A South Surrey brokerage firm has had its licence suspended “in the public interest,” after allegedly failing to account for monies entrusted to them by clients.
A news release issued Thursday by the Real Estate Council of B.C. indicates the suspension levied against 8th Avenue Elite Realty Ltd. took effect two days earlier and remains in effect “until further notice.”
“8th Avenue Elite Realty Ltd. is prohibited from providing real estate services to or on behalf of any member of the public as a result of this order,” the release states.
The order was issued under Sec. 45 of the Real Estate Services Act, which pertains to orders issued in “urgent circumstances.”
Marilee Peters, communications officer for the provincial regulatory agency, told Peace Arch News Thursday that she could not disclose when investigation into the brokerage began, the value of monies unaccounted for or the number of clients affected.
She did say that such orders are “fortunately, a rare occurrence.”
Peters said “slightly less than 70” real estate agents were licensed under 8th Avenue, which was operating out of Morgan Creek Corporate Centre, at 210-15252 32 Ave.
“Because the brokerage’s licence has been suspended, their licence is inoperative,” Peters said of the associated agents.
However, the disciplinary step does not prevent those agents from transferring their licence to another brokerage.
Efforts to contact officials at 8th Avenue were unsuccessful. The business’s website has been taken down, the second-floor office is dark and calls to the phone number listed for contact are met with a busy signal.
A note posted on the brokerage’s Facebook page Aug. 25 appeals for information on the whereabouts of two individuals.
“The staff has left and the commission cheques are not being paid!” writes Julia Greene. “Please contact the Real Estate Council if you know anything…”
According to the Facebook page, the “real estate brokerage and real estate education center” opened on Jan. 11, 2013, offering “a new brand in real estate.”
“8th Avenue strives to be modern, trendy, professional, connected, and provide leading edge technology to its agents to provide customers with results they deserve.”
Peters said the council is “working very hard” on the case, but she could not predict how long the investigation might take.
“Every case is different and depending on the complexity of the matters at hand, it’s very hard to determine what timeframe it’ll need,” she said.
Concerned clients may contact the council at 604-683-9664.