREB Member, you remain bound by and required to comply with all applicable

laws, rules and regulations, including all TREB/BREB By-Laws, Rules, and Regulations,

PIPEDA, REBBA as well as all RECO Rules and Regulations.

Failure to comply could result in legal proceedings and /or revocation of your MLS®

System Access


Q 1. How can consumers access the data?

  1. Consumers can only access data through a password-protected virtual office website (VOW)

operated by a TREB/BREB Member for informational purposes in the context of residential real estate transactions.


Q 2. What do I have to do to my website to be compliant?

  1. You and your service provider (if applicable) must sign and agree to be bound by a Virtual

Office Website (VOW) Agreement with TREB/BREB as well as ensure your compliance with the

Authorized User Agreement (AUA). If you plan to make sold, withdrawn, expired, suspended or

terminated listing information available, you must do so in compliance with the VOW

Agreement. Members providing access are responsible for how their actual or potential clients

and customers use the information. The information can only be used to provide residential real

estate brokerage services between a Member and a client or customer, and cannot be

monetized in any way. Members and/or their service providers will be legally liable for any

misuse of the information by themselves, their clients or customers.

Additionally, all Members are still bound by applicable legislation and rules, including Personal

Information, Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and Real Estate and Business

Broker’s Act, 2002 (REBBA, 2002) Code of Ethics and Regulations as well as provisions under

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) and the Do Not Call List.


Q 3. Am I allowed to scrape the data from the VOW feed? Can I use the data for any nonreal estate brokerage business between a Realtor and client or customer?

  1. No. The data cannot be scraped, mined, sold, resold, licensed, reorganized or monetized in

any way, including through the sale of derivative products or marketing reports. The data cannot

be used for commercial purposes other than to provide residential real estate brokerage

services between a Realtor and a client or customer. Breach of this by either a Member or the

member’s clients or customers may result in legal action (including damages) against the

Member and the cancellation of TREB/BREB Membership and TREB/BREB MLS System access.


Q 4. Can I advertise sold prices now?

  1. No. However, you can provide sold information so long as it is in accordance with the TREB/BREB Authorized User Agreement, VOW Agreement, the TREB/BREB By-Law, and all applicable laws and regulations. Please note that Members remain subject to REBBA with regards to advertising.


Q 5. When can we start posting the information online?

  1. TREB/BREB will make this information available to be posted online by October 22, 2018. If TREB/BREB is able to make this information available sooner, it will provide notice to members. However, the information can only be used for the purpose of engaging in residential real estate

brokerage services. Any other purpose is not permitted under the VOW agreement.


Q 6. Can non-members post sold information?

  1. The information cannot be used or posted by non-members without specific authorization



Q 7. My client or customer doesn’t want the purchase price of its house disclosed online.

Will that information be confidential?

  1. That information could be made available on a VOW as of October 22, 2018, possibly sooner

– in which case TREB/BREB will provide notice to its members. We will continue to listen to the

feedback from Members, buyers and sellers regarding their personal information and take

necessary steps to make sure that privacy laws are followed.


Q 8. What if a new client or customer doesn’t want the information posted on a goforward


  1. We are reviewing the consent language in the buyer representation and listing agreements to

consider this.


Q 9. What about historical sold price information where consents were given before

websites were in existence?

  1. TREB/BREB is reviewing the consent language; however, at this time we are required to make this information available.


Q 10. Do you anticipate other changes to the VOW agreement, buyer representation or

listing agreement?

  1. We are reviewing these agreements in light of our obligations under the order and privacy

laws and will provide updates in due course. We are also considering whether changes are needed regarding how long listing photos should remain active on a broker’s VOW website after the sale of a property has been completed.


Q 11. Does the order only affect the Toronto Real Estate Board?

  1. At this time the order only applies to TREB/BREB and includes all listings that appear on the Stratus system (including listings from our partner boards, Durham Region Association of REALTORS®(DRAR) and Brampton Real Estate Board (BREB) and also interboarded listings. However, we expect that other boards will change their practices as well.


Q 12. Is the litigation with the Competition Bureau over?

