Council candidate fined for strata bookkeeping errors

One of the candidates running for Mission council in November has released a statement regarding public questions surrounding penalties his company received from the Real Estate Council of BC (RECBC) in 2011 and 2010.

One of the candidates running for Mission council in November has released a statement regarding public questions surrounding penalties his company received from the Real Estate Council of BC (RECBC) in 2011 and 2010.

Dave Hensman, one of a slate of seven candidates running under the Citizens for Responsible Municipal Government (CRMG) banner, owns Teamwork Property Management (TPM), a strata management specialist company in Abbotsford that was fined a total of $7,000 by the RECBC.

On April 14, the RECBC found TPM and Hensman had contravened section 27(2)(b) of the Real Estate Services Act.

Hensman’s statement explains: “A bookkeeping error was made and the money was deposited directly into the corporate account before being first deposited then withdrawn from the trust account which is the required first step.”

He said this was an employee bookkeeping error.

Previously, on Oct. 19, 2010, the council ordered Hensman, along with a representative of TPM, to pay similar fines.

According to transcripts of the decision, Hensman failed to “act in the best interests of the Strata Corporation Clients by investing contingency reserve funds in an investment program …” which contravened the Strata Property Act.

“After the funds were invested Teamwork did further research and felt the investment vehicles did not fully comply with the Strata Property Act,” the statement reads.

“Teamwork corrected this issue before the Real Estate Council became involved.”

Strata management in B.C. came under the licensing authority of the RECBC in 2006, the rules of which have sometimes been unclear for brokers, said Hensman.

He said TPM’s books were reviewed by a consent order committee of the RECBC and the company accepted the council’s findings.

“As with any company, you make mistakes and you pay fines. I’m a big proponent of when you make a mistake, you own up to it,” he said.

Hensman said TPM has been a reputable firm with a client base of 10,000 people in the Fraser Valley for a decade.

TPM is in good standing with the RECBC, SPAC BC (Strata Property Agents of BC) and the Better Business Bureau.

Tyler Davis, a spokesman for RECBC, said the council has auditors that look at the financial records of all real estate brokerages, including ones that do property management, in order to ensure all monies are properly accounted for.

The range of penalties that the RECBC can impose is a reprimand at the lower end to a suspension varying from a week to a year, to an outright license cancellation in the most serious of cases. TPM and Hensman received a fine.