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This Act has "Not in Force" sections. See the Table of Legislative Changes.

Land Title Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 250

Part 3 — Registration and Its Effect

Unregistered instrument does not pass estate

20  (1) Except as against the person making it, an instrument purporting to transfer, charge, deal with or affect land or an estate or interest in land does not operate to pass an estate or interest, either at law or in equity, in the land unless the instrument is registered in compliance with this Act.

(2) An instrument referred to in subsection (1) confers on every person benefited by it and on every person claiming through or under the person benefited, whether by descent, purchase or otherwise, the right

(a) to apply to have the instrument registered, and

(b) in proceedings incidental or auxiliary to registration, to use the names of all parties to the instrument, whether or not a party has since died or become legally incapacitated.

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to a lease or agreement for lease for a term not exceeding 3 years if there is actual occupation under the lease or agreement.

Unregistered instruments executed and taking effect before July 1, 1905

21  Instruments executed before and taking effect before July 1, 1905, purporting to transfer, charge, deal with or affect land or an estate or interest in it, unless registered before that date, are not receivable by a court or the registrar as evidence or proof of the title of a person to the land, as against the title of another person to that land, registered on or after July 1, 1905, except in an action before the court questioning the registered title to the land on the ground of fraud in which the registered owner has participated or colluded.

Operation of instrument as from time of registration

22  An instrument purporting to transfer, charge, deal with or affect land or an estate or interest in land passes the estate or interest, either at law or in equity, created or covered by the instrument at the time of its registration, irrespective of the date of its execution.

Effect of indefeasible title

23  (1) In this section, "court" includes a person or statutory body having, by law or consent of parties, authority to hear, receive and examine evidence.

(2) An indefeasible title, as long as it remains in force and uncancelled, is conclusive evidence at law and in equity, as against the Crown and all other persons, that the person named in the title as registered owner is indefeasibly entitled to an estate in fee simple to the land described in the indefeasible title, subject to the following:

(a) the subsisting conditions, provisos, restrictions, exceptions and reservations, including royalties, contained in the original grant or contained in any other grant or disposition from the Crown;

(b) a federal or Provincial tax, rate or assessment at the date of the application for registration imposed or made a lien or that may after that date be imposed or made a lien on the land;

(c) a municipal charge, rate or assessment at the date of the application for registration imposed or that may after that date be imposed on the land, or which had before that date been imposed for local improvements or otherwise and that was not then due and payable, including a charge, rate or assessment imposed by a public body having taxing powers over an area in which the land is located;

(d) a lease or agreement for lease for a term not exceeding 3 years if there is actual occupation under the lease or agreement;

(e) a highway or public right of way, watercourse, right of water or other public easement;

(f) a right of expropriation or to an escheat under an Act;

(g) a caution, caveat, charge, claim of builder's lien, condition, entry, exception, judgment, notice, pending court proceeding, reservation, right of entry, transfer or other matter noted or endorsed on the title or that may be noted or endorsed after the date of the registration of the title;

(h) the right of a person to show that all or a portion of the land is, by wrong description of boundaries or parcels, improperly included in the title;

(i) the right of a person deprived of land to show fraud, including forgery, in which the registered owner has participated in any degree;

(j) a restrictive condition, right of reverter, or obligation imposed on the land by the Forest Act, that is endorsed on the title.

(3) After an indefeasible title is registered, a title adverse to or in derogation of the title of the registered owner is not acquired by length of possession.

(4) Despite subsection (3), in the case only of the first indefeasible title registered, it is void against the title of a person adversely in actual possession of and rightly entitled to the land included in the indefeasible title at the time registration was applied for and who continues in possession.

Title by prescription abolished

24  All existing methods of acquiring a right in or over land by prescription are abolished and, without limiting that abolition, the common law doctrine of prescription and the doctrine of the lost modern grant are abolished.

Protection of registered owner against actions for recovery of land

25  (1) In this section, "courts" includes a person or statutory body having, by law or consent of parties, authority to hear, receive and examine evidence.

