This glossary defines vocabulary and terms used on this website.
An adult in a Power of Attorney is an individual who is 19 years of age or older.
Air Space Parcel
A volumetric, three-dimensional parcel that has upper and lower limits in addition to horizontal (side) limits contained within a single land parcel. May or may not be occupied in whole or in part by a building or other structure. May exist on, above, or below the surface and have any sort of shape as long as sufficiently described in an air space plan and complies with General Survey Instruction Rules (GSIR).
The person named on a land title form as the person acquiring an interest in land. The person named as applicant in the application section is the person with whom land title staff is authorized to communicate with regarding an application.
A request submitted to the land title office for the registrar to discharge a statutory duty, including: registration of a transfer, charge, or lien; cancellation of a registered interest in land; and issuance of a certificate.
Assignment of Rents
A charge registered against title allowing a lender to collect rent directly from a tenant if there is a default under a mortgage.
Either of the two funds established under Part 19.1 (LTSA Assurance Fund) or Part 20 (Government Assurance Fund) of the Land Title Act, from which claimants suffering loss, damage or deprivation of an estate or interest in land as set out in these Parts is compensated.
The LTSA Assurance Fund is maintained and administered by the LTSA and covers claims relating to losses occurring after the creation of the LTSA; the Government Assurance Fund is maintained and administered by the Province of BC and covers claims relating to losses incurred prior to the creation of the LTSA.
An attorney in a Power of Attorney is a person appointed to act on behalf of another. Evidence of this appointment is by way of a Power of Attorney.
A building scheme is a set of restrictions or requirements that are imposed on the owner or leaser of a property, usually to enhance the value of the property.
Includes information such as property boundaries, survey monuments, legal documents, maps and regulations that support registration of lands.
Caveat is a warning to beware; lodged on title to prevent further dealings with the land.
Certificate of Pending Litigation
A certificate of pending litigation (CPL) is registered against land to give notice of a court action where someone claims an estate or interest in land or, as the result of another enactment, has a right of action in respect of land.
An interest in land (less than the fee simple estate) or encumbrance that is registered on the title by the LTSA’s land title office. Charges typically fall into these categories:
- Statutory rights of way (SRWs)
- Judgments filed in support of debt/tax collection
- Claims of Builders Lien
Claim of Builders Lien
An interest in land claimed to secure the payment of an outstanding debt for work done that qualifies under the Builders Lien Act, usually related to labour or materials. Requires the use of a specific Claim of Builders Lien form (Form 5).
That part of the land and buildings shown on a strata plan that is not part of a strata lot. Each strata lot includes ownership of a fractional share of the common property within the strata property, proportional to the ratio of the area of that strata lot to the total area of all strata lots.
A transfer of an estate or interest in land (other than by will) to a new owner through sale, lease, or other means. A transfer of title is the conveyance of an estate or interest in land in exchange for some financial consideration, typically a sale.
In British Columbia, there are generally two types of covenants which are noted as charges on a Land Title:
Covenants or restrictive covenants – must be “negative” obligations restricting what an owner can do on the lands and, similar to easements, there must be a dominant (benefited) lands and servient (burdened) lands.
Section 219 covenants – which can impose both positive and negative obligations and can only be registered for the benefit of certain local and provincial governments. There is no requirement for a dominant tenement for s219 covenants.
A debt due to the Crown or to the provincial government.
A legal instrument by which Crown lands are transferred to private registered owners in fee simple. The Crown grant document contains a sketch and usually refers to a plan showing the location and extent of the parcel granted. The Crown grant includes description of the terms and conditions of the land grant. When a Crown grant is issued, an initial title for the property is registered in the land title register in the name of the person receiving the grant. The LTSA has a copy of most Crown land grant dispositions issued by the various Crown agencies. Almost all BC Crown land grants are available online in electronic form. The LTSA also retains other types of Crown grants, including mineral Crown grants, Taxation Act grants and timber grants.
Land owned and administered by a government, either federal or provincial. In British Columbia, Federal (Canadian) Crown land includes National Parks, Indian Reserves, federal ports and military bases. Provincial Crown land includes provincial parks and all ungranted land (wilderness) within the provincial boundaries. Most of British Columbia is Crown land.
Crown Land Registry
A registry that records all lands administered by the government of British Columbia and records the purchase and sale of those lands and interests in them.
A defect is a reason why an application for the registration of an interest in land cannot be registered, as determined by an Examiner of Title. The term is also used to describe the state of an application that has been the subject of a Notice Declining to Register (i.e., being “in defect”).
