Quebec realtors are campaigning against the unexpected large increase in licensing fees, which have to be paid to the Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ), regulatory body controlling licenses, records, disciplinary proceedings, indemnity fund and many other key parts of real estate administration.
The fee went up from $410 to $906 quite unexpectedly, annoying most of the agents. They immediately started petition, collected votes of more than 2000 agents so far, and even held little demonstration at OACIQ offices. You can also join their fan group on Facebook.
OACIQ superseded former regulatory body, ACAIQ, in May this year. While at the beginning, many agents believed this change was going to be a vast improvement, most of them lost any zeal for the new system soon and some of them even say they were misled. OCAIQ renamed all agents into brokers, but that brought no real positive difference for the industry professionals. Ex-agents, now brokers, believe OCAIQ is not representing them as ACAIQ used to and it does not protect them at all.
OCAIQ extended the fees collection deadline from June to September, but continues to threaten the brokers with license revocation. According to REM Online, the leader of the revolt, Montreal based broker Mario Rizzi, believes some 3,000 of current 18,000 realtors in Quebec will give up their jobs, if the fee increase remains so high, OCAIQ does not seem responding to their plea. Nevertheless, they still have a plan, if everything fails – to get some seats in the OACIQ board during the upcoming elections and reverse the fees for the next year.