Kelowna realtor fined $6,500 for 'false' and 'misleading' website - InfoNews

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Kelowna realtor fined $6,500 for 'false' and 'misleading' website

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
August 10, 2020 - 7:00 AM

A Kelowna realtor has been fined $6,500 for creating a website that advertised rental and strata property management along with "designing attractive rentals" without being licenced to do so.

According to the recently published Real Estate Council of B.C. decision, Sage Executive Group Real Estate realtor James Kevin Adams created the website "K-O Properties" which advertised rental property management services and strata management services for the Kootenay and Okanagan regions. The Real Estate Council found the website "false" and "misleading" as Adams was not licenced to provide the services he'd advertised.

Adams argued the K-O Properties website was a working prototype and was only live so he could "work out the bugs" and he planned to become licenced to provide strata and rental property services before launching the website officially.

While the Real Estate Council of B.C. said there was no evidence Adams had provided real estate or property management services through K-O Properties, it was still an infringement of the Real Estate Services Act and that Adams had committed professional misconduct.

Adams signed a consent order with the Real Estate Council of B.C. July 16, agreeing to pay a $5,000 fine, plus $1,500 in fees, and to complete the Real Estate Trading Services Remedial Education Course at his own expense.

According to the decision, Adams and a partner referred to only as A.B. began leasing a property on Okanagan Boulevard in Kelowna in September 2016. In 2017, Adams launched the website K-O Properties, listing Okanagan Boulevard as its address along with another address in Castlegar.

The website advertised K-O Properties as “Your Kootenay & Okanagan Investment Property Management Experts,” and listed, buying and selling properties, managing strata spaces, rental property management and "designing attractive rentals" as its services.

"(And) did not include the name or address of a licensed brokerage" reads the decision.

The web designer who developed the site for Adams told the Real Estate Council his client likely didn't know the site was live and "probably did not know that the site was public-facing."

Sometime in 2017, the owner of the Okanagan Boulevard property discovered the website listing her property as the business address and asked Adams to remove the address. Adams did and also changed the contact information to a new name listed as Mr. E in the decision.

"At all material times, Mr. E. was not licensed to provide real estate services in British Columbia," reads the decision.

After a complaint was made to the Real Estate Council, Adams took the website down.

The Real Estate Council found Adams had committed professional misconduct as neither he nor anyone affiliated with the website was licensed to provide the services advertised. Adams was given three months to pay $3,000 of the fine, and five months to pay the remaining $2,000. The $1,500 in fees is due with two months, the decision said.


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