Means that property or a portion of a property that has been leased to a tenant.
Determinable Fee Simple
An interest in land that is granted to a person and heirs, but subject to a qualification that will end the interest upon the occurrence of a defined event.
Also known as the affidavit of assets and liabilities, it is part of the documentation needed for probating a will.
A document refers to any of the land title forms or supporting material (including survey plans) which are submitted as part of an application to register an interest in land within British Columbia. Examples include: title transfers, mortgages and easements.
Duplicate Certificate of Title
A duplicate of the official certificate of title maintained in the land title register. The issuance of any duplicate certificate of title operates to prevent certain types of transactions on title (e.g., a transfer) from occurring until the duplicate certificate of title is surrendered back to the land title office.
A limited right attached to land (the dominant tenement) for the benefit of the owner of dominant tenement to use land of the owner of servient tenement. An example of an easement would be a driveway crossing one owner’s land (the servient tenement) to provide access to another owner’s land (the dominant tenement).
A judgment, mortgage, lien, Crown debt or other claim to or on land created or given for any purpose registered against a title. See also Charge.
Estate in land
The two main types of estate are:
- Freehold estate: Results in ownership and possession of land for an indeterminable period of time. The most common freehold estate is fee simple, absolute ownership limited only by Crown rights and encumbrances noted on the title. A life estate is another form of freehold that entails possession of the land for the duration of a person’s life.
- Charge: An estate or interest in land that is less than fee simple, such as a lease, which is the possession of land for a specific period of time, as defined in the lease.
The process of determining the registrability of a document or plan (or package of documents / applications). To put it in general terms, the examination determines whether a proposed transaction is acceptable.
Examiner of Title
LTSA employees authorized to conduct examination, registration and/or filing of documents and plans and update of records in the land title register. Liaison examiners are examiners of title who work in the Customer Service Centre. Prior to becoming examiners of title, employees must successfully complete an internal land title examination course and pass a series of exams.
Fee Simple is the form of ownership of real property (real estate) in which the owner has the right to control and transfer the property at will.
Fee Simple Estate
Highest form of real estate ownership; the estate is unconditional, unlimited and perpetual.
Fee Simple on Condition
An interest in land that is subject to a defined condition.
An instrument prescribed under legislative or regulatory authority, including land title forms established by the Director of Land Titles. A form may be used as an application, instrument, or supporting document. An electronic form of instrument is the electronic equivalent of, and has the same legal effect as, a traditional paper instrument. Forms are also prescribed by the Surveyor General. All major forms have electronic and manual versions available online.
Exclusive right to enjoy the possession and use of a parcel of land for an indefinite period.
The title granted to a person as a registered owner under the Land Title Act; an indefeasible title is conclusive evidence, as against the Crown and all other persons, that the person named in the title is indefeasibly entitled to an estate in fee simple to the land described in the title, subject only to certain exceptions set out in s. 23(2) of the Land Title Act.
Index books are part of the LTSA’s collection of historical records. They are hardcopy ledgers and registers that contain references, notations and entries about land title interests and surveys for individual parcels.
Various index books were created throughout the years to fulfill record keeping, create cross-referencing capability, meet document retrieval needs and facilitate historical record preservation. Some continue to be used for historical and legal research.
Refers to a charge that is registered on more than one title.
Interest in Land
The most general term used to indicate a right, title or estate in land ranging from fee simple to lesser rights or estates such as leases, easements, mortgages or liens. See also Charge.
A form of co-ownership of interests in land in which the ownership is acquired at the same time and where each owner has an equal interest and equal rights to possess the land. Under the Property Law Act, neither consent of, nor notice to, other owners in joint tenancy is required to sever the joint tenancy. Upon the death of one owner, the interest of the deceased joint tenant passes to the surviving joint tenant(s).
A court order or decree by the Federal Court of Canada, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court or Provincial Court or a judge of those courts by which usually money is payable to any person which entitles that person to register the order in the land title office.
An enactment that provides the statutory framework for the administration of Crown land, establishes the responsibilities of government Ministers regarding the administration of Crown land and provides for the delegation of certain authorities. Many powers have been delegated to the Surveyor General with respect to Crown land definition and disposition.
View the Land Act(link is external).
Land Survey Act
An enactment that establishes the general guidelines for the conduct of legal surveys in the province and includes specific authorities of the Surveyor General with respect to certain survey practices.
View the Land Survey Act(link is external).
Land Title Act
A comprehensive 400-section statute that prescribes the legal program under which the land title system operates, the Land Title Act designates:
- The Director of Land Titles to regulate land title practice.
