Document Retention Information

Information
Published on
person saving files on computer

Select the section you’d like to navigate to.

Trade Record Sheet

This sheet is required where a brokerage receives money in relation to a trade in real estate.

download icon Download PDF
  • Information

    BCFSA’s information provides clear, concise, easy-to-read explanations of the requirements for real estate professionals under the Real Estate Services Act (“RESA”), Real Estate Services Regulation (“Regulation”), Real Estate Services Rules (“Rules”), and other applicable legislation.

    This information is intended for use by real estate professionals, to support their understanding of the standards they must meet in the delivery of real estate services.

Location of Brokerage Records

All brokerage records that must be retained per RESA must be kept in the province of British Columbia. Per the Real Estate Services Rules, these include books, accounts, and other records in proper order and kept up to date. Like paper records, if your brokerage opts to retain documents in an electronic format, the servers which store the information must be in the province of B.C.

Financial Records

(a) Financial Records

Your brokerage must retain financial records in connection with its business to ensure appropriate and timely accounting of all transactions relating to the real estate services conducted. These records must detail the:

  • Amount of money held or received by the brokerage on its own behalf;
  • Amount of money paid by the brokerage on its own behalf;
  • Amount of money held or received on behalf of each other person (and, if applicable, whether it was held or received on behalf of the person as a principal or real estate professional);
  • Amount of money paid to or on behalf of each other person (and, if applicable, whether it was paid to the person as a principal or real estate professional);
  • Total amount of money held or received for, or on behalf of, other persons; and
  • Total amount of money paid to or on behalf of other persons.

(b) Trust Account and General Account Records

For every account maintained by your brokerage, the brokerage must:

  • Retain all banking records relating to accounts for all transactions, including the bank statements, cancelled cheques and other source documents confirming deposits and withdrawals;
  • Prepare and maintain a record showing amounts received and disbursed, the reason funds were received or disbursed and any unexpended balance; and
  • Prepare and retain monthly reconciliations of bank statements prepared in a timely fashion and no later than five weeks after the end of the month being reconciled.

(c) Pooled Trust Account Records

In addition to the Real Estate Services Rules for trust account and general account records, for each pooled trust account, the brokerage must prepare and retain records in respect of money held or received on account of real estate services:

  • For a trade in real estate — A separate trust ledger for each trade in real estate showing all amounts received and disbursed and any unexpended balance in relation to the trade;
  • For rental property management — A separate trust ledger for each principal showing all amounts received and disbursed in relation to the principal and any unexpected balance;
  • For strata management — A separate trust ledger for each principal showing all amounts received and disbursed in relation to the principal and any unexpended balance;
  • For remuneration for real estate services — A separate trust ledger for each real estate professional or other intended recipient showing all amounts received and disbursed for each recipient and any unexpended balance;
  • A monthly trust liability and asset reconciliation:
    • For money held by the brokerage as stakeholder, listing each trade in real estate for which the brokerage holds the trust money, and the amount being held for each trade
    • For money that is not held by the brokerage as stakeholder, listing every person the brokerage holds trust money for and the amount being held for each person
    • Reconciling the money held in the brokerage trust account to the unexpected balances in the trust ledger for that account

These records must be prepared no later than five weeks after the end of the month being reconciled by your brokerage.

(d) Preparation of Records After Termination

After the termination of a service agreement, your brokerage must prepare all the financial records for the services that were provided.

Learn more about trust account requirements

Other Records

(a) General Records

In addition to the financial records, your brokerage must retain the following:

  • Written disclosures per the Real Estate Services Rules and any related acknowledgments;
  • Written service agreements and any other records that establish the scope of authority of the brokerage respecting the provision of real estate services to a client;
  • Annual financial reports per the Real Estate Services Rules; and
  • Notices regarding assignments of contracts per the Regulation.

Your brokerage must also prepare and retain a list maintained separately for each fiscal year of the brokerage, of:

  • All trades the brokerage is or was involved in during that year;
  • All rental properties that are or were managed by the brokerage during that year; and
  • All strata corporations that are or were managed by the brokerage during that year.

(b) Trading Records

Your brokerage must retain the following records for every trade in real estate:

  • Contracts for acquisition and disposition of real estate; and
  • Accounting statements prepared by or on behalf of the brokerage that are provided to a party by the brokerage in relation to a trade.

If your brokerage holds or receives money in relation to real estate trades, the brokerage must prepare and retain a trade record sheet in a form approved by BCFSA. The form must include:

  • The nature of the trade;
  • A description sufficient to identify the real estate involved;
  • The deal number for the purposes of identifying the trade;
  • The sale price or other consideration;
  • The name and address of every party to the trade;
  • The amount of money received that is required by RESA to be paid into the brokerage trust account and disbursement details; and
  • The amount of remuneration paid or payable to any real estate professional or other person, and the name of the party paying the remuneration.
  • A Trade Record Sheet is required by BCFSA in every case where a brokerage holds or receives money in relation to a trade in real estate and not just in relation to completed trades in real estate. The Trade Record Sheet is not a substitute for a separate trust ledger for each trade in real estate.

