News & Announcements - January, 2001

What should I know about Land Titles?

SNB is pleased to introduce Land Titles - a new, parcel-based land registration system that identifies and records interests in real property. Once a parcel is converted to the new Land Titles system, the Province of New Brunswick guarantees the title of each parcel of land by issuing a Certificate of Registered Ownership (CRO). Each time a new transaction on the parcel is registered, the title register is updated and a new certificate is issued.

Land Titles will reduce the amount of time a lawyer must spend on a real estate transaction dealing with the issue of title. Because Land Titles eliminates the time-consuming historical title searches required by the grantor/grantee registry system, transfers are efficient and economical. And the comprehensive, provincially guaranteed Certificate of Registered Ownership provides security to landowners and lending institutions.

Accurate, accessible and affordable, Land Titles is just another way to help us serve you better.

LAND TITLES

  • Provides the security of guaranteed title
  • Eliminates time-consuming title searches
  • Will result in efficient, economical transfer of real property

ANSWERS TO THE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED
QUESTIONS CONCERNING LAND TITLES

Q. What is the Land Registry?

A. The purpose of the land registry is to provide a mechanism to determine the answers to three questions - where is the land? who owns it? what are the charges (e.g. mortgages and liens) against it?

Q. How is the Land Titles system different from the registry of deeds?

A. In the existing registry of deeds system, when a property changes hands or is mortgaged, to certify a title, a lawyer (or a title searcher hired by a lawyer) must search through books of historical documents in order to determine who owns the land, where the land is located and what are the charges against it. In the new land titles system, the title is guaranteed by the province, and to determine the title, anyone may request a Certificate of Registered Ownership (CRO) for the parcel. The CRO will show the current state of the title to answer those questions.

Q. Is my land automatically registered in this new land titles system?

A. No. In order to convert your property to the new system, a lawyer must conduct one last search of the title in the registry of deeds, and provide that information (the answers to the three questions) to Service New Brunswick together with their Certificate of title. Conversion to the new system is required if you are mortgaging your land or buying a new property, circumstances under which a lawyer would normally be doing that search anyway.

Q. Must I convert my land to this new Land Titles system?

A. No, but a conversion is required if your land is being mortgaged or sold.

Q. Will the Land Titles system save me money when I buy property?

A. Once a parcel has been converted to the new system, it will no longer be necessary to conduct an historical title search on it. This should reduce the time your lawyer must spend on the transaction, thus saving you both time and money.

Q. Will I still need a lawyer when I buy property?

A. Yes, legal documents still need to be executed and legal advice given, but the role of the lawyer will be significantly changed. Eventually, lawyers will be able to perform registrations from their office and provide a CRO without the intervention of registry office staff.

Q. If I have a problem with my title after conversion to Land Titles, how do I get it fixed?

A. The Province of New Brunswick is responsible for dealing with any title problems for parcels registered under Land Titles. The Province guarantees the title.

Q. If I buy a mobile/mini home, does Land Titles affect me?

A. Only if land is included in the purchase.

Q. Do I still need a surveyor to subdivide my property if I want to sell a lot?

A. Yes, under both the Registry and Land Titles Acts, a subdivision of land normally requires a survey.

Q. Is the Land Titles system the same as the one used in Albert County since 1984?

A. No. The Albert County system was instituted as a pilot project and was really quite advanced for its time. It taught us a lot, but the new Land Titles system is more efficient and uses web-based technology available today.

Q. My mortgage is coming up for renewal; what will Land Titles mean to me?

A. If you simply renew your mortgage for another term, no new document is registered; therefore, Land Titles would not come into play. However, if you take the renewal opportunity to renegotiate or refinance and, as a result, amend your mortgage, its registration will require conversion to the Land Titles system. The process requires a lawyer, but once your property is converted, any subsequent refinancing will be much simpler.

Q. What will happen to all the old land registry books?

A. They will be maintained. These valuable volumes not only contain historical title information, but also constitute a significant part of our history and are essential to researchers, especially genealogists.

Q. Why was the old registry system replaced?

A. Because it was time-consuming and cumbersome. The new Land Titles system provides current information for a parcel of land, coupled with the additional security of a provincially guaranteed title.

Q. Is the Land Titles system available everywhere in New Brunswick?

A. The system is being implemented on a county-by-county basis. The goal is to have Land Titles implemented province-wide by March 31, 2001.

Q. Is Land Titles unique to New Brunswick?

A. A concept of Land Titles is successfully employed in all provinces from Manitoba west. Ontario is in the process of converting and Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are considering it. Australia and several European countries use variations of the Land Titles system. New Brunswick's version is one of the most advanced models.

"Service New Brunswick is a Crown corporation owned by the Province of New Brunswick providing access to over 140 government services at centres in 32 communities, through the Service New Brunswick Web site at www.snb.ca . Government information and some services are also available over the phone Toll Free at 1-888-762-8600."

For more information on Land Titles contact:

Edgar Quinton
Service New Brunswick
(506) 444-4871
edgar.quinton@snb.ca


 
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