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2018 Election: What Are The Real Estate and Housing Issues At Stake?

Quebec's Federation of Real Estate Boards is requesting that the four main parties clarify their positions on the housing market and real estate brokerage. 

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With the provincial election campaign kicking off, Quebec’s Federation of Real Estate Boards is requesting that the four main parties clarify their positions on the housing market and real estate brokerage.

QFREB’s latest press release calls for better support when it comes to protecting both buyers and sellers in their real estate transactions. In addition, it emphasizes the importance of committing a Minister of Housing in the the elected party’s cabinet.

“Despite the recent review of the Real Estate Brokerage Act, the law still has a number of grey areas that make for an unfair situation and open a major breach in the general public’s protective wall. The incoming government needs to institute constructive measures to help Quebec catch up in terms of ownership percentages, which are lower here than in other provinces.” – President Patrick Juanéda.

These are the five most important issues related to consumer protection, according to QFREB:

1. Clearer guidelines for companies assisting salespeople

Quebec has seen a rise in unlicensed companies providing consulting services to buyers and sellers. These companies are not audited for compliance with the Real Estate Brokerage Act, and therefore risk operating outside the guidelines of consumer protection.

Although the QFREB respects the rights of independent consumers to buy and sell on their own, it is essential that third party consulting companies be held accountable for the guidance they provide to Quebec consumers.

2. Restrictions of growing marijuana plants at home

The housing board has identified multiple problems which could occur as a result of growing pot at home. The most important risk is the spreading mould, which can cause considerable damage to human health and resale value of the property.

Therefore the QFREB is requesting that the political parties maintain a hard ban on marijuana cultivation within residential properties.

3. Adoption of a co-ownership reform

Quebec real estate brokers believe that the regulations on management of joint ownership condominiums are insufficient. In order to full protect buyers, QFREB is calling for a reintroduction of Bill 401, which oversees the rights, powers and obligations of condo shareholders when it comes to issues such as contingency funds and rental rights.

4. More accountability for building inspectors

QFREB is also worried about a lack of consistency when it comes to home inspections, and the absence of professional oversight therein.

A uniform regulation of the building inspection process, including standardization of training, would provide more protection to both buyers and sellers.

5. Implementation of more government programs

Government programs are sorely needed on several fronts, notably around issues of Eurasian water-milfoil, dry rot fungus and pyrrhotite.

The QFREB would like the elected party to implement new programs, and maintain old ones, that provide financial assistance to homeowners burdened with crippling housing problems.

Another identified issue is the notably low homeownership rate in Quebec (61%), which falls significantly under the Canadian average of 68%.

QFREB has outlined several solutions to reducing that gap:

1. Removal of welcome tax for first-time buyers

QFREB has been requesting that the government roll out a comprehensive program to reimburse the welcome tax for first time buyers.

2. Maintenance of renovation credits

QFREB also believes that tax credits for Residential Waste Water Treatment Systems and RénoVert Tax credits should be extended to homeowners carrying out renovation work in their homes or cottages.

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This article, 2018 Election: What Are The Real Estate and Housing Issues At Stake?, appeared first on Shupilov News.

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