Department of Justice

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FAQ: Land Titles Act, 2015 and Regulations

Background 
Plans of Survey and Certificates of Title
Fees
Forms
Appeals
Miscellaneous

Contact the Registrar of Land Titles if you have additional questions at 867-667-5611 or landtitlesoffice@gov.yk.ca.


Background

What do the Land Titles Act, 2015 and regulations achieve?

Bringing the new land titles legislation and key regulations into effect is a tremendous achievement and represents years of work led by the Department of Justice and valuable involvement by key stakeholders.

The new legislation and regulations maintain the high standards of Yukon’s land titles system — the Torrens land system — while establishing more modern and sustainable processes that will support a strong, stable real estate market in Yukon.

The Yukon government is pleased to bring into force a legislative framework that protects the interests of property owners and supports Yukon’s real estate market.

Why was a new act needed?

Yukon was relatively well-served by its old legislation, which dates back to the late 1800s; however, in the last two decades, it became increasingly apparent that the act required a major rewrite as new circumstances and dealings with land emerged.

The Land Titles Act, 2015 was needed to create allowances for provisions that will permit the Land Titles Office to transition from paper-based system into an electronic system and to streamline policies, process and procedures to keep pace with the increased volume and complexity of modern land transactions.

Essentially, the new Land Titles Act, 2015 and accompanying regulations modernize the land titles system and improve business operations in the Land Titles Office, while clarifying the state of law in respect of real property in Yukon.

What do the accompanying regulations deal with?

Four regulations have been developed to bring the act into force and outline the process and procedures for handling land transactions.  The regulations include:

General Regulation

This regulation contributes to the administration of the act and the operational rules of the land titles office (e.g., hours of operation, location, etc.). It also establishes the process for reviews of a deputy registrar’s refusal to register an instrument and the appeal process to be followed; creates rules for managing personal information in the land titles office; empowers the registrar to establish standards governing instruments; and allows for the future transition to an electronic registration and records system.

Settlement Lands Regulation

This regulation allows for registration of Yukon First Nation Category A and Category B Settlement Lands in the Land Titles Office in a manner that preserves Aboriginal title. It clarifies the eligibility requirements for First Nations to register Settlement Lands in the Land Titles Office; sets out the information which will appear on title; defines the scope of a First Nation’s “approving authority” powers; and allows the registrar to re-issue Certificates of Title for fee simple titles already registered in the Land Titles Office.

Plans Regulation

This regulation establishes the rules and requirements for registering Plans of Survey and other plans; empowers the registrar to establish standards for plans to be enforced by the Surveyor General Branch of the Natural Resources Canada - Yukon Region (SGB), Yukon's survey authority for plans of titled land; simplifies procedures for enlarging a parcel; and establishes rules for deferred monumentation of surveyed parcels.

Tariff of Fees Regulation

This regulation outlines fees in force. Virtually all of the previous fees in force have been carried forward. New, set fees have been put in place for registration of transfers and mortgages fees and a simplified calculation will be used for assurance fund frees. View new fee schedule

Is the Settlement Land Regulation new?

For the first time in Canada, Category A and B Settlement Land may be registered in the Land Titles Office, while safeguarding Aboriginal rights. This creates significant economic opportunities to develop these land parcels for residential and commercial purposes because it allows First Nations access to a system that has the confidence of lending institutions and buyers. 

Developing these allowances is a great example of how government-to-government relationships are creating economic opportunities for Yukoners.

Who was involved in the drafting of the Land Titles Act, 2015 and regulations?

Since 2012 key stakeholders and the public have been engaged throughout the land titles legislation development process.

Discussion papers and proposals invited public comment on modernizing Yukon’s Land Titles Act and extensive consultation was carried out, which was then used to identify issues and confirm the department’s drafting direction. 

A stakeholder advisory committee, and then a subsequent legislative drafting group, was established to inform and guide work on the project. It includes representatives from:

  • Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce;
  • Association of Yukon Communities;
  • Association of Canada Lands Surveyors;
  • Surveyor General Branch of Natural Resources Canada;
  • Law Society of Yukon;
  • Canadian Bar Association - Yukon Branch - Real Property Subsection;
  • City of Whitehorse;
  • Yukon Condominium Homeowners Association;
  • Land Titles Office staff; and
  • Yukon government departments including Energy, Mines and Resources, Highways and Public Works and Justice.

