The Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate is introducing new rules that it says will improve consumer protection in B.C.'s real estate industry.

Starting next year, B.C. real estate agents will no longer be able to practice dual agency, meaning a single agent will not be allowed to act on behalf of both the buyer and the seller in the same deal.

"Ending dual agency removes the potential for conflict and serious problems," Micheal Noseworthy, B.C.'s superintendent of real estate, said in a release. "We want to create transparency for both consumers and [agents] to ensure everyone understands in whose interest [agents] must be working."

B.C. is the first province to prohibit the practice.

The new rules come into effect on March 15, 2018 and stem from recommendations made last year by an independent advisory panel created by the former B.C. Liberal government.

Other changes include requiring real estate agents to disclose information about how they split commissions.

Noseworthy hopes the new rules will provide clarity for consumers around the role of the agent. The B.C. Real Estate Association, however, says it's disappointed with the ban on dual agency—insisting consumers will have less choice.

There will be a small exception to the prohibition for properties so remote that finding another agent would be extremely difficult.

With a report from CTV Vancouver's Bhinder Sajan and files from the Canadian Press.