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Sep 12, 2017

Providing ID can prevent real estate disputes, money laundering

Real estate agents have a responsibility to properly represent their clients and to protect all parties involved in a transaction from fraud or mismanagement. In order to avoid real estate disputes, there are certain steps they often take throughout the buying and selling process. One of these steps is verifying the identification of their clients through a government-issued ID, such as an Ontario driver's license or passport.

A great deal of money is involved in real estate transactions. The agents who facilitate these deals are required to ensure that parties are who they say they are. This protects the agent and other parties from real estate disputes or fraud later in the process. Asking for ID is one acceptable way to complete this verification.

The Federal anti-money laundering regulations, which passed in 2001, increased the need for agents to properly confirm their clients' identities. High-value transactions such as real estate can be used for money laundering, and real estate agents who are involved in these transactions can receive significant fines and a jail term of up to five years. Combined with the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (REBBA), this strong legislation requires that real estate agents to do their due diligence to make sure everyone is forthcoming.

Real estate disputes can arise when agents do not abide by policies or when clients are uncomfortable complying with requests for ID. It is important that both parties understand the legal reasons for checking and providing identification and feel secure in their transaction. An Ontario real estate lawyer is a good resource for anyone needed clarification or support with these legal issues.