(2) An action of ejectment or other action for the recovery of land for which an indefeasible title has been registered must not be commenced or maintained against the registered owner named in the indefeasible title, except in the case of

(a) a mortgagee or encumbrancee as against a mortgagor or encumbrancer in default,

(b) a lessor as against a lessee in default,

(c) [Repealed 2005-35-13.]

(d) a person deprived of land improperly included in an indefeasible title of other land by wrong description of boundaries or parcels,

(e) 2 or more indefeasible titles having been registered under this Act in respect of the same land, the registered owner claiming under the instrument that was registered first,

(f) a right arising or partly arising after the date of the application for registration of the title under which the registered owner claims, including, without limitation,

(i)   the right of a purchaser claiming under a contract with the registered owner for the sale of the land, and

(ii)   the right of a beneficiary if the registered owner is a trustee, and

(g) a right arising under section 23 (2).

(3) In any case other than those enumerated by way of exception in subsection (2), the production of a subsisting state of title certificate must be held in all courts to be an absolute bar and estoppel to an action referred to in subsection (2) against the registered owner named in the certificate, despite a rule of law or equity to the contrary.

Void instruments — interest acquired or not acquired

25.1  (1) Subject to this section, a person who purports to acquire land or an estate or interest in land by registration of a void instrument does not acquire any estate or interest in the land on registration of the instrument.

(2) Even though an instrument purporting to transfer a fee simple estate is void, a transferee who

(a) is named in the instrument, and

(b) in good faith and for valuable consideration, purports to acquire the estate,

is deemed to have acquired that estate on registration of that instrument.

(3) Even though a registered instrument purporting to transfer a fee simple estate is void, a transferee who

(a) is named in the instrument,

(b) is, on the date that this section comes into force, the registered owner of the estate, and

(c) in good faith and for valuable consideration, purported to acquire the estate,

is deemed to have acquired that estate on registration of that instrument.

Registration of a charge

26  (1) A registered owner of a charge is deemed to be entitled to the estate, interest or claim created or evidenced by the instrument in respect of which the charge is registered, subject to the exceptions, registered charges and endorsements that appear on or are deemed to be incorporated in the register.

(2) Registration of a charge does not constitute a determination by the registrar that the instrument in respect of which the charge is registered creates or evidences an estate or interest in the land or that the charge is enforceable.

Notice given by registration of charge

27  (1) The registration of a charge gives notice, from the date and time the application for the registration was received by the registrar, to every person dealing with the title to the land affected, of

(a) the estate or interest in respect of which the charge has been registered, and

(b) the contents of the instrument creating the charge so far as it relates to that estate or interest,

but not otherwise.

(2) A payment made by a mortgagor under a registered mortgage, or by a purchaser under a registered agreement for sale or subagreement for sale, is not a dealing with the title to the land affected.

(3) A transferee of a mortgage, or of a vendor's interest in an agreement for sale, takes subject to the equities and to the subsisting state of accounts between, respectively, mortgagor and mortgagee, or vendor and purchaser.

Priority of charges based on priority of registration

28  If 2 or more charges appear entered on the register affecting the same land, the charges have, as between themselves, but subject to a contrary intention appearing from the instruments creating the charges, priority according to the date and time the respective applications for registration of the charges were received by the registrar, and not according to the respective dates of execution of the instruments.

Effect of notice of unregistered interest

29  (1) For the purposes of this section, "registered owner" includes a person who has made an application for registration and becomes a registered owner as a result of that application.

(2) Except in the case of fraud in which he or she has participated, a person contracting or dealing with or taking or proposing to take from a registered owner

(a) a transfer of land, or

(b) a charge on land, or a transfer or assignment or subcharge of the charge,

is not, despite a rule of law or equity to the contrary, affected by a notice, express, implied, or constructive, of an unregistered interest affecting the land or charge other than

(c) an interest, the registration of which is pending,

(d) a lease or agreement for lease for a period not exceeding 3 years if there is actual occupation under the lease or agreement, or

(e) the title of a person against which the indefeasible title is void under section 23 (4).

