The role of the Syndic is to investigate any alleged ethical violation of the Real Estate Brokerage Act and the regulations thereunder by brokers or agencies, including their administrators and officers.
Anyone who believes that a broker or agency has violated the Act may file a request with the Public Assistance Department, which will forward the file to the Syndic when necessary.
If the syndic has grounds to believe that a violation to the provisions of the Act has been committed, he will investigate. In the course of his investigation, the Syndic may:
- question any broker, any agency including its officers or administrators, and any other witness, and all are obliged to answer his questions;
- issue a warrant against a witness.
Therefore, he has all the powers of a public inquiry commissioner, except that of ordering a prison sentence. The investigation files of the Syndic’s Office are strictly confidential and the OACIQ must take steps to preserve the independence of the Syndic at all times.
After the investigation
Once an investigation has been completed, the Syndic must determine whether or not to file a formal complaint with the OACIQ Discipline Committee. Note that the Syndic may file a complaint against a person or partnership that no longer holds a broker’s or agency licence if, at the time of the alleged offence, the person or partnership did hold such a licence. The complaint may also necessitate the provisional suspension of a license when it refers to serious and significant allegations that affect the raison d'être of the profession and where the protection of the public may be compromised if the person continues to practice.
The Syndic will inform in writing, within a reasonable time, any person who submitted a request for assistance of his decision to file or not to file a complaint with the Discipline Committee.. If he decides not to file a complaint, he must, at the same time, give the reasons for his decision. The person has 30 days following receipt of this information to request a ruling from the Syndic Decision Review Committee if he or she is dissatisfied by completing the Request for Review of a Syndic Decision form.
After the hearing
The syndic must also inform the person who filed the assistance request of the discipline committee’s decision. The Committee's decision will indicate, if applicable, whether there is any order banning publication or release.
After the hearing, should the broker or agency be found guilty by the Discipline Committee, a penalty may be imposed on them, such as a fine, a licence suspension period or a licence revocation. For more details, visit the Discipline Committee’s page.