Auction-based property company seeks damages for injurious falsehoods and an injunction against further interference in fair competition
OTTAWA, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–PropTech innovator Unreserved (“Unreserved,” “Unreserved.com, Inc.” or “the company”) today announced that it has filed suit against several real estate organizations for interference, defamation, and general damages. Claiming $25 million in damages, the company alleges that the Ottawa Real Estate Board and its President, Penny Torontow, along with the Ontario Real Estate Association and the Canadian Real Estate Association, have colluded to sabotage Unreserved’s business, undermine its relationships, and attack its reputation with consumers.
“Unreserved will not stand by while entrenched real estate interests gang up to suppress innovation in the market,” said Unreserved founder and CEO, Ryan O’Connor. “We’ve auctioned over 250 homes in the Ottawa area since opening for business in July of 2021, and as we gain market share, traditional real estate is going, ‘Oh, god, we need to get rid of auctions now.’ They’ve defamed our good name in front of home buyers and potential business partners alike, so we’re taking a stand for fairness and consumer choice in real estate.”
Unreserved contends that Torontow and Ontario Real Estate Association CEO Tim Hudak have defamed the company with “injurious falsehoods” in statements published on YouTube and in the Ottawa Citizen, respectively.
The lawsuit further claims damages to Unreserved’s relationship with the brokerage firm through which the company posted properties on the regional Multiple Listing System (MLS) database. By demanding all Unreserved listings include phrases like “for sale by an unregulated auction” and “subject to terms and conditions”, the Ottawa Real Estate Board (which operates the MLS) is allegedly trying to “scare and prevent” home buyers interested in the company’s offerings. Unreserved hopes to reassert its right to do business without tampering from anti-competitive interests and to promote consumer choice in the Canadian real estate market.
The Unreserved technology platform is paving the way for a transparent way to buy and sell homes allowing buyers to bid on homes in a real-time online auction environment, removing blind-bidding and bully offers from the equation. In addition, Unreserved is a full-service auction company, offering staging, marketing, and promotion to attract qualified buyers and interested sellers.
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