- The Registrar(s) of Land Titles as the primary statutory decision maker(s) in the administration of the land title system.
The Land Title Act establishes the land title register and requirements respecting its operation and records.
View the Land Title Act(link is external).
Land Title Electronic Forms Guidebook
Provides authorized forms as established by the Director of Land Titles and includes step-by-step instructions on completion and submission of applications to the land title office. The Guide is available for purchase from the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC. Commonly referred to as the Green Book it has the effect of being a regulation.
Land Title Practice Manual
A reference book for land title staff, conveyancing professionals and all others who make applications to the LTSA.
Land Title Register
That part of the records of the land title office, including electronic records, where information respecting registered indefeasible titles is stored. It is independently maintained by the LTSA under the statutory authority of the registrars of land titles and in accordance with the requirements of the Land Title Act respecting permanent records retention.
Land Title Vault
Physical repository of land title records and other related documents. Direct access to original land title and survey records is limited to LTSA employees and those with direct access privileges including land surveyors, historical researchers and registry agents.
Means a contract that grants exclusive possession of a property for a set period of time.
Means the interest that is held by a tenant under a Lease.
Legal advice is the giving of a professional or formal opinion regarding the substance or procedure of the law in relation to a particular factual situation. It is distinguished from legal information, which is the reiteration of legal fact.
A unique identifier for each parcel of land in the province. It is a text description that may include lot number, plan number, survey system identifiers (Range, Block, Township, District Lot, District, etc.) and other text.
Information recorded against a title to land following the receipt of an application concerning matters other than ownership of interests in land, such as statutory restrictions on use (such as the application of a heritage designation bylaw) or rights relating to other land (such as the existence of an appurtenant easement on the title of adjacent land).
A survey of land carried out by a land surveyor for the purpose of establishing legally enforceable boundaries. High quality cadastral surveys complement the integrity of the Province’s land title system and are also critical in defining other important boundaries that the Surveyor General is responsible for overseeing; including mine sites, oil and gas well-sites, public roads, pipeline and utility corridors, protected areas and First Nation treaty settlement areas.
The party to whom the lease is granted, also known as the tenant.
The party who grants the lease, also known as the landlord.
Letters of Administration/Grant of Administration
If no will was left by the deceased, certain individuals are eligible to apply for a grant of administration in order to handle the estate. If successful, the person who is named as administrator is legally able to distribute the estate.
A grant of administration can also be used to assign an administrator if:
- The deceased did not name an executor
- The executor has died since the will was made and no alternate executor was named
- The executor gives up the right to apply to the court for probate
An interest in land claimed to secure the payment of a debt or the performance of some other obligation. Examples include Claim of Builders Lien for payment of debt related to labour or materials, Certificate of Lien for payment of strata fees, or Tax Act Liens for payment of various taxes.
Occupy and use property for the duration of the property owner’s life.
The act of recording a pending land title application against an affected parcel(s) in the land title register to record the time, date and nature of the application(s) and to provide notice of the pending application(s).
An interest in land granted by the registered owner (the mortgagor) to a lender (the mortgagee) as security for a debt.
A lot, block or other area in which land is held or into which land is subdivided.
Parcel Identifier (PID)
A nine-digit number that uniquely identifies a parcel in the land title register of in British Columbia. The registrar assigns PID numbers to parcels for which a title is being entered in the computer register as a registered title. The Land Title Act refers to the PID as the permanent parcel identifier.
An application that has been received by a land title office, time and date stamped and is awaiting registration or filing.
The person who administers the estate of a deceased person as executor or Court-appointed administrator.
Plan (Survey) – Land Title Act
A graphical representation of a survey conducted by a BC land surveyor which shows the spatial extent, area, corner monuments and generally the geographic location of a specific area of land for the purpose of:
- Establishing the boundaries of a new parcel of titled land; e.g. Subdivision Plan, Strata Plan, Reference plan pursuant to Section 99(1)(c), (f), (g) and (h).
- Defining an area of land that is being dedicated to the public or to close an area that has been so dedicated, e.g. road, park or land returned to Crown.
Re-establishing a corner or angle of an existing parcel of titled land, e.g. posting plan.
Registering a charge against title to land affecting a portion of land within a title, e.g. Easement, Covenant, Lease, and Statutory Right of Way.
Land title examiners examine survey plans affecting all privately-held land under the Land Title Act.
