Electronic Document Storage
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Record keeping is a crucial component of trading in real estate. Under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002, brokerages are required to retain all documents and records that related to trade in real estate, for six years.
Businesses are increasingly reliant on electronic record-keeping and storage to improve efficiency. In keeping with this trend, the Act recognizes that registrants use data storage, processing retrieval devices or systems, in business operations or to produce information for inspections.
Registrants are permitted to keep records in an unalterable scanned format for the required minimum six year period, so long as these records can be easily reproduced for inspection by RECO.
In relation to inspections, the Act stipulates the following:
- An inspector may, in the course of an inspection, require a person to produce a document or record and to provide whatever assistance is reasonably necessary, including any data storage, processing or retrieval device or system to produce information in any form;
- Inspectors are entitled to free access to all money, valuables, documents and records, including data storage, processing retrieval devices or systems, of the person being inspected that are relevant to the inspection;
- Inspectors, upon giving a receipt for items or documents, may remove for examination and or copy anything relevant to the inspection including; data storage disks or other retrieval devices.
Registrants should be aware that RECO can only address record-keeping requirements under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 and its regulations.
RECO is not able to comment on other record keeping requirements imposed by Acts and regulations it does not administer. Questions or concerns about other record keeping requirements applicable to real estate brokerages and their employees should be directed to the organizations responsible for enforcement of the relevant legislation.