In an effort to increase disclosure of the ownership of real estate in B.C., the Land Owner Transparency Act (“LOTA”) received royal assent and will be in force as soon as regulations are prescribed. The Land Title and Survey Authority of B.C. is advising that the Land Owner Transparency Registry (“LOTR”) will be launched soon – as early as this Fall. Once launched, transferees will be required to file a “transparency declaration” which will be stored in LOTR, a searchable public registry with information about indirect ownership interests in land.
But what does that disclosure look like?
Who must disclose?
- “Reporting bodies,” generally including:
- “Individual interest holders,” generally including
- Trust beneficiaries
- Partners in a partnership
- Corporate interest holder of at least 10% of outstanding shares or voting rights. (Confusingly, this is different than the requirements under Property Transfer Tax Returns and under the new Business Corporations Amendment Act)
When to disclose?
- Upon registering a legal interest in land in the Land Title Office;
- If there is a change in interest holder(s);
- A reporting body discovers an inaccurate filling;
- A reporting body is a pre-existing owner when LOTA comes into force; and
- A registered owner ceases to be a relevant reporting body.
It’s also recommended that you obtain additional advice in these scenarios.
What to disclose?
- A transparency declaration indicating if you are a reporting body and what type.
- Reporting Bodies must also file a transparency report disclosing the following information:
- Corporations: name, registered address and head office address, jurisdiction of incorporation or continuation, incorporation number and business number
- Trusts: information regarding the trustee and settlor corresponding to certain information required for individual interest holders
- Partnerships: partnership’s business name, type of partnership, registered address or head office address, address of principal business premises, jurisdiction of organization, and identification number and business number
- Individual interest holders of the relevant reporting body must disclose:
- Full name, date of birth, SIN, tax number, principal residence and last known address;
- Residency and citizenship status; and
- Date on which one became or ceased to be an interest holder and the nature of the individual’s interest in the reporting body.
As noted above, these disclosure requirements are confusingly similar to, but different from:
- The B.C. private companies Transparency Register (FAQs here)
- Property Transfer Tax Requirements (PTT Return Guide here; additional info here)
- B.C. Law Society Client Identification and Verification Requirements (Details here)
The above is just a brief overview of the upcoming LOTR requirements; stay tuned for more information as the regulations are implemented. For additional advice please contact our Commercial Real Estate Group.