Plan (Survey) – Surveyor General Division
A graphical representation of a survey conducted by a BC land surveyor that shows the extent, area, corner monuments and generally the geographic location of an area of untitled land, more specifically being:
- A parcel as defined pursuant to the Land Act
- An interest pursuant to the Mineral Tenure Act
- An interest pursuant to the Coal Act
- A wellsite location pursuant to the Oil & Gas Activities Act
- The reposting of a corner of any of the above
Additionally a plan may be a graphical description of a Park or Protected area which is not based upon a survey by a BC land surveyor, and finally, the boundaries of a park or protected area as surveyed by a BC land surveyor.
A plan showing one or more posts set to define or redefine an exisitng parcel of land.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a document under which a person or corporation grants to a person or corporation the power to act as one’s agent or attorney. In order to use a Power of Attorney for land title purposes, the Power of Attorney must be filed with the Land Title Office. Section 51, Land Title Act, provides this requirement. For more information, review the Power of Attorney Act under www.bclaws.ca (link is external)
A Priority Agreement is a notation on a Land Title where one chargeholder has chosen to grant priority over its prior registered charge to a subsequent chargeholder.
Land that has been granted and is owned by private individuals or corporations and is registered in the land title register.
Property Transfer Tax
A tax paid when one purchases or gains an interest in property that is registered at the land title office. The provincial Ministry of Finance is responsible for administering the Property Transfer Tax (PTT). If you require assistance or a copy of the form, please contact the Ministry of Finance, Property Transfer Tax Section. Consult the Ministry’s webpage (link is external).
A registered owner is the person who owns an interest in land, either in terms of ownership of title in fee simple, or ownership of a charge. A registered owner is recorded in the land title register upon registration.
An official keeper or recorder of records. Each Land Title Office has a Registrar of Land Titles, to find your nearest registrar, contact us.
A caveat lodged by the Registrar to prohibit dealing with the land.
The act of recording the ownership of, or interests in, land in the land title register.
The unique serial number assigned to each entry in the Land Title Register.
The cancellation of a charge or legal notation on title. For example, when a mortgage has been paid off, the mortgage endorsement is released from title. Also known as a discharge.
Right of Way
A right to have access to land for a specific use, often granted to a municipality or utility company in order to provide and maintain services to parcels of land (such as underground cables or pipelines).
A preliminary plan.
State of Title Certificate
A formal statutory certificate issued upon request, certifying the current state of a title. The State of Title Certificate is a document that is issued by the land title office giving evidence of ownership of title and all particulars concerning registered interests in that title as at the date and time of its issuance. The State of Title Certificate is issued electronically or as a hardcopy document.
Statutory Right of Way
A statutory right of way is a right created by section 218 of the Land Title Act. SRWs allow a public agency to access a private property. This agreement grants the right to use a portion of the property to install and maintain infrastructure needed for the delivery of a specific service or services.
Strata Lot (Bare Land)
A lot created under the Strata Property Act not comprised of part of a building but with an interest in common property.
Strata Lot (Building)
A lot comprised of part of a building with an interest in common property. Commonly known as a condominium or townhouse.
The division of land into two or more parcels, generally by deposit of a subdivision plan.
An individual who is authorized to electronically sign electronic applications, electronic instruments, electronic instruments, electronic plan applications or property transfer tax returns.
Surveyor General Vault
Physical repository of plans, field Notes, Crown grants and other related documents for the province of BC. It holds hard copies of Crown grants, E&N Railway Plans, Oil and Gas Activities Act Well Site Plans, Dominion Township Plans, Land Act Plans, Railway Plans, Indian Reserve Plans, Mineral Tenure Plans, etc.
Tenants in Common
Land held as tenants in common must be distributed in accordance with the wishes of the deceased set out in a will or, where there is no will, in accordance with the Wills, Estates and Succession Act.
Depending on the context in which it is used title means, on the one hand the right of ownership of land and, on the other, the instruments or evidence of such right. In the register, title to land evidences fee simple ownership of land in one or more Registered Owner(s). Also referred to as land title and indefeasible title. A title may also refer to the ownership of interests in land less than fee simple, such as a mortgage or easement.
A record issued by the land title office setting out the particulars of a title to land generated from information contained in the register at a specific point in time.
The voluntary act of a registered owner of an interest in land transferring that interest to another person, typically as a consequence of a sale or gift of the land to that person. The term includes a conveyance, a grant and an assignment.
A change of ownership of land consequent on death, sale under execution, order of court or other act of law, or on any testamentary settlement or legal succession in the case of intestacy.
Refers to an interest in something that lies below the surface of the land.
The act of withdrawing an application before it is registered, either voluntarily or in response to having received a Notice Declining to Register.