Île-des-Soeurs, Aug. 28, 2018 – As the provincial election campaign kicks off, the Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards (QFREB) and its 13,000 real estate brokers are asking the four main parties to outline their positions on issues affecting real estate brokerage and housing. The QFREB would like the next government to provide homebuyers with better support and better define the safeguards in place to protect both buyers and sellers. Therefore, the QFREB considers that it is essential that the next Premier commits to appointing a minister responsible for housing in their cabinet.
“Despite the recent review of the Real Estate Brokerage Act, the law still has a number of grey areas that make for an unfair situation and open a major breach in the general public’s protective wall,” explains QFREB president Patrick Juanéda. “The incoming government needs to institute constructive measures to help Quebec catch up in terms of ownership percentages, which are lower here than in other provinces.”
Better Protection for the Public
On the public protection front, the QFREB proposes five requests to make sure both buyers and sellers maintain their trust in the residential real estate market.
1. Guidelines for companies assisting salespeople
Some companies provide consumers with real estate sales consulting services similar to those used by licensed realtors; not all of these companies are audited for compliance with the Real Estate Brokerage Act (REBA). Although the QFREB respects the right of consumers to buy, sell or rent property by themselves, it is essential for the Office de la protection du consommateur (consumer protection bureau) to oversee and regulate such companies to make sure Quebecers using their services are aware of the fact that they may not be protected.
2. No marijuana growing in the home
Quebec’s real estate brokers have started noticing multiple problems as a result of home grown their own marijuana. In order to avoid numerous problems, notably the spread of mould, which can have major impacts on human health and the resale value of properties, the QFREB is asking the political parties to maintain a hard line on the ban on home marijuana cultivation.
3. Adoption of a co-ownership reform
In order to fully protect buyers, the rights, powers and obligations of joint ownership condominiums need to be regulated. The QFREB feels that it is crucial for the next government to commit to re-introducing the provisions of Bill 401, notably to ensure better management of contingency funds.
4. Oversight of building inspectors
In their daily practice, real estate brokers have started to notice a lack of consistency in the inspection process and the negative impacts that the absence of professional oversight is having on consumers, whether they be buyers or sellers.
The QFREB is of the opinion that more uniform regulation of building inspection is needed to safeguard the quality of training and the standardization of building inspector expertise.
5. Institution and maintenance of government programs
There are countless homeowners held hostage by invasive species like Eurasian water-milfoil, dry rot fungus, or by major construction problems like pyrrhotite. The QFREB is asking the next administration to implement new government programs and maintain existing ones to provide some financial assistance for homeowners confronted by such detrimental issues.
Better Support for Home Buyers
Another major issue is home ownership percentage in Quebec (61%), which is considerably lower than the Canadian average (68%). It is important to reduce that gap, and one way to do so is to support current owners.i
6. No welcome tax for first-time buyers
For the last few years, along with Quebec’s association of construction and home-building professionals (the APCHQ), the QFREB has been asking the government to initiate a program to reimburse the welcome tax for first-time buyers.
7. Maintenance of renovation credits
In regards to the Tax Credit for the Upgrading of Residential Waste Water Treatment Systems and the RénoVert Tax Credit, the QFREB believes that the government needs to extend these programs in order to help homeowners carry out renovation work in the home or cottage.
For most Quebecers, buying a home is the most important financial transaction they will conduct in their lifetimes,” asserts Mr. Juanéda. “They spend significant amounts of money, time and energy on this decision; housing remains a very complicated issue. The government should do its utmost to provide the public with some real protection, and ensure that buyers and owners have the best possible support.”
About the Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards
The Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards is a non-profit organization representing the province’s 11 real estate boards and their membership of nearly 13,000 real estate brokers. Its mission is to support Quebec’s real estate boards in order to defend, protect and promote the interests of real estate brokers by providing services in the areas of professional practices, public affairs and market analysis. The QFREB is guided by an approach centred on collaboration and resource sharing.
For more information:
Assistant Manager, Communications and Public Relations
Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards
Cell. : 514 647-8249
i 2016 Census data.