Call for BOD Nominations, COVID-19 Update, Defining Bedrooms, Drones, Competing Offers, & Barristers' Society Council Call for Public Members
Call for 2022 Nominations for the Board of Directors
The Commission is accepting nominations for one licensee to join the Board of Directors. Licensees nominate themselves by completing and submitting the Nomination Form. The deadline for nominations is Monday, March 21st, 2022 at 4 p.m. A virtual election will be held in April. The successful candidate will be announced at the AGM on April 21st.
Eligible licensees must be in good standing and meet the qualifications per Commission by-law 207:
To be eligible to serve as a member of the Commission, a licensee shall:
(a) Hold a valid real estate license;
(b) Not have been convicted of an offence pursuant to the Act, the Regulations, or the Bylaw resulting in
(i) a disciplinary suspension within the past 10 years; or
(ii) a disciplinary licence restriction; or
(iii) a fine greater than $500 within the past two years; or
(iv) a fine of $500 or less within the past year.
(c) Not be a director, officer, board member or employee of another real estate organization whose role is to defend the interests of the industry.
The Board of Directors meets five times annually. The successful candidate will fill a three-year term on the Board of Directors and may also serve on other committees.
COVID-19 Update: February 15th, 2022
On February 9th, 2022, the Nova Scotia government announced that provincewide COVID-19 restrictions will be eased over three phases, starting Monday, February 14th. The full reopening plan is available on the government's website.
Phase 1 includes:
- Informal gathering limits (indoor and outdoor) up to 25 people.
- Mask requirements for indoor public places and public transportation remain in place.
- Social distancing requirements for businesses, services and gatherings remain in place.
- Self-isolation requirements and testing requirements remain in place.
- Proof of full vaccination policy remains in place.
- Border restrictions are lifted for domestic travellers. If you travel from another Canadian province or territory, you can enter Nova Scotia and don’t need to complete the Safe Check-in Form or self-isolate when you arrive in or return to Nova Scotia.
- Travellers entering Canada must follow Government of Canada rules set out by the emergency orders under the Quarantine Act, including testing and quarantine requirements.
It is still important for licensees to have conversations with their clients about COVID-19 safety measures. Clients may request that licensees, consumers, inspectors, etc. who enter their home provide proof of vaccination, wear masks or gloves, sanitize, etc. Licensees must follow the lawful instruction of their clients.
In cases where the property has occupying tenants, please refer the seller to the Tenancies Act.
The COVID-19 orders, directives, and guidelines we all have to follow are being continuously updated by the provincial and federal governments. View the latest information here:
Government of Nova Scotia
Government of Canada
The Commission office remains closed until further notice and staff are working remotely.
What Is Considered A Bedroom?
The Commission does not have a definition of a bedroom. Seller's licensees must confirm the building codes for bedrooms with the respective municipality when listing properties. Houses with bedrooms that are not to code can be advertised as bedrooms; however, the advertisements must clearly indicate the bedrooms do not comply with building codes and state why, for example, window too small to allow egress.
Buyer’s licensees also have an obligation to discover facts when representing clients. If a bedroom appears to have a window that does not pass code, they are to bring it to their attention of their client and recommend they confirm with the municipality.
FYI: Drone Operating Requirements
The Canadian Armed Forces base in Greenwood has contacted the Commission with an educational reminder for licensees who may use drones to take videos or photos of properties. There are potential safety concerns when flying in or near aircraft control zones without permission.
Drone apps or websites may only use estimates and default distances, therefore drone users should be responsible and check official sources to determine what laws or regulations might apply to their drone flight.
Most airports have a default 3 nautical mile area where drones are not permitted, except by permission. The Greenwood control zone (surface to 5000 feet above ground level) extends to 7 nautical miles (approximately 13 km) from the centre of the airfield. Any drone operator wanting to operate their drone in this area needs to get prior permission from 14 Wing Operations (902-765-1494 ext. 5457), and be in contact with the Air Traffic Control tower while doing their flight.
Multiple (Competing) Offer Situations & Confidentiality
The handling of multiple offers is defined in by-law 702, Article 12:
An industry member shall present all written offers and counter-offers as objectively and quickly as possible. This must be done within the specified timeframes or a written extension must be obtained. An industry member shall not withhold or delay the presentation of an offer without the express written consent of the client. When there are multiple offers, an industry member acting on behalf of the seller must disclose to all potential buyers or their agents that there are multiple offers, unless otherwise instructed by the seller in writing, but must not disclose to any other person the specific terms and conditions of other offers.
Whether to disclose a multiple-offer situation to respective buyers is entirely up to the seller. The decision on whether to disclose is documented in clause 8 of the Seller Designated Brokerage Agreement or clause 6 of the Seller Brokerage Agreement. The seller's representative must follow the seller’s lawful instructions. Should a seller change their mind regarding whether to disclose that there are multiple offers, the Brokerage Agreement must be amended accordingly.
In summary, if you are the seller's representative and have received multiple offers and have instruction to disclose to competing buyers:
- Inform the seller immediately.
- Provide all offers and recommend the seller review every offer prior to making a decision.
- Do not disclose specific terms or conditions of the offers, either directly or implicitly, to any of the competing buyers or any other persons.
- Disclosing specific terms or conditions of multiple offers, either directly or implicitly, to respective competing buyers or any other persons is a violation of Commission by-law 702, Article 12.
For example, do not disclose:
- Closing date
- “You are in the top three”
- “Other offers are higher”
- “Do you want to increase?”
These are all violations of by-law 702, Article 12.
Barristers' Society Council Call for Public Members
The Commission is sharing an opportunity for licensees to be involved with the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society. The Barrister's Soceity is seeking two members of the public to fill vacant Public Representative seats on Council.
Learn more about the Public Representative position here. To be considered, please complete their online expression of interest form.