The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) protects consumers in the public interest by promoting a safe and informed marketplace and administering the rules that real estate salespeople, brokers and brokerages must follow.
We work to fulfill this goal through the day-to-day regulation of Ontario’s more than 100,000 real estate registrants.
The Ontario government establishes the rules that real estate salespersons, brokers and brokerages must follow – set out in the Trust in Real Estate Services Act, 2002 (TRESA) and its associated regulations. RECO administers these on behalf of the government.
RECO was established in 1997 as a delegated administrative authority (DAA) to enhance professionalism in the real estate industry, increase consumer protection and provide an effective and responsive regulatory framework.
At RECO, we are keenly aware that the purchase or sale of a home may well be the largest and most significant financial decision most Ontarians will ever make. That’s why it is so important that the real estate services sector has an effective oversight system in place to govern these important transactions.
As the provincial regulator, we protect the public interest, enhance consumer confidence in the real estate profession, and maintain professional standards. We take our responsibility for compliance and consumer protection seriously.
We are proud of the work we do to protect consumers and the public interest. The real estate agents, brokers, and brokerages that are regulated by RECO are sometimes referred to as registrants. There are more than 105,000 of them in Ontario.
RECO promotes compliance in a variety of ways. For example:
Each of these measures is important to support compliance with the rules.
RECO does not…
RECO also provides important information to the public and to educate consumers about the home buying and selling experience and the value of a regulated real estate sector. Our website has a wealth of information for consumers, including:
Real estate professionals in Ontario must comply with the Trust in Real Estate Services Act, 2002, including a Code of Ethics. If they breach these rules, there are various discipline paths and outcomes, depending on the severity of the offence.
RECO reports on its complaints and enforcement outcomes each year in its annual report.
In 2022, RECO opened 2,106 complaints, 17 per cent fewer than in 2021, and closed 9 per cent fewer than in 2021. 73% of complaints came from consumers, 24% came from registered real estate professionals, and 3% came from others (internal, anonymous, police, financial institution, others, or registrar).
When a complaint is filed, RECO will make inquiries and conduct an investigation as required. There are a number of potential outcomes to the complaint process:
RECO investigates alleged violations of the law (TRESA). In 2022, RECO opened 109 investigations and closed 73. There were $15,000 in total fines issued.
RECO conducted a total of 777 inspections in 2022 to ensure brokerages are following the rules and regulations.