As of November 30, 2020, any landowner or tenant applying to register certain interests in land (a transfer or certain leases) also had to file a transparency declaration with the Land Owner Transparency Registry ("LOTR"). Each transferee that is a " reporting body" as defined by the Land Owner Transparency Act ("LOTA") also had to file a transparency report with the LOTR along with the transfer or lease.
In addition, existing "reporting bodies" that hold an interest in land acquired prior to November 30, 2020, are required to file a transparency report with the LOTR by November 30, 2021. Reporting bodies includes most companies, limited partnerships and trusts. It is anticipated that the Province will send a letter to corporate reporting bodies in the coming weeks.
Failure to file a transparency report is deemed to be an offence under the LOTA and could trigger a significant fine, namely the greater of: (i) $25,000 for individuals or $50,000 for corporations or other entities; and (ii) 15% of the assessed value of the property.
As of September 27, 2021, only 2,753 of the thousands of reporting bodies have filed transparency declarations or transparency reports with the LOTR. So, if you have not filed your LOTA filings as of yet, you are in good company. While it is likely that there will be a significant increase in filings over the next 2 months, it appears unlikely that the majority of impacted land owners will have filed their LOTA reports by November 30, 2021. It is possible that the Province may delay enforcement action until there is a larger take-up of the reporting obligation, but you can not count on it.
We are pleased to assist existing clients in completing their LOTA filings. Please contact your lawyer at Lawson Lundell or email LOTA@lawsonlundell.com if you would like our assistance.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.