BC's Land Owner Transparency Register (LOTR)
What does “LOTR” stand for?
At first glance you might think it stands for “Lord Of The Rings” (trust me, we got excited too) but “LOTR” also stands for “Land Owner Transparency Registry”. The LOTR is developed and operated by the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia (“LTSA”), and is meant to use disclosure of beneficial ownership to help combat money laundering in BC and reduce its negative impact on housing affordability in BC.
The LOTR is a registry of information about individuals who are deemed to have an indirect interest in land (e.g. through corporations, trusts, or partnerships). This information will be kept in a searchable, public database administered by the Land Owner Transparency Act (“LOTA”).
Why should I care what it is? Who is affected?
If you have an interest in land or are aware that you will be acquiring an interest in land, then you should care and should probably hurry. Remember: these requirements will also apply to pre-existing owners. Filings of the LOTR will be required starting on November 30, 2020, and reporting bodies with an interest in land will need to file an initial transparency report by November 30, 2021. There are some land exclusions, such as Indigenous Treaty lands and charitable organizations.
The LOTA requires that whenever an application is made to register an interest in land in BC’s land title register, a transparency declaration must be filed to the LOTA administrator by each individual to whom an interest in land is transferred. Transferees that are a reporting body (i.e. if they are a relevant corporation, trustee of a relevant trust, or partner of a relevant partnership required to file a transparency report under LOTA) must also file a transparency report. The transparency report sets out information about the reporting body and its interest holders. Information filed includes names, addresses, and if relevant, applicable jurisdiction.
Is this going to cost me?
Here are some fees you’ll need to pay for filing:
- Filing of transparency declaration $5.00 under any provision of the Act.
- Filing of transparency report $35.00 under any provision of the Act.
- Application under section 42 of the Act $150.00 [Application to correct or change information].
What if I don’t comply? How do I ensure I’m LOTR compliant?
If you don’t comply, you will be fined a significant amount of money – probably much more money than you would have paid if you had just complied. The Province will be enforcing compliance with the declaration and reporting requirements outlined in the LOTA. A reporting body that fails to file a bc transparency register report or provides false or misleading information in a transparency report may be subject to a fine of not more than the greater of:
- $50,000 for a corporation or other entity, or $25,000 for individual; OR
- 15% of the assessed value of the property to which the transparency declaration or transparency report relates.
Other offences under the Act may be subject to a fine up to $100,000 for corporations or other entities, or $50,000 for individuals. Ouch.
If you want to ensure you’re LOTR compliant, don’t hesitate to reach out to our talented lawyers at Segev LLP! We’ll look at your specific situation and let you know if there is anything you need to do to get LOTR compliant.
For more information on any of the above, or to connect with one of our lawyers, feel free to contact us at 604-629-5400 or via e-mail at: [email protected]
***The above blog post is provided for informational purposes only and has not been tailored to your specific circumstances. This blog post does not constitute legal advice or other professional advice and may not be relied upon as such. ***