4 November 2021
Land Owner Transparency Registry filing deadline extended
The B.C. government has announced a one-year extension to the deadline for pre-existing owners to file with the Land Owner Transparency Registry (“LOTR”). Reporting bodies with an interest in land will now have until November 30, 2022 to file a transparency report without incurring penalties. The government has explained that the rationale behind this extension is to give pre-existing owners more time to gather information about ownership and prepare to file with the registry. As we have addressed in previous articles, corporations, partnerships, and trusts which have held an ownership interest in land prior to November 20, 2020, are required to publicly file a transparency report which lists the property’s ‘true owners’.
A consistent criticism of the legislation by legal professionals is the lack of clarity in the legislation and government memos about the filing requirements for complex ownership structures. For this reason, the government has stated that the extension will additionally allow the Province more time to ‘provide greater support through direct outreach and education, and give reporting bodies the time needed to determine if they must file and work with their legal professional to comply with the new requirement in British Columbia’. We look forward to greater clarity on the following types of ownership structures:
- The disclosure requirements for beneficiaries of discretionary trusts, where the beneficiaries have no guaranteed entitlement to the trust’s assets.
- The disclosure requirements for persons granted a power of attorney over disclosable interest holders.
- The disclosure requirements for partnerships where the land is registered in the name of a nominee on behalf of a partner, rather than the land being registered in the name of one of the partners of the partnership.
We will provide further updates on LOTR as they become available.
If you have questions regarding LOTR, please contact a member of our Business Law Group.
Arthur Cullinan is an Associate in the Business Law Group at Watson Goepel LLP.