Referral Fees Between Realtors and Lawyers in Ontario

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If it’s not too much trouble note that the data gave in this isn’t legitimate exhortation and is accommodated enlightening and instructive purposes as it were. As usual, my perceptions depend on current Ontario laws; you are advised not to depend on the data gave in this and that you ought to do your own due tireless on present and appropriate Ontario laws.

Ever wonder about the legitimateness and morals of referral charges between Ontario real estate agents (note: I utilize the expression “brokers” all through this blog to mean land deals delegates) and legal advisors? State, for instance, your real estate broker prescribes a legal advisor to finalize your negotiations. On the off chance that you end up running with that attorney, is it lawful and moral for the legal advisor to pay a referral expense to the real estate agent?


Basically referral charges are restricted as between a real estate broker and an attorney. While the issue of whether a broker can make a referral charge might be to some degree vague, the Real Estate Council of Ontario has put forth a solid defense that such expenses are precluded. A real estate broker is, in any case, fit for getting a referral charge from an outsider gave that such expenses are first unveiled by the outsider to the customer and the customer concurs (ideally recorded as a hard copy). In such a case, the outsider would pay the referral expense to the real estate broker’s boss (for example the dealer), who might thusly pay the real estate agent. Much like a real estate broker, in any case, a legal counselor isn’t equipped for making a referral charge to non-legal counselors, yet is fit for getting such expenses under indistinguishable conditions from would a real estate broker. In this way, since neither a real estate agent nor a legal advisor are equipped for making referral charges (despite that they’re fit for getting them) to each other, referral expenses are restricted as between them. Break of this standard is both unlawful and exploitative.

The accompanying examination indicates how I arrived at these resolutions.

Real estate brokers thus called “Fowl Dog” or Referral Fees

The consolidated impacts of ss. 30(b) and (c) of the Real Estate Business and Brokers Act, 2002 give that a dealer will not “pay any commission or other compensation” to “utilize or draw in an unregistered individual to exchange land”.

Here, various terms require further illumination.

Segment 1 characterizes a dealer as “an individual who, for another or others, for remuneration, addition or reward or expectation or guarantee thereof, either alone or through at least one authorities or salespersons, exchanges land, or an individual who holds himself, herself or itself out in that capacity”.

Additionally, s. 1 characterizes a salesman as “an individual utilized, selected or approved by a merchant to exchange land”. Here, “utilize” signifies “to utilize, name, approve or generally mastermind to have someone else follow up for one’s benefit, including as a self employed entity”.

At last, s. 1 characterizes an exchange as including “a demeanor or securing of or exchange in land by deal, buy, understanding available to be purchased, trade, alternative, rent, rental or generally and any offer or endeavor to list land with the end goal of such an air or exchange, and any demonstration, notice, lead or arrangement, legitimately or in a roundabout way, in facilitation of any mien, procurement, exchange, offer or endeavor, and the action word ‘exchange’ has a comparing meaning”.

Plainly, while no dealer may pay any type of pay to unregistered people in facilitation of an exchange land, it is to some degree hazy whether salespersons (for example real estate brokers) are likewise restricted from doing as such (on the grounds that salespersons are not referenced in s. 30). As Allan Johnson, Registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario, referenced in a now lapsed Registrar’s Bulletin: “An inquiry presented as of late managed the salesman and his or her entitlement to pay some type of remuneration in appreciation for leads gave. This issue may not be as clear.” Interestingly, RECO’s new Registrar’s Bulletin on Bird-Dog charges expresses that, “where a business knows about, or all the more clearly where the financier were to utilize a worker/sales rep as a channel to pay some type of remuneration, trying to evade the fitting approvals of the Act, this movement would be translated to be an infringement”. So if a sales rep acted alone without the learning of the business, would the last be insusceptible from obligation? In the lapsed Registrar’s Bulletin, Mr. Johnson proposed two admonitions which would appear to forbid salespersons from giving referral charges:

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