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Acting Within the Scope of Your Authority

As a real estate licensee, you have certain duties that are owed to your clients. These include:

  • Acting in your client’s best interests;
  • Following your client’s lawful instructions;
  • Maintaining confidentiality;
  • Taking reasonable steps to avoid conflicts of interest; and
  • Acting within the scope of your authority.

This article focuses on what it means to act within the scope of authority your client has granted to you. For more details on other duties to clients, including those listed above, check out our Knowledge Base.

Acting Within the Scope of Your Authority Explained

To act within the scope of your authority means you have been granted authority by your client to complete any work you’re hired to do. This is established in Section 30 of the Real Estate Services Rules.

A key takeaway of acting within the scope of your authority is client consent. Therefore, making decisions without your client’s consent or knowledge violates this rule. Examples include accepting an offer without your client’s knowledge, advertising without your client’s knowledge or against their wishes, or sharing their information without their consent.

The rule also applies to trading services licensees, strata property managers, and rental property managers.

Communication Is Key

It’s common for your working relationship with clients to change while you’re providing services. If a client wants to adjust the scope of your authority, it’s essential that you inform them of new risks that may arise from the changes. A solid understanding of these risks can help them make more informed decisions. You must also amend any disclosure of representation or service agreement you have entered into in order to reflect the changes.

A client can increase or decrease the authority granted to you at any time. Keeping the lines of communication open and consistent helps you continue to act in your client’s best interest and work within the authority granted.