This work falls under the Land Titles Modernization Project, which is examining all aspects of the land titles regime, including land titles and condominium legislation, the land titles management information system and the business processes used in the Land Titles Office.

What are the main changes?

In this initial implementation phase the majority of current processes will remain the same. For example, clients will experience similar timelines for examination and assignment of provisional numbers, final sign-off of new certificates will remain the same as will the process for making minor corrections to documents.

The Department of Justice will continue to work with Yukoners to ensure the transition to the new requirements goes smoothly. View a summary of the implementation highlights and Change Toolkit for more information.


Plans of Survey and Certificates of Title

Why must plans of survey and all accompanying documents required to raise title be submitted and registered at the same time?

The new act requires that Certificates of Title be issued for all parcels on a Plan of Survey at the time of the Plan of Survey’s registration. This will streamline and improve Land Titles Office processes to raise new titles and greatly reduces the potential for confusion and error.

A checklist will be made available to help clients ensure they have all the required elements—application forms, Pans of Survey and other required documents. 

Also, the Land Titles Office will no longer accept documents or register interests relating to untitled land.  In the past instruments such as a builders or a tax lien were permitted to be registered in respect of untitled parcels.

Is this common practice in other jurisdictions?

It is the practice in almost every other land titles jurisdiction in Canada.

How do I get the finalized plan for submission to the Land Titles Office?

The Surveyor General Branch will release the plan to the appropriate party when it is ready to come over to the Land Titles Office with the required documents. View the Change Toolkit for more information.

How do the new rules affect Plans of Subdivision?

In the case of Plans of Subdivision of titled land, an owner undertaking a subdivision, consolidation, or expansion will need to request that the registrar cancel the old Certificate of  Title and issue new ones for the new parcels described in the plan. 

A simplified application form must now be submitted with the plan of subdivision. 

What makes leaseholds eligible for a subsidiary Certificate of Title? 

A leasehold title may now be issued on application for leases greater than 15 years against a Fee Simple Certificate of  Title or a Category A or B Settlement Land Certificate of Title. This is a positive development because leasehold titles facilitate financing options secured directly upon their leasehold interests in land.

Leasehold titles may be issued in respect of fee simple or Category A or B Settlement Land and allow the original owner, for example a First Nation, to retain ownership, while the holder of the leasehold title enjoys greater flexibility in respect of the financing of their interest.

How do I apply for a subsidiary Certificate of Title?

Your interest will have to be in compliance with the Land Titles Act, 2015 (e.g., a lease must be for a period of 15 years or longer) and you will need to submit your interest in land to the Land Titles Office for registration along with  the appropriate Application for Certificate of Leasehold Title or Application for Certificate of Life Estate Title form to the Land Titles Office. 

What are the new types of Certificates of Title?

In addition to Certificates of Title for fee simple ownership and Certificate of Title for condominium units, there are six new titles:

  • Category A Settlement Land Certificate of Title: equivalent to fee simple excepting the Mines and Minerals and the right to work the Mines and Minerals
  • Category A Fee Simple Settlement Land Certificate of Title: for the Mines and Minerals and the Right to Work the Mines and Minerals 
  • Category B Settlement Land Certificate of Title: equivalent to fee simple excepting the Mines and Minerals and the right to work the Mines and Minerals
  • Fee Simple Settlement Land Certificate of Title: for Settlement Land registered under the Land Titles Act, at the time of settlement
  • Certificate of Leasehold Title: a subsidiary title that can be issued for a leasehold interest when a Fee simple or Category A or B Title has been issued by the Land Titles Office in respect of the parcel.  A Leasehold title is a subsidiary title in relation to the foundational title
  • Certificate of Life Estate Title: a subsidiary title that can be issued for a life estate interest when a Fee simple or Category A or B Title has been issued by the Land Titles Office in respect of the parcel.  A Life Estate title is a subsidiary title in relation to the foundational title

Why are sketches by a Canada Lands Surveyor now required when registering a lease as a part of a building or an easement agreement to be registered against a certificate of title?

A registered lease and an easement are both enforceable interests in land.  In order to enforce them, certainty as to the boundaries of the interests is essential.