(3) Subject to section 49 of the Personal Property Security Act, a person contracting or dealing with, taking from or proposing to take from a registered owner, an estate or interest in land, or a transfer or assignment of an estate or interest in land, is not affected by a financing statement registered under that Act whether or not the person had express, constructive or implied notice or knowledge of the registration.

(4) The fact that the person who is contracting with, dealing with, taking from or proposing to take from a registered owner under subsection (2) had knowledge of a financing statement registered under the Personal Property Security Act, or that the person could have obtained knowledge of the financing statement by searching the personal property registry established under that Act, is not evidence of fraud or bad faith for the purposes of subsection (2).

Notice of unregistered interest as affecting registered owner of charge

30  (1) In this section, "filing" includes a claim of lien filed under the Builders Lien Act but does not include

(a) a notice filed under the Sale of Goods on Condition Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c. 373, or

(b) a filing under the Manufactured Home Act.

(2) In subsection (3), "claim" includes a certificate of pending litigation and a caveat, other than a caveat lodged by the registrar.

(3) Under this Act,

(a) a registered owner of a charge enforcing that owner's charge by the exercise of the power of sale contained in it, or in an action for foreclosure,

(b) a purchaser under the power of sale, or under a sale pursuant to an order of the court in an action for foreclosure,

(c) a court in which an action to enforce a charge by foreclosure is pending, and

(d) a registrar considering an application founded on a sale under such a power of sale, or on a foreclosure decree, or on a sale pursuant to an order of the court in an action for foreclosure,

are not bound by or deemed to have notice of an interest, right or claim, the registration, filing, deposit or lodging of which is not applied for until after

(e) a notice of the intended exercise of the power of sale, or

(f) a certificate of pending litigation in a foreclosure action has been filed or registered.

(4) On the filing of a notice under subsection (3), the registrar must endorse it and its filing number in the register.

(5) Subsection (3) applies to a registered owner who is, or who is a successor in title to, a vendor or subvendor and who has registered a certificate of pending litigation in respect of an action for the cancellation of a registered agreement for sale of the land and who obtains an order for cancellation.

(6) Nothing in this section affects the right of a person claiming through a mortgagor or mortgagee, or through a vendor or purchaser, while the action is pending, to file a pleading or other document in the action.

Priority of caveat or certificate of pending litigation

31  If a caveat has been lodged or a certificate of pending litigation has been registered against the title to land,

(a) the caveator or plaintiff, if that person's claim is subsequently established by a judgment or order or admitted by an instrument duly executed and produced, is entitled to claim priority for that person's application for registration of the title or charge so claimed over a title, charge or claim, the application for registration, deposit or filing of which is made after the date of the lodging of the caveat or registration of the certificate of pending litigation, and

(b) if proof of service of notice of claim to priority on the subsequent applicant is provided to the registrar before registration is effected, the registration of the title or charge claimed by the caveator or plaintiff relates back to and takes effect from the time of the lodging of the caveat or registration of the certificate of pending litigation, and that time, as well as the time of the application for registration of the title or charge so claimed, must be endorsed on the register.

Validity of registered voluntary conveyance

32  (1) An instrument executed in good faith and registered before the execution of a transfer to, and before the creation of a binding contract for the transfer to, a subsequent purchaser for value from the same grantor of the same land or any part of it, merely because of the absence of a valuable consideration in the instrument, is not and must not be considered to be void as against the subsequent purchaser for value or a person claiming by, from or under the subsequent purchaser for value.

(2) Nothing in this section makes valid an instrument that is for any reason, other than or in addition to the absence of a valuable consideration, void under any Act or law.

Equitable mortgage or lien not registrable

33  An equitable mortgage or lien created by the deposit of a duplicate indefeasible title or other instrument, whether or not accompanied by a memorandum of deposit, is not registrable.

