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华人社区开始学会如何投诉买房合约中存在的问题
Homebuyers’ ordeals send ripples of concerns through immigrant communities

在安省,决定聘请地产经纪代理购房的买家必须和对方签订代理合约。根据该合约,买家在购房后必须向经纪支付佣金。此外,即使买家在合约有效期及90天延后期内是通过其他经纪完成购房交易,他们仍需向签订合约的经纪支付佣金。

In Ontario, home buyers who decide to hire an agent to purchase a home must sign a representation agreement with a realtor. The agreement requires homebuyers pay the realtor a commission after they purchase a home, even if the home is purchased with a different agent during the agreement period and the following 90-day holdover.

虽然代理合约旨在保护房地产交易各方的利益,但由此引发的诸多案例却导致一些买家,尤其是移民买家陷入悲惨境地。有些人士不得不和经纪对簿公堂,甚至会在法院判决后背负上沉重的债务负担。

But cases arise where this agreement, which intends to protect all parties involved in real estate transactions, have put some home buyers -- most of whom from the immigrant communities -- in a dire situation. Some face their agents in court, and even carrying a heavy debt load after a court judgment. 

但是,法律届和业内专家对这些惨痛的案例有着不同的观点和见解。有些人认为买家必需清楚了解自己的合约责任,而其他人则指责代理合约不公且易遭滥用,并呼吁对地产经纪行业加强监管。

But these tragic stories have elicited different views and interpretations from the legal community and industry experts. Some believe that buyers need to be aware of their signing responsibilities, whereas others complain that the agreement is unfair to consumers and thus prone to abuse. The concerns have sparked calls for tougher regulations on buyers’ representation agreement.


受害者的故事

Victims’ story

《大中报》早在2013年就曾报道过新移民李莉与其地产经纪之间的纠纷事件。据法庭文件称,在李莉被其地产经纪告上法庭,要求她以房价2.25%支付其通过另一名经纪所购房屋的佣金(约$2万元)。但在收到此法律诉讼前,她根本不知道自己曾签署过这份合约。

Chinese News had published an article in 2013 reporting a dispute between a newcomer Lily and her real estate agent. According to court documents, Lily wasn’t aware of having signed such an agreement with an agent until she received a legal claim from him, seeking a commission of 2.25% on the home (about $20,000) she purchased with a different agent.

李莉称:“我收到诉状被惊呆了……我根本不知道自己签署了这份合约……直到现在我才明白在早先那场输掉的竞标战中,他曾在为我准备的报价文件中偷偷夹进了这份合约。”

 “I was dumbfounded by this claim… I was completely unaware that I had signed such a contract… Now I’ve realized that he sneaked inside an offer package he helped me prepared for a bidding war that I’ve lost.


李莉称:“我被骗了,成了冤大头。”

“I’ve become a victim and I have been taken advantage of,” she alleges.

但是受害者强烈的无辜申辩往往在重视合约法律效应的加国司法系统中销声匿迹。

But the victims’ innocent pleas are often ignored by the Canadian legal system, which values the legal binding power of a contract.             

CBC报道,印裔移民Ajit Bains也经历了和李莉类似的悲惨遭遇。据Bains称,他是被Homelife Superstars的一名地产经纪诱骗签署这种代理合约。在Bains通过另一名经纪达成购房交易后,他被原先委托的经纪告上法庭,最终法庭判决经纪胜诉,Bains因此背上了一笔$12,280元债务并且他所购新房也被债务抵押。

According to CBC, Ajit Bains, an immigrant from the Indian community has gone through a similar ordeal as Lily. Bains was allegedly tricked into signing such a representation contract with a Homelife Superstars realtor. After Bains bought a home with a different agent, he was sued by the agent in the agreement and a court ruling has left him facing a $12,280 debt and lien on his home.

同样,Bains也声称自己是在不知情的情况下签署该合约。

Similarly, Bains allegedly signed the agreement without reading it:

Bains的儿子在接受CBC采访时称,该合约是夹在报价文件内一并签署,其父亲对此一无所知。

In an interview with the CBC, the son of Bains said that the contact was signed within the offer papers, without his dad’s knowing.

在经过了一场艰巨的法律之战之后,法官判决Bains向地产经纪及其公司支付所追讨的佣金。在庭审期间,该经纪向法庭表示,他此前已用英语向Bains解释过该份合约,他完全了解合约内容。

After a tough battle with the agent in court, the judge awarded the agent and his company the amount of money they were seeking. The agent told the court that he had explained the agreement to Bains in English and that Bains understood it.

法官认为地产经纪并未欺诈Bains,其在裁决书中称:“文件已经其(Bains)阅读和签署。”

The judge did not believe that fraud was committed on Mr. Bains by the agent:

“The document was there for him [Bains] to read and sign,” wrote the judge in his judgment.

地产经纪监管机构安省地产局(REC0也认为违反具有法律约束力之合约的买家应向地产经纪支付佣金。

RECO, Real Estate Council of Ontario – the regulatory body of realtors also believes that purchasers who breach a legal binding contract are liable to pay for the agent commission.


RECO的高级通讯官Kyle Rooks在早先发给《大中报》的一封电邮中称,签约客户有责任对合约内容提问,并确保他们了解所签合约的内容。 -

Kyle Rooks, the Senior Communications Officer of RECO, wrote in an earlier email to Chinese News that it is the responsibility of the signing clients to ask questions and ensure they understand what they are signing.

在没看懂合约之前不要随便签字已是老生常谈。但是,未来的购房者或许能受到更好的法律保护。

It has become an old cliché: don’t sign an agreement if don’t understand it. But future consumers might get better protection as industry experts are calling for changes.

业内专家:代理合约对消费者不公

Industry experts: deal is unfair to consumers

尽管法官认为代理合约有效,但也同时也指出合约内容明显偏袒并有利于经纪,对消费者不公平。

Despite the fact that the judge’s ruling has held up the agreement, the judgment indicates in his judgment that the agreement was one-sided and wasn’t a fair for consumers.


CBC go public节目就此采访了一位业内分析家,他对代理合约的公平性表示担心,并呼吁进行改革。

The CBC go public has interviewed an industry analyst, who expressed serious concerns over the fairness of the agreement, and calls for change.

Real Estate Investment Network高级分析师兼作家坎贝尔看来,这些购房者的遭遇无异于消费者如若在其他地方购买汽车,便需向他们所见到的第一名卖家付钱。

Don Campbell, author and senior analyst at the Real Estate Investment Network likens the situation to one where consumers are required to pay their first car seller they’ve met if they buy car anywhere in the city.

坎贝尔在接受CBC采访时称:“如果卖方经纪所做的一切只是签署此类合约,从而无论你是在明天还是在今后15个月内购房他们都可以得到报酬,那显然是大错特错的。”

If the realtor on the other side, all they did was to get that document signed, they are going to get paid whether you buy a house tomorrow or 15 months from now. That is seriously not right," he told the CBC.


坎贝尔希望地产经纪行业加强监管。

Campbell wants to see the industry to impose tougher rules.

他称:“是否需要改革?需要。是否需要做出更为具体的规定?是的。全国各地的地产局必须设法确保其对消费者更加公平。”

"Does it need to change? Yes. Does it need to be more specific? Yes. From the real estate boards across the country they have to find a way to make it more fair for the consumer.”

编注:本文曾在2015年2月《大中报》上发表。
Note: The story was published in Chinese News in May, 2015.


 

 

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