Land Owner Transparency Registry Filings Required Beginning November 30

Nov 10, 2020

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Posted by
Shaheed Devji
Marketing Communication Specialist

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The Land Owner Transparency Act (LOTA) and the Land Owner Transparency Registry (LOTR) come into effect on November 30, 2020, and that means REALTORS® should prepare for changes to practice when completing a transaction to allow for the new reporting requirements outlined by LOTA.

How does this affect your practice?

Beginning on November 30, 2020, a transparency declaration must be filed to the LOTR on behalf of the transferee(s) of land. So, for transactions that are set to close on November 30 or later, your buyer clients will need to be made aware of the additional reporting requirements.

The actual filing is something legal professionals will be responsible for, however, for transactions closing after November 30, it is important that Realtors:

  1. Advise your clients to speak to a legal professional about these requirements early on to ensure there is ample time for appropriate information to be gathered and filed. Be aware that when a buyer is a corporation, partnership or trust, not a resident of Canada, has beneficial owners or has shareholders outside of the country, this period could take up to one month;
  2. Plan for closing periods to allow for legal professionals to complete the transparency declaration and determine if a transparency report must be filed;
  3. In situations where transparency reports are required, advise clients to speak to their legal professional to understand the timelines and what they should expect, so they can ensure adequate timing.

To prepare for filing to the LOTR, sample forms are available on landtransparency.ca to help Realtors, legal professionals and clients know in advance what information will be needed.

Why is this needed?

According to the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia (LTSA), in its plan to address housing affordability, the BC government created the LOTA with the aim of ending hidden ownership, and to crack down on fraud and close loopholes.

As a result, the LOTR will require information about “interest holders,” or parties who do not have a direct ownership but have a meaningful relationship or indirect ownership in the land, to be stored and eventually be publicly accessible.

What else is coming?

Guidelines from RECBC

The Real Estate Council of BC (RECBC) is expected to release additional guidelines around LOTA and LOTR for real estate professionals. Realtors should keep a look out for those guidelines in future communications from both RECBC and BCREA.

LOTR to become searchable

Beginning April 30, 2021, the public will be able to search the LOTR and obtain some personal information about ownership interests in land. Personal information like date of birth and social insurance numbers will not be shown.

Where to find more information

Webinar for managing brokers

In October, BCREA dedicated its Community of Practice for managing brokers to exploring LOTA and LOTR and a presentation from Reuben Danakody (Director and Administrator, Land Owner Transparency Registry Services) and Shannon Brown-John (Deputy Administrator, Land Owner Transparency Registry Services).

Other resources

More information about the Land Owner Transparency Act can be found at landtransparency.ca, which includes information such as:

Get a reminder

Do you want to receive an email from BCREA on November 30, 2020, reminding you that LOTR filing requirements are in effect? Click here to sign up.

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