Enforcing the Land Owner Transparency Act

The BC Land Titles Registry records the legal owners of all land in the Province but it does not record beneficial owners. The Land Owner Transparency Act (the Act) requires specific types of reporting bodies to disclose their interest holders by registering a transparency report in the Land Owner Transparency Registry.

The Act authorizes the enforcement officer to ensure the requirements of the Act are followed. The enforcement officer has access to the registry and has authority to determine a person’s compliance with the Act.

If the enforcement officer, or a delegate of the enforcement officer, determines non-compliance, penalties may be imposed.

How Non-Compliance is Determined

To determine compliance with the Act and if a penalty applies, an enforcement officer may:

  • Search or inspect any record in the registry about that person
  • Request a specific record or information through a demand notice
  • Request verification or proof regarding the accuracy of information in the registry
  • Investigate a possible violation by entering a place where business is carried out or where relevant records are kept

An enforcement officer will consider any information they have obtained regarding non-compliance and use the following factors to decide whether a penalty will be imposed:

  • If previous enforcement actions were taken
  • The significance of the violation
  • If the violation was repeated or continuous
  • If the violation was deliberate
  • If the person had an economic benefit from the violation
  • If the person made any efforts to correct the violation

Penalties

If an enforcement officer determines that a person has violated the Act, they may impose a penalty. The penalty amount depends on whether the violation is under Category 1 or Category 2.

Category 1 Violations

The maximum penalty for this category is the greater of the following:

  • $25,000 for individuals or $50,000 for a person other than an individual (e.g. relevant corporation); or
  • 5% of the assessed value of the property

This penalty may be imposed for the following violations:

  • Required information was not provided in the transparency declaration or transparency report

  • False or misleading information was provided in a transparency declaration or transparency report (e.g. false information about an interest holder included in a transparency report)

  • Failure to provide a transparency report when or if required, for example:

    • When a reporting body does not correctly identify as a reporting body at the time of registering an interest in land 

    • Failure of a pre-existing owner to identify as a reporting body prior to November 30, 2022

    • If an owner becomes a reporting body after registering an interest in land

    • When a previously filed transparency report no longer discloses the current interest holders

For more information, refer to the Act.

Category 2 Violations

The maximum penalty for this category is $25,000 for individuals or $50,000 for a person other than an individual (e.g. relevant corporation).

This penalty may be imposed for the following violations:

  • Reasonable steps weren’t taken to obtain or provide information required for the transparency report or transparency declaration

  • A transparency report or transparency declaration was not signed or certified in accordance with the Act

  • A person failed to comply with a demand for information or demand for verification from an enforcement officer

  • False or misleading information was provided to the enforcement officer or the administrator of the Act in documents other than a transparency declaration or transparency report

  • An inspection by an enforcement officer was interfered with

  • Information obtained by a reporting body or obtained from the Land Owner Transparency Registry was misused

For more information, refer to the Act.

Penalty Notices

A penalty notice is issued when an enforcement officer determines to impose a penalty for non-compliance. The notice clearly states: 

  • How you violated the Act
  • The penalty amount
  • The date the penalty must be paid by
  • How to pay the penalty
  • Your rights to dispute the penalty under the Act and how to do so