A West Vancouver real estate agent who acted as a rental agent for an overseas landlord when she wasn’t licensed to do so has been fined $7,500 for unprofessional conduct by the B.C. Real Estate Council.
Cheryl Chih Yu Kang, an agent with the Sutton Group – West Coast Realty, has agreed to pay the fine, as well as enforcement expenses of $1,500.
According to the written consent order of the real estate council, Kang ran afoul of the rules while looking after the property on Millstream Road in West Vancouver's British Properties, owned by an overseas friend.
The owner paid Kang and another woman to help look after rental of the property between 2014 and 2016. Kang dealt with the rental agreement, completed an inspection of the property with the tenant, advised the tenant of rent increases and handled post-dated rent cheques, according to the real estate council.
In her emails, Kang included her brokerage information in the signature line.
At the time, the property was renting for approximately $3,700 a month, according to facts presented in the consent order.
But Kang wasn’t officially permitted to act as a rental agent.
Things went sideways for the real estate agent in October 2016 after the tenant wrote to voice concerns about the safety of some trees near the property.
When Kang wrote back saying the trees were out of the landlord’s control and suggesting the tenant look for another place to live with “not many trees around,” according to facts presented in the consent order, the tenant took offence.
“It appears to me that you strongly prefer for us to evacuate the rental property before the contract expires as you have suggested in your text message,” the tenant is quoted as responding.
On another occasion, the tenant became upset after Kang ignored repeated requests to fix a toilet seat problem, according to the background facts in the consent order.
Eventually another rental management company took over responsibility for the property and the tenant complained to the real estate council about Kang’s conduct as a licenced real estate agent.
In June 2017 Kang provided a statement to the council denying that she had provided real estate services to the landlord or that she was in charge of any monetary transactions related to the property. She told the council she was just helping out a friend, who was “hoping to have trustworthy people looking after the rental of the property.”
Kang later signed a consent order agreeing she had committed misconduct by providing rental property management services when she wasn’t licensed to do so and providing those services separate from her brokerage, which is also against the rules.
In addition to the fine, Kang must complete a remedial course in real estate trading services at the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business.