RECO investigates complaints made about real estate agents and brokerages, as well as any person who may be unlawfully trading in real estate.

RECO’s goal is to make sure that all administrative, regulatory, and discipline processes related to professional conduct are handled in a consistent and fair manner. RECO encourages compliance, ensures complaint outcomes are proportionate and effective, and protects the future public interest.

When addressing the conduct or noncompliance of a real estate agent or brokerage, RECO considers two additional factors that might escalate the course of action:

  • the extent of risk presented to the public; and,
  • the presence of any prior history of misconduct by the agent or brokerage.

Before you submit a complaint, it’s important to understand what RECO can and cannot do and what might fall outside of the scope of RECO’s authority.



What RECO can do

The complaining party and the responding agent or brokerage might agree to a plan of action that will resolve the issue that prompted the RECO complaint, when appropriate. This approach is most common where there has been miscommunication or misunderstanding between the parties.

Additional education requirements

Where the evidence suggests gaps in the knowledge of the real estate agent, they may be required to take additional education courses at their own expense.

Written warning

The real estate agent or brokerage may be issued a written warning. A written warning remains on the file of the agent or brokerage permanently. Written warnings are taken into consideration if future complaints are received.

Require corrective action

Where corrective action is necessary, like the removal or correction of a non-compliant advertisement, the agent or brokerage might be required to comply by a specified deadline.

Refer the matter for a hearing

Depending on the severity of the alleged misconduct, the matter might be referred to the discipline committee, a statutory tribunal, for a hearing. If the discipline committee determines that a real estate agent or brokerage has failed to comply with the legislation, the discipline committee has the authority to:

  • Impose educational requirements;
  • Impose a fine of up to $50,000 for agents and up to $100,000 for brokerages;
  • Fix and impose costs to be paid to RECO;
  • Impose conditions on a registration; and,
  • Suspend or, in rare cases, revoke a registration.

Prosecute under the Provincial Offences Act

Most often, provincial offences prosecutions relate to matters involving trading in real estate unlawfully. However, RECO may lay charges and pursue prosecution on some other matters. An individual convicted in court is subject to fines of up to $50,000 and/or prison terms of up to two years. Corporations are subject to fines of up to $250,000.

Propose to refuse, revoke, suspend, or apply conditions to a registration

The Registrar can issue a proposal to refuse, revoke, suspend, or apply conditions to the registration of a real estate agent or brokerage in certain circumstances.

Proposals may be appealed to the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT). If a proposal is not appealed, the proposal is carried out. If appealed, LAT may, by Order, direct the Registrar to carry out the proposal or may substitute its opinion for that of the Registrar and may attach conditions to its Order or to a registration.

No action will be taken if the allegations contained in the complaint are not supported by the evidence and information obtained by RECO, or if RECO does not have the authority to address the complaint.

What RECO cannot do

RECO has no authority to order that monies be refunded, contracts be canceled, or damages or restitution be awarded.

If you are seeking damages or restitution, it is in your best interest to obtain legal advice about the options available to you. 

The Law Society of Ontario offers an online referral service.

Complaints and disputes that RECO cannot address

 RECO cannot address complaints or resolve disputes that involve individuals or companies that it does not regulate. Some examples are:

  • Home builders. If you have a complaint or concern about a home builder, you may want to contact the Home Construction Regulatory Authority or Tarion.
  • Disputes between landlords and tenants. If you have a complaint about your landlord or your tenant, visit TribunalsOntario.ca/ltb.
  • Disputes between buyers and sellers or complaints about the conduct of a buyer or seller. RECO only regulates the conduct of agents and brokerages that represent buyers and sellers.
  • Complaints or disputes involving maintenance or service providers.
  • Complaints involving home inspectors.

If you are involved in a legal dispute, it is in your best interest to obtain legal advice about the options available to you. 

The Law Society of Ontario offers an online referral service.

Complaint process

*This process applies to complaints about conduct that took place on or after December 1, 2023. 


Read about the process that applies to complaints about conduct that took place on or before November 30, 2023.