Two Vancouver real estate agents have had their licences suspended by the Real Estate Council of B.C. for committing professional misconduct.
Lin (Kelly) Kong of Royal Pacific Realty Corp. and Chiow Min Kuan of West Coast Realty now have their licences suspended for 90 and 60 days respectively after the Real Estate Council of B.C. found them in contravention of the Real Estate Services Act.
The news comes amid concern from the provincial government over the Real Estate Council’s ability to self-regulate. In late June, Premier Christy Clark announced the government would take over regulation of the industry and an advisory board recommended fines for realtor misconduct be raised to a maximum of $250,000 for individual realtors.
According to disciplinary documents from the Real Estate Council, Kong received a $1.35 million offer on a listing, a house on Neville Street in Burnaby, in July 2014 from a buyer referred to as A.L.
A.L. had told Kong that he was not represented by a realtor in hopes of negotiating a lower purchase price in lieu of the seller having to pay a buyer’s agent commission.
Kong says she then informed A.L. that she would act for both him and the seller and would be adding Yang Yang, Kong’s business partner, as the buyer’s agent “so the seller would not attempt to negotiate the commission payable.”
But the buyer says he was never in the loop, and Yang’s name was added without his consent or knowledge. He claims he never even met Yang.
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Yang told the Council that his name was only added as a favour to Kong.
His signature was on the Working with a Realtor brochure and he had personally recorded the buyer’s personal information on the Canadian Real Estate Association’s Individual Identification Information Record form.
Yang was disciplined for this in April with a 60-day suspension and a $1,500 fine.
Because of this, Kong is found to have committed professional misconduct in relation to the Real Estate Services Act section 35(1)(c), which includes “anything that constitutes wrongful taking or deceptive dealing.”
She is now suspended for 90 days, must complete remedial real estate education at her own cost, and pay a fine of $1,500.
READ MORE: B.C. government will take over regulation of real estate industry
The other agent, Chiow Min Kuan, is suspended for 60 days and must pay a $1,250 fine after acting as a licensed realtor assistant during a 21-day suspension in 2013.
According to disciplinary documents, he had previously altered documents after a client had signed them, and on two occasions had copied a listing agreement, whited out the dates and inserted new ones, and then submitted the altered agreement as a new listing without signatures from the sellers.
A total of 24 Metro Vancouver real estate agents have faced disciplinary action from the Real Estate Council so far this year, including Surrey’s Denise Decary, Vancouver’s Richard Morrison, and Port Coquitlam’s Anthony Brennan.