A Kamloops real estate agent has been fined $20,000 after being caught on camera drinking milk straight out of the carton at a home he was showing to potential buyers.
The agreement was reached between realtor Mike Rose and the B.C. Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) based on the fact he committed conduct unbecoming under the Real Estate Services Act.
Incident caught on camera prompts disciplinary action
At the time of the incident on Jul. 16, 2022, Rose was employed with Royal LePage Kamloops Realty’s Home & Cottage Realty. Although he is no longer with that brokerage, he continues to work as a realtor in the region, according to Realtor.ca.
Rose, who has been in the real estate business since 1994, was assisting potential buyers in their search for a property. On Jul. 13, 2022, he brought his clients to a Kamloops property for their first viewing. On Jul. 16, 2022, the potential buyers wanted to see the property again, and Rose arrived ahead of them.
According to the consent order issued by the BCFSA, “After entering the Property, Mr. Rose looked around for water to drink by opening the refrigerator. Mr. Rose says that as he did not find water in the refrigerator, he instead took a drink of milk directly from a container of milk in the refrigerator. He then returned the container to the refrigerator.”
Realtor to pay fine and enforcement expenses
Rose did not inform the homeowners or their agent about drinking the milk, nor did he replace the milk he consumed. The homeowners discovered the incident after reviewing surveillance camera footage from their home.
On Jul. 18, 2022, Rose returned to the property with the potential buyers for another viewing, and the homeowners were present. Upon confrontation, Rose acknowledged his actions, stating, “The milk?” He then apologized for the incident. In response, the homeowners expressed their disapproval and informed Rose that he was no longer welcome in their home. Subsequently, the potential buyers terminated their agency relationship with Rose and sought a new real estate agent for their property purchase.
Rose explained that his behaviour on Jul. 16, 2022, was entirely uncharacteristic of him, attributing it to being unusually dehydrated due to a new medication he had taken earlier that day and coping with personal issues causing significant stress.
The sellers shared the surveillance footage with a local news outlet, and an article was published on Jul. 16, 2022. The article featured quotes from the seller, as well as Rose’s public apology, expressing regret for his unbecoming behaviour and breaking the trust of the sellers.
Following the incident, Rose’s brokerage surrendered his license to the BCFSA on Aug. 3, 2022, but he was later reinstated with a new brokerage on Aug. 11, 2022.
In addition to the $20,000 fine, Rose will also pay $2,500 to cover BCFSA enforcement expenses, with the deadline for payment set for Jan. 18, 2024
This isn’t the first time Rose has faced discipline by the BCFSA. On Dec. 29, 2011, he received a consent order that included a 14-day suspension, a $1,000 fine, and the requirement to complete remedial education for professional misconduct in relation to a 2009 transaction.
The misconduct involved his failure to act in the best interests of the seller by inadequately documenting price reduction instructions and amending mandatory disclosures without obtaining fresh authorizations from the seller.