Land Owner Transparency Registry – NEW RULES FOR ALL BC LANDOWNERSSynergy Mortgage
NEW RULES: If you are an existing property owner in BC and your title is held by a reporting body, or if you are buying real estate in BC and are an individual or a reporting body there are new rules.
Starting on November 30, 2020, every application to register an “interest in land” under the Land Title Act (British Columbia) must be accompanied by a “transparency declaration”. So every homebuyer in BC will be required to make this declaration with their legal professional.
Furthermore, the declaration confirms if the transferee is a “reporting body” under the LOTA. A reporting body is a relevant corporation, a trustee of a relevant trust or a partner of a relevant partnership. Any transferee that is a reporting body must confirm the type of reporting body it is and is required to file a “transparency report” under LOTA. They are required to set out information regarding the transferee and individual “interest holders”.
The information will be posted in a publicly searchable registry which will be launched on April 30, 2021.
Without a transparency declaration (and if applicable a transparency report) the Land Title Office will not complete the registration of an interest in land in BC.
NOTE: Interest in land already held by a corporation, trustee or partner that is required to file a transparency report will have until November 30, 2021 to file, as prescribed by the Land Owner Transparency Regulations (PDF).
Money laundering is an issue in British Columbia as well as throughout Canada. The Combatting Money Laundering in B.C. Real Estate (PDF) report outlines steps government can take to stop illegal money from negatively affecting market prices and housing affordability in B.C.
The Land Owner Transparency Registry launched Nov. 30, 2020, and as of this date, new transferees of an interest in land (including corporations, trustees and partners that own land in B.C.) are now required to file with the registry.
Interest in land already held by a corporation, trustee or partner that is required to file a transparency report will have until November 30, 2021 to file, as prescribed by the Land Owner Transparency Regulations (PDF).
The ability to search the registry will be launched on April 30, 2021.
In May 2019, government passed the Land Owner Transparency Act. The first-of-its-kind in Canada, it created the first publicly accessible registry of beneficial interests in land in B.C. – the Land Owner Transparency Registry.
The Expert Panel on Money Laundering in B.C. report says that “disclosing beneficial ownership is the single most important measure that can be taken to combat money laundering,” which the report estimates has raised housing prices by 5% in B.C. alone. The registry also fulfills a commitment in B.C.’s 30-point housing plan to end hidden ownership by establishing a registry.
In August 2020, the government passed the Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, which includes amendments to the Land Owner Transparency Act to provide technical clarity during the development of the registry. An unofficial copy of the consolidated legislation, including the August 2020 amendments can be found here: Land Owner Transparency Act.
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.