Registration of indefeasible title by court order

34  (1) Except as provided in section 180, the registrar must not register an indefeasible title in favour of a person under a direction contained in an order of a court unless the order declares that it has been proved to the satisfaction of the court on investigation that the title of the person designated in the direction is a good safe holding and marketable title.

(2) Subsection (1) applies to the registration of a charge.

Admissibility of instruments

35  An instrument the execution of which is proved in the manner required by this Act, together with the affidavit, if any, by which the execution is proved, must be received in evidence in all courts without further proof of execution.

Completion of registration

36  (1) The registrar, after registration of title in fee simple or a charge or a cancellation of a charge, must, unless the director otherwise orders, make on an instrument deposited in support of the application for registration or cancellation or, if no instrument is deposited, on the application, an endorsement in the form approved by the director, which must be received in all courts as conclusive evidence of the registration of the instrument or application.

(2) If an application affects records that are stored by electronic means, the registration of the instrument or application is complete when the particulars of it have been entered, other than as a pending application, in the appropriate part of the register.

Registration effective from time of application

37  (1) An instrument or application so registered is deemed to have been registered and to have become operative for all purposes in respect of the title, charge or cancellation claimed by the application for registration, and according to the intent of the instrument or application, as of the date and time when the application was received by the registrar.

(2) An indefeasible title stored by electronic means, when entered in the register, other than as a pending application, is deemed to be registered and take effect as of the date and time when the application for the title was received by the registrar.

(3) An indefeasible title not stored by electronic means, when signed by the registrar, is deemed to be registered and take effect as of the date and time when the application for the title was received by the registrar.

(4) A certificate of charge, when signed by the registrar, is deemed to be issued and take effect as of the date and time when the application for the certificate was received by the registrar.

Registrar to create official record of instruments and documents

38  (1) In this section:

"duplicate" means a counterpart of the original instrument or document made by the registrar in the usual and ordinary course of business from the original instrument or document using any chemical, mechanical or electronic technique, including, without limitation, microphotographic reproduction and electronic recording on an optical disk, that

(a) is capable of recording all significant details of the original instrument or document, and

(b) does not permit additions, deletions or changes from the original instrument or document;

"original instrument or document" means the instrument or document that is filed, deposited or registered under this Act.

(2) The registrar must make and maintain an official record of all instruments and documents filed, deposited or registered under this Act, and the official record may consist of the original instrument or document or the duplicate, or both.

(3) The registrar must store the official record made under subsection (2) either in the land title office or in some other location approved by the Board of Directors.

(4) A copy taken from an original instrument or document, or from a duplicate, that is

(a) made by the registrar, and

(b) certified by the registrar to be a true copy of the original instrument or document

is admissible in a court to the same extent as the original instrument or document.

(5) A certification of the registrar under subsection (4) is conclusive proof that the copy, and the duplicate if the copy is made from a duplicate, was made by the registrar in the usual and ordinary course of business using procedures and techniques that

(a) are capable of recording all significant details of the original instrument or document, and

(b) do not permit additions, deletions or changes from the original instrument or document.

(6) Despite section 166, if an original instrument or document filed under this Act is

(a) a marriage certificate or a death certificate, or

(b) a trust instrument referred to in section 180 (4),

the registrar may, at the time the original instrument or document is filed, create a duplicate and return the original to the person who applied to file it.

Contents  |  Part 1  |  Part 2  |  Part 3  |  Part 4  |  Part 5  |  Part 6  |  Part 7  |  Part 8  |  Part 9  |  Part 10  |  Part 10.1  |  Part 11  |  Part 12  |  Part 13  |  Part 14  |  Part 15  |  Part 16  |  Part 17  |  Part 18  |  Part 19  |  Part 19.1  |  Part 20  |  Part 21  |  Part 22  |  Part 23  |  Part 24  |  Part 24.01  |  Part 24.1  |  Part 24.2  |  Part 25  |  Schedule 1  |  Schedule 2