Measured Responses is a new feature in the Regulator where we publish frequently asked questions about the Residential Measurement Standard (RMS).
In this edition, we focus on documentation for the RMS, including that some local Boards require their members to upload documentation to the listing database in support of their RMS measurements.
Generally, RECA does not concern itself with the documents you upload to your local listing database. What matters to RECA is that professionals follow the RMS Principles and include proper documentation in their transaction/brokerage file.
When uploading documents to our local listing database to support our RMS measurements, is it enough to upload the room sizes and stated RMS size without a drawing?
What you upload to your local listing database to support your listing size is outside of RECA’s concern, but we expect supporting information or documentation to be in your brokerage file.
RECA does not require scaled diagrams or sketches that show room dimensions, but it would be very unusual for a real estate professional to not have a diagram or sketch in the brokerage file showing measurements and/or calculations. Ultimately, residential real estate professionals need to be able to demonstrate how they calculated the RMS size, and diagrams, sketches, and calculations help them do this – and help their broker ensure correct procedures.
Is uploading a measurement package done by a third party measuring company that has a disclaimer “Work is not insured” acceptable?
A measurement package shouldn’t contain such a disclaimer because third-party measuring companies need to have E&O insurance. If there is such a disclaimer, you need to ask why – and you need to recognize it will likely not absolve you of any liability.
If you hire a third-party measurement company, you must ensure the company can measure the property competently according to the RMS. Look into their reputation and ensure they carry E&O insurance.
Additionally, brokers should have policies surrounding its industry professionals’ use of property measurement companies. The broker can:
- establish the steps the real estate professionals must take to determine whether a property measurement company is competent to measure in accordance with the RMS
- direct associates to only use property measurement companies the broker has determined competent
Is it satisfactory to upload a measurement package from a third party measuring company that has a disclaimer that “the work is not warranted to be accurate and if important a third party should be consulted?
Whether you hire a measurement company or not – you (and through you, your brokerage) are taking responsibility for the size representations you make. A disclaimer like that will not help you avoid liability if the size is incorrect. In the event of a complaint about the measurement, that disclaimer will not help you avoid liability nor will it serve as a defence. RECA isn’t involved in whether such a disclaimer is acceptable when you upload that package to your local listing database. That being said, if you’re hiring this company to provide accurate, competent measurements, you should question them about their use of such a disclaimer – and possibly consider hiring someone else.
More RMS documentation questions
If a real estate professional measures a property and they have a sketch but no math showing how they determined size, is this acceptable to RECA?
Ultimately, residential real estate professionals need to be able to demonstrate how they calculated the RMS size. If your sketch does not demonstrate this, and you have no other way of demonstrating it, it may not be enough.
Here are just some of the ways real estate professionals can demonstrate due diligence when measuring property themselves:
- sketch the exterior perimeter of the property
- sketch separate floor plans for each above grade level
- identify the areas to measure (inclusions and exclusions) according to the RMS principles
- record measurements, sketches, and any other relevant notes related to the property
- double check your calculations for mathematical or transposition errors
- keep these items in the client’s file
If a real estate professional includes a Real Property Report (RPR) in a brokerage file and says they determined the RMS size using the RPR, is this satisfactory?
No. A real estate professional cannot use the RPR to determine the RMS size.