Land title transfers are seriously delayed at the moment; according to the Alberta Registries Site, they are currently registering Land Title Documents received on February 16th and Survey Plans/Documents received on March 9th, which places the current processing times well above the industry standard. Below we dive into what land titles are, why they are important, the cause of these delays, the issues the delay may cause and what home buyers and sellers can do to protect themselves. 

What is a Land Title?

A land title is a document that proves ownership of a piece of land and the specific interests (such as mortgages, caveats and easements) registered on them. When a home is bought or sold, the land title is transferred to the new owner, which typically takes 3-7 business days but is currently backed up by more than three months. 

What is Causing the Delay? 

Due to a record-breaking spring, a substantial increase in real estate transactions submitted for registration has led to delays. Learn more about the current real estate market in our monthly market report and weekly market updates. We’ve linked the most current posts as of publication, but you can find the most recent updates on the main blog page.

What Problems Can These Delays Cause? 

While this can cause delays in closing transactions, the more significant concern for new homeowners is accessing and paying their municipal tax balances, which are due in June. New homeowners who may not yet show up on title to access their tax balance and information will still be liable to pay their taxes on time or face late penalties. If you have taken possession of or sold a home since February, you should contact your municipality about your property taxes. 

What Can Home Buyers and Sellers Do? 

Buy title insurance; title insurance will cover that gap between the closing date and the land title transfer so that the transaction can close on time. It can also cover deficiencies not shown on an RPR, such as builder’s liens or something hidden underground like an old tank, and issues that would appear on an RPR when one has not been obtained. Learn more about Title Insurance in this blog post. 

 

Service Alberta is currently working on addressing the backlog. This blog post is intended to provide general information. Always reach out to your trusted real estate professional regarding specific concerns about your individualized home buying or selling needs.


Posted by Sara MacLennan on
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