New requirements under the act and regulations are intended to provide that certainty, improve Land Titles Office processes, and bring Yukon’s practices in line with other Canadian jurisdictions. The previous act did not set professional standards as to who could prepare sketches and this has now been clarified.

It is recognized that this new process will created added costs for parties seeking to register a lease or easement; however, the new standards provide greater certainty in respect to these registered interests in land and benefit Yukoners overall.

Other jurisdictions in Canada follow this scheme as a mechanism to safeguard the integrity of the land management fabric.


Fees

Have the fees changed substantially?

There have been no substantial changes to fees or billing procedures. There are however new set fees for registration of transfers and mortgages and a simplified calculation to determine assurance fund fees.

The majority of registration fees — which are some of the lowest in Canada — will stay the same until the new electronic system and certain service standards are in place.

View Schedule of Fees


Forms

Am I required to use the new  prescribed Land Titles Office forms?

The use of the new forms will simplify processes for stakeholders and Land Titles Office. While Land Titles Office encourages the use of the new forms, documents submitted for registration which are not in the exact prescribed format will be registered, provided they contain all the essential elements.

The Land Titles Office is working on new document examination protocol and standards to clearly identify the essential elements of all forms and the purpose outlined in the act and regulations. 

Where can I find the new forms?

Downloadable forms — in both word and PDF — are available online.

What if there are errors on my forms?

Applicants and agents submitting documents for registration bear full responsibility for assuring that they are completed properly and that they comply with registration requirements.

All documents should be carefully checked before submission to the Land Titles Office. See form procedures for more information

Is the Land Titles Office accepting documents electronically?

Not yet, but work is underway to prepare for the selection and implementation of a new electronic system.

A Negotiated Request for Proposals for an electronic system has been issued by Government of Yukon and it will close on July 20, 2016. We anticipate that there may be several interested bidders and expect to have the new system fully operational in 2019.



Appeals

How may I appeal a decision by the deputy registrar or registrar?

The new act and regulations formalize an appeal process for those not satisfied with the decisions of the registrar and deputy registrar.

A person has the right to appeal a deputy registrar’s decision to not register a document with the registrar. If dissatisfied with the decision of the registrar, a person can appeal to a judge.

A person wishing to appeal a determination to the registrar must provide the registrar with written notice before the end of the next business day following the refusal by the deputy registrar and follow-up with written reasons for the appeal within 6 business days.

A person wishing to appeal to a judge must commence action within seven business days of the registrar’s decision.

Provided the procedures established in the Land Titles Act, 2015 and General Regulation are followed for appeals, priority of registration shall be preserved as of the date and time of its submission.

How long will the appeal review take?

The speed with which the matter is heard will be a function of the nature of the issues involved and how quickly it is instigated by the person appealing.


Miscellaneous

What are the improvements to process of enlarging my privately-owned lot with the addition of Crown land?

Upon the owner’s application or with their consent, the registrar has the authority to issue a single title for the new surveyed parcel, which includes both the originally titled land and the additional land.

Previously, title was raised to the new land in the name of the prospective owner and was then consolidated with the existing parcel.  The new process is more streamlined.

What do I do if the natural borders of my land have changed due to erosion?

In cases where there are changes to the natural boundaries of a parcel due to accretion or erosion, the owner of the parcel or a government which has land which borders the parcel, may apply to the registrar to have the plan for the parcel superseded by a new more accurate plan of survey.

How can I get my surplus documents back and in what timeframe?

Some instruments require evidence of identity or proof that particular events have taken place in order to be registered.  However, once provided, such evidence is not always necessary for the operations of the Land Titles Office.

For that reason such evidence (e.g., copies of birth certificates, marriage licenses, death certificates) will be returned to the original submitter once they have been examined or disposed of by the Land Titles Office. 

A record will be kept of the evidence having been provided.

When can affidavits of witness be eliminated?

The need for an affidavits of witness can be eliminated when an instrument is completed as a deposition before a notary public:

  • Application for a Certificate of Leasehold Title
  • Application for a Certificate of Life Estate Title
  • Application to Register a Plan of Subdivision
  • Application to Register Plan of Subdivision for Lot Enlargement
  • Request to Correct Error in Name
  • Request to Change Name
  • Affidavit of Surviving Joint Tenant
  • Caveat