iN VIDEO: Kelowna realtor takes fine for professional misconduct — but not lightly - InfoNews

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iN VIDEO: Kelowna realtor takes fine for professional misconduct — but not lightly

Kelowna realtor has been Marlene Braun fined for professional misconduct.
Image Credit: Submitted by Marlene Braun
May 10, 2019 - 8:00 PM

KELOWNA - Realtor Maureen Braun has been hit with $6,500 in penalties from the Real Estate Council of B.C. for professional misconduct but maintains her innocence, saying it was only to avoid additional expenses.

Then she launched her own attack against the council.

“They (Real Estate Council) are bullies. They threaten. And if I don’t consent, their lawyer said in a letter, ‘I will also recommend to council that we suspend your licence.’ So, hey, you better consent.”

Braun said in 23 years as a realtor, there has never been a complaint against her, that the Real Estate Council “is out to get realtors” and her only recourse is to go on social media to defend her reputation.

“I think this council is grasping at any straw to discredit our profession generally,” she said.

Braun is a realtor with Norwich Real Estate Services. Marlene Braun Personal Real Estate Corporation is also listed in the filing.

A Consent Order was issued on April 3, 2019 by the Real Estate Council of B.C. that states Braun must pay a disciplinary penalty of $5,000, expenses of $1,500 and take a course called Real Estate Trading Services Remedial Education Course.

According to the decision, in the spring of 2016 Braun had a client, referred to as GP, who wanted to buy a condominium.

In May 2016, she found a unit in the same building where she lived and where she sat on the strata council. An offer was made to buy the condo and a $10,000 deposit was paid on June 2.

On June 11 and 14 of 2016, when the buyer visited the condo, there was a smell of sewer gas so the buyer pulled out of the deal and wanted the deposit back.

There was some dispute over whether an inspection of the property before or after purchase was a subject of the deal.

The seller refused to refund the deposit. That issue is something for the courts to decide.

In a disciplinary matter before the Real Estate Council of B.C., the accused can hire a lawyer and attend a hearing in Vancouver, or she can agree to a Consent Order. In this case, Braun opted for the consent order.

In it, she acknowledged that she committed professional misconduct and acted in a manner “contrary to the duty to take reasonable steps to avoid a conflict of interest” because she owned a unit in the building and sat on the strata council.

She also agreed that she allowed the deal to proceed without the buyer being able to inspect the property unit “after the date for subject removal” and failing to let the buyer know that the agreement was not tied to an inspection.

Braun also agreed she committed professional misconduct because she did not notify her strata council, in writing, that she was a realtor. Nor did she notify her managing broker, in writing, that she was on the condo strata council. She notified both verbally.

Braun, when contacted by iNFOnews.ca, said she only agreed to the professional misconduct charge in order to save herself tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and has gone on Facebook to explain her side of the story.

She said the client was a lawyer with 30 years of experience who approached her to help him buy a unit in the building (The Centuria on Bernard Avenue) and accused her of a conflict of interest only after he tried to pull out of the deal and get his deposit back.

She said there is no rule against selling housing units in a building in which you live or in your neighbourhood, so there was no conflict of interest.

And, while she did not put in writing to the strata council that she was a realtor, everyone knew that to be the case. Her broker did not know of any rule requiring him to be informed, in writing, that she was a member of the strata council but he certainly knew that, Braun said.

And, she said, her client knew full well that an inspection of the unit was not to be done before the deal closed.

Yet, she did “consent” to the charges against her.

“Of course, I consented,” she said. “Their (Real Estate Council’s) lawyer wrote it and I agreed to it. My alternative was to pay a $6,500 fine or defend myself at a hearing that would cost me upwards to $50,000. Plus, their counsel’s legal fees."


To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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