B.C.’s Land Owner Transparency Act: Due Nov. 30, 2021

Do you own or have an interest2 in real estate located in BC through a Corporation, Trust (including bare trusts) or Partnership?

Please read this excerpt and reach out to your Advisor or Lawyer if you are unsure. If this does not apply to you, no action is needed. 

Transparency declarations must be filed by a lawyer by November 30th, 2021.

Penalties start at $25,000 for individuals and $50,000 for corporations, trusts and partnerships and are up to 15% of the assessed value of the property!

On November 30th, 2020, the BC Government launched the Land Owner Transparency Act (the “LOTA”). This is a new registry intended to make land ownership “transparent” in BC and is part of a 30-point plan for housing affordability in BC to end hidden ownership of land. This registry is housed in a searchable public database and has information about individuals who are deemed to have an indirect interest in land.

All reporting bodies (corporations, trusts and partnerships1) that are the registered owner of land in BC, or have a certain interest3 in land are required to file a transparency report to disclose the ultimate beneficial individual or controlling individuals2 by November 30th, 2021. Failure to file can result in a penalties starting at $25,000 for individuals $50,000 for a company, or up to 15% of the value of the land or interest in land.

This is a one-time filing to be added to the public database. Any reportable transactions that have occurred since November 30th, 2020 and going forward should have and will be disclosed at the time of the transfer.

The Land Owner Transparency Register can only be accessed by legal professionals with a land title office online account and thus the Report can only be prepared and submitted by a legal professional.

The rules are complex and include situations beyond regular land ownership so if you have any questions, please contact your Advisor and/or Lawyer to confirm if this applies to your situation.