Authored by St. John McCloskey
The B.C. government has declared that the substantive provisions of the Land Owner Transparency Act (“LOTA”) will largely come into force on November 30, 2020. First announced in June 2018, and enacted into law in May 2019, LOTA is intended to establish a publicly-accessible registry of beneficial ownership of all real property in B.C.
Starting November 30, 2020, any registration of an interest in land in B.C. will need to be accompanied by a “transparency declaration.” For “reporting bodies” (generally private companies, trustees, and partnerships), a “transparency report” will need to be filed alongside such a declaration disclosing significant personal information on all “interest holders”. Reporting bodies that are pre-existing registered owners of land will also have to file transparency reports, though they have an extra year (i.e., until November 30, 2021) to do so.
The provisions of LOTA dealing with public access to the disclosed information will only come into effect on April 30, 2021. After that date, much of the information disclosed on transparency declarations will generally be available for viewing by the public. The Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia has yet to release details regarding that database (including search fees, access, etc.).
For further analysis regarding LOTA, including potential concerns with the legislation and associated compliance burdens, please see our earlier blog post Tax Evasion, Money Laundering, BC Real Estate and the Proposed Land Owner Transparency Act