The Real Estate Council of B.C. has ordered the suspension of a property agent for professional misconduct.
The council also imposed fines totalling $17,768 against Craig Steven Lau, who is currently with Macdonald Realty Westmar in Richmond.
The case has to do with Lau allowing his name to be used as agent for buyers in three real-estate transactions although he did not provide them any services.
Lau admitted to the wrongdoing in a consent order proposal he prepared for a disciplinary committee of the RECBC.
In summary, Lau was “approached by his cousin by marriage” who was identified only in council documents as “Mr. Xxxxx”.
Mr. Xxxxx, who was another real-estate licensee, “asked that he [Lau] allow his name to be used as buyer's agent on three of Mr. Xxxxx's listings”.
This means that Mr. Xxxxx was the agent of the sellers.
The arrangement was proposed to Lau “even though Mr. Xxxxx was to provide all real estate services to the buyers and to the sellers”.
“In exchange for allowing Mr. Xxxxx to use his name, Mr. Lau would receive a portion of the buyer's commission and he would give Mr. Xxxxx the majority of the buyer's commission on each transaction,” Lau related in his consent order proposal.
Lau, who was then a new realtor, agreed.
The three transactions involved properties in Squamish.
The deals happened in 2017. At the time, Lau, who got his licence in 2016, was with Sutton Group – West Coast Realty.
Lau admited that “entered into an arrangement with the agent for the sellers on each of the Contracts, Mr. Xxxxx, … so that one or both of them could obtain remuneration to which they were not entitled”.
Lau also acknowledged that he “allowed himself to be identified as the buyers' agent in the Contracts and related documents when in fact he did not provide real estate services to the buyers, thereby making an intentional misrepresentation of a material fact”.
In addition, he “caused his Brokerage to enter a Fee Agreement with each seller based on the false representation that he was the buyers' agent, and when he had agreed with Mr. Xxxxx that he would provide a portion of the remuneration he received in connection with the transaction to him”.
Lau will serve a six-month suspension from July 7, 2021 to January 7, 2022.
He will also pay a discipline penalty of $5,000; additional discipline penalty of $11,268, which represents the remuneration he accepted from the three deals; and enforcement expenses of $1,500.