Posted July 9, 2021

On May 16, 2019, the Land Owner Transparency Act (LOTA) came into effect, and on November 30, 2020, the BC Government implemented the Land Owner Transparency Registry (LOTR).

The purpose of LOTR is to “end hidden ownership”, thereby creating a larger pool of affordable housing.

Implication for purchases on or after November 30, 2020

On and after November 30, 2020, whenever there is a transfer of title to a property in British Columbia, the lawyer or notary acting for a person, company, trust or partnership acquiring the interest in land must file a Transparency Declaration with the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia (LTSA).

The general rules are as follows:

  • On the Transparency Declaration, the person or entity (the transferee) being added to the title to a BC Property must declare if they are a “reporting body”. A reporting body is a corporation; a partner in a relevant partnership, or a trustee under a trust.
  • If the transferee is a reporting body, a Transparency Report must be filed disclosing information about the individuals who comprise the reporting body, including full name, date of birth, social insurance number, citizenship and country of residence.

The new requirements under LOTA generally mean that all properties owned by:

  • a company;
  • held in trust for another party (including a bare trust); or
  • a partnership

are reporting bodies and must file a Transparency Report to confirm who the interest holders of the corporation, the trust, or the partnership (as applicable) are.

Implications for current property ownership (where transfer happened prior to November 30, 2020)

All existing reporting bodies who own property (where the transfer was filed prior to November 30, 2020) must file a one-time Transparency Report by November 30, 2021, disclosing who the interest holders of the property are. Clients may wish to reach out to legal professionals for assistance with filing these reports.

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