The Toronto Real Estate Board has served a Notice to Appeal to the Commissioner of Competition, alleging that the Competition Tribunal erred when it ruled against TREB on April 27. The case has been ongoing since 2011.
On Friday, the tribunal ordered TREB to allow members to use all the “disputed data”, such as sold prices and historical listings, on their virtual office websites (VOWs).
TREB may limit members’ use to “being directly related to the business of providing residential real estate brokerage services,” says the order.
The ruling states that “unless instructed otherwise by the seller, TREB may prohibit display on a VOW of the seller’s name and remarks or instructions intended for members only, including security information, instructions for access, when the home will be empty or occupied, the seller’s mortgage information and personal information about the seller and residents of the home.”
“TREB’s member agents can use the data in innovative ways to offer consumers the convenience of data‑driven insights into home sales prices and trends via the web and to improve the efficiency and quality of their services,” says the Competition Bureau in a news release.
The order gives TREB 30 days to pay $1.5 million to the Competition Bureau for “disbursements relating to expert witnesses,” as well as more than $300,000 in other disbursements. “Should TREB decide to pass along to its members the costs to be incurred to comply with the terms of this order, such costs shall be shared equally by all TREB members,” says the ruling.
Watch REM for further updates.