South Okanagan
Real Estate Board

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Making A Complaint

If you have been involved in a real estate transaction in which the REALTOR® or brokerage may have acted improperly, you may wish to contact the South Okanagan Real Estate Board (SOREB) with respect to filing a complaint. It is important to note that the South Okanagan Real Estate Board is not empowered to resolve commission disputes, make monetary settlements or adjudicate contract matters. Please read our guidelines for filing a complaint below.

Many times when a misunderstanding arises between a REALTOR® and a consumer, it is due to a lack of communication between the parties. If this has happened to you, the following procedure is suggested to assist you in resolving your problem as quickly as possible:

  • Discuss the concern with the REALTOR® directly in an attempt to clarify the matter.
  • If this doesn't work, discuss the concern with the managing broker in charge of the brokerage. Most concerns are settled by these two means.
  • Should the issue not be resolved to your satisfaction, then determine whether it is a matter for the Real Estate Board or the Real Estate Council of BC.

SOREB deals with complaints that involve ethics, standards of business practice, and the Board's Bylaws. Examples include:

  • speaking badly of other REALTORS® in an attempt to gain business;
  • a lack of cooperation between Board Members;
  • a REALTOR® entering a home without making an appointment (if required); or
  • violations of Board mandated codes of ethics and standards of business practice.

SOREB can impose fines, membership suspensions or require a Member to attend specified courses. It does not have the jurisdiction to adjudicate monetary or contract matters or assess or award damages, all of which come under the jurisdiction of the civil courts. Anyone who seeks to deal with monetary or contract matters must pursue a civil remedy through legal proceedings. Click here for the SOREB Public Complaint Form and click here for an outline of the complaint process.

If it is determined it is a matter for the Real Estate Council of BC, a complaint form is available on the Council's website at or from the Council office at 604-683-9664 or toll-free in BC 1-877-683-9664.

Licensed Strata Managers

As of January 1, 2006, strata management became an activity for which a real estate license is required* and the conduct of licensed strata managers became subject to the requirements of the Real Estate Services Act, over which the Real Estate Council has jurisdiction.

However, the Strata Property Act, the legislation that governs the rights and obligations of strata corporations, strata councils and strata owners, remains a self-administered statute and there are no enforcement provisions for the Government of BC or the Real Estate Council. Under the Strata Property Act, it is up to the owners themselves, with the possible assistance of the courts or an arbitrator and/or mediator, to resolve disputes and ensure compliance with the provisions of the Strata Property Act.

Strata managers act under the direction of the strata council of the strata corporation, by which they are engaged. It is the strata corporation as a whole that is the client of the strata manager, not the individual owners. Therefore, if individual strata owners have concerns about a strata manager, they are advised to first take their concerns to their strata council for resolution and any action the strata council may see fit to take. This may include the strata council submitting a complaint to the Real Estate Council with respect to the conduct of the strata manager if the strata council believes the strata manager may have committed professional misconduct or conduct unbecoming a licensee under the Real Estate Services Act. As a general policy, the Real Estate Council requires complaints regarding licensed strata managers to be submitted by strata councils, accompanied by a copy of the minutes of the council meeting that confirms the passing of a motion to submit such a complaint to the Real Estate Council.

*There is provision in the Real Estate Services Act that exempts a self-managed strata corporation from the licensing requirements when an owner is providing the strata management services. The owner is limited to managing no more than two strata corporations, provided the owner owns a strata lot in each of the strata corporations. In addition, a strata caretaker employed by a strata corporation or a caretaker employed by a brokerage providing strata management services is also exempt from the licensing requirements so long as certain conditions are met.