Beginning November 30, 2020, any time an application is made to register an interest in land in BC’s land title register, a transparency declaration must be filed with the LOTA administrator by each An individual to whom an interest in land is transferred. transferee .
Most of the terminology related to LOTR is set out in the Land Owner Transparency Act (LOTA).
The A declaration that is filed by each transferee together with an application to register an interest in land, stating whether the transferee is a reporting body and, if the transferee is a reporting body, whether the reporting body is a relevant corporation, a trustee or a relevant trust, or a partner of a relevant partnership. transparency declaration must indicate:
- Whether the transferee is a A relevant corporation, a trustee of a relevant trust or a partner of a relevant partnership that is required to file a transparency report under LOTA. reporting body ;
- If the transferee is a reporting body, whether the reporting body is a relevant corporation, a trustee of a relevant trust or a partner of a relevant partnership.
A transferee that is a reporting body must also complete and file a A report that is filed with a transparency declaration on an application to register an interest in land, if the transferee is a reporting body. transparency report setting out information about the reporting body and its A beneficial owner of a relevant trust, a corporate interest holder of a relevant corporation, or a partnership interest holder of a relevant partnership. interest holders . Different information is required depending if the reporting body is a relevant corporation, relevant partnership or relevant trust.
Existing reporting bodies with an interest in land will need to file a transparency report by November 30, 2021. Each time the interest holders change, the reporting body must file an updated report.
LOTR transparency declarations and transparency reports are filed at the same time as an application is made to register an interest in land with the Land Title Office. However, they do not form part of the records of the Land Title Office and instead are maintained in LOTR by the administrator in accordance with rules established in LOTA. Transparency declarations and transparency reports will generally be submitted to LOTR by legal professionals on behalf of their clients.
Online forms for LOTR will be available in myLTSA beginning early morning (i.e. 12:01am) on Monday, November 30, 2020. As section 25 of LOTA is not in force until November 30, 2020, transparency declarations and transparency reports cannot be certified by the reporting body prior to this date.
Legal professionals who are completing a real estate purchase on November 30, 2020 are required to have a certifier for each transferee available to sign LOTR documents on that day. An execution copy or a true copy of the execution copy is needed for the designate to apply their electronic signature. This means that the designate can email electronic copies of the completed transparency declaration and transparency report to the certifier of the reporting body, the certifier can print and ‘wet ink sign’ those forms, then scan and email the certified forms back to the designate. Once the transparency records are signed by the certifier, and the designate has an execution copy or true copy in their possession, the designate can only then apply an electronic signature to the online form(s) and submit to the Registrar of Land Titles.
Exclusions From LOTR
Some types of land, organizations and individuals are not required to be registered in LOTR.
Examples of excluded lands are:
- Treaty lands of a Treaty First Nation
- Recognized self-governing First Nations lands (e.g., Sechelt, Nisga’a)
- Reserve lands
Examples of excluded organizations are:
- Public corporations (listed on stock exchanges)
- Strata corporations
- Government bodies
- Charitable trusts
Examples of excluded individuals are:
- Shareholders in private corporations with less than 10% of the corporation’s voting shares
Notice under section 17.1 of LOTA
Under section 17.1, a registered owner who has previously filed a transparency report, must give notice to the Administrator if that registered owner ceases to be a reporting body. Notice must be given within two months of the change in status.
The requirement to submit a Section 17.1 Notice applies in circumstances where there is a material change to what was formerly a relevant corporation, relevant trust or relevant partnership such that the entity no longer meets the definition of relevant corporation, relevant trust or relevant partnership under LOTA.
Application under section 40 of LOTA
In an application under section 40, an individual may request that some or all of the publicly accessible information about the individual in LOTR be omitted. To make this application, the individual must believe that making the information publicly accessible could reasonably be expected to threaten their safety or mental or physical health, or that of a member of their household.
Once an application has been received, the Administrator must promptly omit the information requested from a search or review by a member of the public.
The Administrator may request further information or documents from the applicant to support the application. If the Administrator asks an applicant to provide further information to support the application and the applicant fails to provide the information within the time specified, the Administrator is required under the Act to stop omitting the information.
Under section 41, the Administrator may stop omitting some or all of the information that the applicant has requested to be omitted if the Administrator is satisfied that making some or all of the information publicly accessible could not reasonably be expected to threaten the applicant’s safety or mental or physical health, or that of a member of their household. In these circumstances, the Administrator will notify the applicant of this decision and will stop omitting the information until at least 30 days after giving notice.
Application under section 42 of LOTA
Who may apply
A person or corporation may apply under section 42 to correct information in a filed transparency report:
- an interest holder or settlor may apply to correct or change information about them or itself,
- a former reporting body may apply to correct or change information about the reporting body or about an interest holder or settlor of the reporting body.
Section 42 does not apply to a current reporting body who must file a new transparency report under section 17 of LOTA to correct information in a previous report.
Pre-conditions for applying
Before an interest holder or settlor may make an application:
- they must have made a written request to the reporting body that submitted the information to LOTR to correct the information by filing a new transparency report under section 17 of LOTA, and
- the reporting body must have failed to file the new transparency report as requested within three months of receiving the request.
Before a reporting body may make an application to correct information about an interest holder or settlor, they must have taken reasonable steps to give written notice of the requested correction to the interest holder or settlor.
When to Consult a Legal Professional
The below list offers some examples of when you should consult a legal professional regarding your interest in land ownership.
- You are an owner of a corporation, trust or partnership that has a legal interest in land in BC (for example, an investment in commercial or residential real estate)
- You are a part owner of a company which is a part owner of another company which has a legal interest in land in BC
- Your company, which is based either inside or outside of BC, invests in real estate in BC
- There are changes to your company’s ownership, and your company has a legal interest in land in BC
- You or your company is transferring ownership of all or part of a legal interest in land in BC
- You have just purchased or inherited land in BC, such as a house or condo
- You are acting as executor on an estate which has a legal interest in land in BC
- You are not sure if you or your company needs to submit a transparency declaration or a transparency report
- You need help submitting a transparency declaration or transparency report, or an application to omit/change information
Fees For Filing
|Statutory Service under the Land Owner Transparency Act||Customer Fee|
|Filing of transparency declaration under any provision of the Act.||$5.00|
|Filing of transparency report under any provision of the Act.||$35.00|
Notice under section 17.1 of the Act
[Notice required if corporation, trust or partnership ceases to be relevant corporation, relevant trust or relevant partnership].
Application under section 40 of the Act
[Application to omit information if health or safety at risk].
Application under section 42 of the Act
[Application to correct or change information].
Are you required to file to LOTR?
The questions below will help you to understand when a filing to LOTR is required. We recommend contacting a legal professional for advice on any specific circumstances.