    For lease trades in real estate, the Trade Record Sheet should be modified to provide the name of the lessor and lessee, the terms of the lease, lease rate, and the various security, pet or other deposits.

(c) Records Related to Referral Fees Received by a Real Estate Professional

The Real Estate Services Rules relating to referral fees received only apply when your brokerage receives a referral fee, and the only trading service provided by your brokerage is the referral of a person to a real estate professional or vice versa for the purposes of providing real estate services, or when a referral fee is received in relation to strata or rental property management services.

In these cases, your brokerage, using a form approved by BCFSA, must prepare, and maintain the following information:

  • Amount of the referral fee;
  • Date the brokerage received the referral fee;
  • Description with enough information to identify the activity of the brokerage or related real estate professional for which the referral was received;
  • Name of the person who paid the referral; and
  • Name(s) of every person to whom any amount of the referral was paid, and the date they were paid.
Learn more about referrals

(d) Records Related to Referral Fees Paid

The Real Estate Services Rules relating to referral fees paid only apply when your brokerage pays referral fees that are not in connection with a trade in real estate which for records are to be retained per the Real Estate Services Rules. This section still applies when a referral fee is paid in relation to strata or rental property management (See section B above).

In these cases, your brokerage, using a form approved by BCFSA, must prepare, and maintain the following information:

  • Amount of the referral fee;
  • Date the brokerage paid the referral fee;
  • Description with enough information to identify the purpose for which the referral was paid;
  • Name of the real estate professional on whose behalf the referral fee was paid; and
  • Name of the person to whom the referral fee was paid.
Learn more about referrals

(e) Rental Property Management Records

Your brokerage must retain the following records in relation to any property management services it provides:

  • Copy of the service agreement;
  • Tenancy agreements or other rental contracts;
  • Accounting statements prepared to provide to clients; and
  • Invoices for expenditures incurred on behalf of clients.

When your brokerage provides property management services, it must also prepare and retain a record of:

  • The tenants at each rental property managed by the brokerage; and
  • The security, pet damage or any other deposits paid by each tenant.

Upon request of a former client or their new brokerage, your brokerage must provide the following documents:

  • Financial records outlined in the Real Estate Services Rules (See section B above); and
  • Tenancy agreements and invoices for expenditures incurred and tenant deposit records (unless already provided).

The request must be fulfilled within two weeks following the request or four weeks following the date of the termination of the service agreement, whichever is later. Despite the termination of the agency relationship, your brokerage must still retain all records as outlined in the Real Estate Services Rules.

(f) Strata Management Records

If your brokerage provides strata management services, it must retain separate books, accounts, and other records for each strata corporation it provides services to. For each strata corporation the following records must be kept:

  • Copy of the service agreement;
  • Accounting statements provided to the strata corporation;
  • Invoices for expenses incurred on behalf of the strata corporation; and
  • Monthly statements provided to the strata corporation per the Real Estate Services Rules.

Upon request of a former client or their new brokerage, your brokerage must provide the following documents:

  • Financial records that relate to trust accounts outlined in the Real Estate Services Rules; and
  • Accounting statements and invoices for expenses (unless already provided).

The request must be fulfilled within two weeks following the request or four weeks following the date of the termination of the service agreement, whichever is later. Despite the termination of the agency relationship, your brokerage must still retain all records as outlined in the Real Estate Services Rules.

Electronic Records

With technology that allows real estate service documents to be created and stored electronically, many brokerages are opting to store documents in electronic format to save both money and space.

Any record required under the Real Estate Services Rules relating to financial and other brokerage records may be retained in electronic form as long as they are readily available to be printed when needed.

Should a request be made for the records by anyone authorized under the RESA, Real Estate Services Rules, Real Estate Services Regulation or Bylaws, for the purposes of inspection, you must promptly provide a copy of those records in written form (if that is how it is requested by BCFSA).

Retention of Records

Your brokerage must retain financial and other brokerage records for no less than seven years after their creation unless BCFSA permits you, in writing, to retain them for a shorter term.

If you offer rental property management services, your brokerage must retain the tenancy and deposit documents as outlined in the Real Estate Services Rules for no less than seven years after the earlier of the:

  • Date the tenancy agreement ends; or
  • Date the rental management agreement ends.

This timeframe may only be changed with the written permission of BCFSA. The records kept do not need to be original copies and may be copies as long as they are clear and legible. The records must be made available at the head office of your brokerage for review by BCFSA per the Real Estate Services Rules.

Brokerage Obligations When Winding Up Business

If your brokerage will be winding up and ceasing the delivery of real estate services, your brokerage must do the following:

  • Surrender the brokerage licence and related licences of real estate professionals to BCFSA immediately
  • Promptly submit to BCFSA a report regarding winding up;
  • Submit one or more financial statements, and reports required under the Real Estate Services Rules, and further information about the brokerage to BCFSA if requested; and
  • Arrange for records to be kept for the required amount of time at another brokerage, accountant, lawyer or notary or other person approved by BCFSA.

Additional documents may be required to satisfy your anti-money laundering obligations.

Please read the Anti-Money Laundering Information for more information.