New FINTRAC Regulations for Realtors

Rachel Loizos in  Toronto Real Estate News

If your real estate agent seems a little suspicious of you, don’t worry, it's nothing personal. 

New regulations under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) now compel your real estate broker or sales representative to ask you to provide ID, personal information and financial information (including where your deposit money came from) when you buy or sell a property. 

The regulations, which came into force on June 23, 2008, will force realtors to start asking property sellers and buyers personal information never before required. Brokers will have to keep records and submit information on request to the Financial Transaction and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), a federal agency set up to track suspicious transactions.   

Interestingly, if some parties in a real estate transaction are not represented by a real estate broker or sales representative while other parties are, each real estate broker or sales representative that represents a party to the transaction has to identify or confirm the existence of the parties that are not represented.  I wonder how agents will feel about the requirement to perform due diligence with respect to the for-sale-by-owner crowd?

The new regulations are part of legislation aimed at stopping money laundering and terrorist financing.  Check out the FINTRAC website for more detailed information. 

Rachel Loizos is an associate lawyer at Sotos LLP in Toronto. She practices in the area of real estate law.
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