Professionals such as lawyers, notaries public, real estate agents and land surveyors contribute to having a high quality land title system in BC by representing the interests of individual citizens in transactions related to legal title to land. They prepare legal ownership documents and survey plans for registration and filing with the LTSA for registration. Standards are established by professional organizations governing the practices of lawyers, notaries, real estate agents and land surveyors. Professionals in these fields are expected to be vigilant in their practices to help identify and prevent fraud.
Lawyers and notaries, as officers under the Land Title Act, have responsibilities to confirm the identity of those who wish to register documents with the LTSA. Additionally, the FINTRAC rules require real estate agents and brokers to verify the identities of parties involved in real estate transactions, and financial institutions to verify the identities of their clients. Law Society of British Columbia rules that were enacted relating to proof of identity have also led to the implementation of processes to thwart the ability of fraudsters to impersonate a true owner.
In any situation where these professionals are found to be negligent, claims may be made against them and through their professional organization. They may also be subject to disciplinary actions by their professional organization.