  1. There is no outstanding litigation with the Competition Bureau.


Q 13. Will my fees increase as a result of the decision?

  1. Fees will not be impacted by this decision.



If you have questions about this FAQ, please write to faq@trebnet.com and someone will get

back to you.


If you would like to read the original June 3, 2016 order, please click here.


For the RECOrd – July 2018

July 2018


Ask the Registrar:
Pre-closing visits


My client is buying a property with a basement apartment, and they would like to bring a potential tenant to the pre-closing visit. How should I handle this situation?


Remember: during pre-closing visits the property still belongs to the seller. As such, the visits are usually open only to the buyer and their real estate salesperson or broker. If anybody other than the buyer plans to attend the pre-closing visit, you should obtain the seller’s permission first.


Learn more


Three reasons to check out RECO’s refreshed website


We’ve given RECO’s website important enhancements that make it easier to find essential information. Here are three reasons to check it out:

  1. The homepage is cleaner and better organized, so it’s easier to find what you need.
  2. We’ve created a new hub for our discipline activities so that enforcement decisions are more accessible.
  3. Public advisories and information on filing a complaint are front-and-centre, providing greater clarity about our regulatory role.


Check it out! Additional improvements will follow in the months ahead


Learn about insurance coverage, claims processes and more with MCE elective


With the annual RECO insurance renewal period underway, there is no better time to refresh your understanding of the insurance program.


The RECO Insurance Program course goes beyond the fundamentals of the insurance program with a case study-based approach that teaches you how to proactively manage potential problems head-on.


Read about it


5 Things to know about the new Cannabis Act

real estate lawyers.ca

5 Things to know about the new Cannabis Act

Watch the video:   https://youtu.be/_bbo5A6zPHg


By Mark Weisleder

I am already receiving calls about how sellers, buyers and real estate agents are to prepare for the new Cannabis Act, now scheduled to become law in October of 2018. I have already booked seminars at real estate boards throughout the GTA over the next few months to explain this in more detail. Here are 5 things you need to know:

  1. How much Cannabis can be grown legally in a residence once it becomes legal?

4 Cannabis plants may be grown in each residence. This includes apartment or condominium units. Under Federal legislation, this could also include an outside garden that is part of a home. The Provinces will each determine whether to permit this outside growing.

  1. Will there be any standards as to what constitutes “safe” growing of Cannabis

Right now there do not appear to be any regulations in place. You will undoubtedly see “tool kits” or “indoor tents” being marketed for this purpose, with marketing claiming that this will not create mold behind the walls, for example. Still, professional electricians will likely be required for this, including preparing proper ventilation from the plants to the outside, as additional protection against mold.

  1. Should a seller and real estate agent disclose the past existence of Cannabis plants on the property, if it is legal?

In my opinion this will be an issue as to whether it can be classified as a material latent defect, which would have to be disclosed. Since mold behind the walls that the seller knows about could satisfy this test, there will likely be litigation when it is not disclosed and problems arise after closing.

  1. Can you stop a tenant from smoking Cannabis or growing cannabis plants?

Even though it is legal, you can include a clause in a lease to stop any tenant from smoking or growing Cannabis on the premises. This should be inserted into every lease. If the tenant then smokes, it will be easier to evict them. While medical Cannabis users may raise human rights issues, it is still better to have this clause in the lease right from the start to have a defence.

  1. What will condominiums do to stop Cannabis from being smoked or grown?

Some condominiums are already passing rules to stop any kind of smoking, whether cigarettes or Cannabis and growing of any Cannabis Plant. Others may set aside an area of the building for users, or just for medical Cannabis users. Others may just wait and see and attempt to rely on provisions in Condominium Law that you cannot commit a nuisance to your neighbours. Then, if the smoking is bothering your neighbours, they can bring action to get you to stop.

If you have any question on Cannabis or want to schedule a seminar in your area or brokerage, please contact me at 1-888-876-5529 or at mark@realestatelawyers.ca

Mark Weisleder is a Partner, author and speaker at the law firm Real Estate Lawyers.ca LLP. Contact him at mark@realestatelawyers.ca or toll free at 1-888-876-5529