Abusive behavior of certain real estate brokers

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Abusive behavior of certain real-estate brokers

Several building inspectors denounce the behavior of certain real estate brokers which prevents them from doing their job.

A building inspector takes a picture survey.

Anastasia Luckenuik's life was turned upside down after the unfortunate purchase of an income house near Rivière-du-Loup, her hometown. This unfortunate experience led her to leave her nursing career to become a building inspector. “I went into a cascade of nightmares, vices and then poor workmanship,” she laments. This is where it clicked. I will bring rigor and competence in inspection. »

Holder of several diplomas related to inspection, member of the Association of Building Inspectors of Quebec, she wants to prevent her clients from going through what she went through. I want my clients to be well taken care of. That's why I do the inspection.

After building up a clientele, his inspections went down for no apparent reason. It all cleared up when a broker called her. He said, "Anastasia, we're not seeing each other on inspection because you're scaring us. We got together [the brokerage houses] and we don't want to have you inspected”.

Anastasia Luckenuick, building inspector

The claim is plausible, because after the broadcast of a report on a similar subject last year, The Invoice received similar emails from inspectors scattered in different regions of Quebec.

I can tell you that there is indeed a blacklist for inspectors who do their job properly. – Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson

Brokers do not like certain inspectors who are too rigorous and do not hide not to let their customers know. – Gatineau

Real estate brokers like a building inspector who does not explain the problems observed. – Laurentians

One of them is Nicolas Leblanc, president of Holispec, a company located in the municipality of Saint-Hubert. This is unfortunately not an isolated case, he regrets. I am the target of this too. Some brokers will say, “Holispec doesn't fit here. If you bring Holispec, we will not accept your offer to purchase”.

Nicolas Leblanc, building inspector

Joël Charron is familiar with the Real Estate Brokerage Act, as he is a lawyer, broker and founding president of the Académie de formation immobilière du Québec. These instances of bullying are not acceptable, he says. It's not ethical. Under the regulation on the conditions of exercise [of the brokerage activity], the work [of the broker] must be imbued with objectivity. He can't interfere in that process.

But let's get back to Rivière-du-Loup. In this region, the brokers of the firm Proprio Direct have added a clause that appears on each of the detailed listings of the houses for sale by this agency. It is clearly written: the seller reserves the right to accept or not the choice of the buyer's inspector.

According to Joël Charron, this clause does not comply with the Real Estate Brokerage Act. We come to restrict the right of the buyer to choose his own building inspector. It is unethical and lacks objectivity. He suspects a malicious intent behind this clause. If certain people are prohibited, it is because there are some motivations to restrict certain people from carrying out an inspection.

Joël Charron, President of the Quebec Real Estate Training Academy

The Organization of self-regulation of real estate brokers of Quebec (OACIQ) does not believe that the clause is illegal. If it is to dismiss inspectors who are too rigorous, we have a problem, explains Caroline Champagne, vice -President of the OACIQ. But the clause in itself is not illegal and the buyer has the option of refusing it.

But several clients of Anastasia Luckenuik preferred to cancel their inspection rather than risk losing the possibility of buying the coveted house.

In this region, Anastasia Luckenuik is not the only inspector to complain in particular about Proprio Direct brokers working in Rivière-du-Loup. The Association of Building Inspectors of Quebec (AIBQ) filed a complaint with the syndic of the Organization of Quebec Real Estate Brokers on behalf of another inspector.

Very harsh words have been used to describe the attitude of these brokers, such as: deception, appearance of collusion, unethical, immoral, a disgrace to the brokerage profession.

It's intolerable and it's reprehensible, says Denis St-Aubin, president of the AIBQ. This working method of this agency is unacceptable. These are misleading, defamatory methods that will not be tolerated by the Association.

Denis St-Aubin, President Association of Building Inspectors of Quebec

We asked the management of the agency if they approved the wording of the clause.

< blockquote class="sc-1push81-0 hyWXkl blockquote is-long-quote">

“Proprio Direct has never given real estate brokers or agency employees any instructions authorizing or encouraging them to ban, boycott or defame the services of a professional. Moreover, Proprio Direct brokers are in no way authorized by the agency to act against the Real Estate Brokerage Act, its regulations, and the law in general. »

— Guylène Lominy, Director, Proprio Direct

A source confirms that the OACIQ syndic is currently investigating the AIBQ complaint. In the event that ethical violations are committed, we will file a disciplinary complaint. Then it will be up to the Discipline Committee to decide, says Caroline Champagne, Vice-President of the OACIQ.

Caroline Champagne, Vice-President, Real Estate Brokerage Self-Regulation Organization of Quebec

Anastasia Luckenuik left Bas-Saint-Laurent and now works in the metropolitan area. I left because my health depended on it. It's not true that I'm a bad inspector and it's not true that I'm going to close my business.

The report by François Dallaire and Nancy Lambert airs on The Invoice on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. on ICI Télé.

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