As of November 30, 2020, the British Columbia Land Owner Transparency Act (the “LOTA”) came into force. The purpose of LOTA is to increase transparency and eliminate (as much as possible) hidden ownership of real estate in British Columbia.
In effect, when an application is made to register an interest in land, LOTA requires each transferee to fill out a Transparency Declaration. Within the Transparency Declaration, each transferee will confirm whether they are a relevant corporation, a trustee of a relevant trust or a partner of a relevant partnership (a “Reporting Body”). For the majority of transferees who are purchasing property in their individual capacity, the answer is “no”, and therefore, no further steps are required. This Transparency Declaration will be submitted to the Registrar of Land Titles, together with the application to register an interest in land.
However, if an interest in land is registered with a Reporting Body, a Transparency Report must also be submitted to the Registrar of Land Titles. The Transparency Report must include the following information (as applicable):
✓ the corporation’s name, registered office address and head office address;
✓ the jurisdiction in which the corporation was incorporated; and
✓ If the corporation has been continued or transferred into another jurisdiction, the jurisdiction into which the corporation was most recently continues or transferred.
✓ the partnership’s registered business name
✓ type of partnership
✓ the partnership’s registered address or head office address;
✓ the address of the partnership’s principal business premises;
✓ the jurisdiction in which governs the partnership; and
✓ if the partnership has a partnership agreement.
Trustee of a Relevant Trust
✓ the individual’s full name;
✓ whether the individual is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada;
✓ if the individual’s principal residence is in Canada; and
✓ the city and province in which the individual’s principal residence is located.
In addition to the information outlined above, the Transparency Report must also include information on all interest holders of the Reporting Bodies. An “Interest Holder” is a beneficial owner of a relevant trust, a corporate interest holder of a relevant corporation, or a partnership interest holder of a relevant partnership. The following information must be collected from an interest holder:
✓ full name, date of birth, social insurance number, tax number, location of principal residence and last known address;
✓ date on which one become an interest holder and the nature of the individual’s interest in the Reporting Body; and
✓ whether the interest holder is a Canadian citizen or permanent residence of Canada.
If you would like more information on the LOTR or engaging our firm to assist on a real estate transaction, please do not hesitate to contact one of the lawyers practicing in the area of real estate law at 250-448-2637 or firstname.lastname@example.org