Land Title Search FAQs
Anyone can request a land title search but in general it is used mostly by realtors, developers, lawyers, notaries and other professionals associated with land development.
Below you’ll find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions we get asked about land title searches.
Call Toll-Free 1-866-895-1622 for more info.
What is a Land Title? (aka Property Title)
When you purchase a home or commercial building, or even raw land, a record of your ownership is recorded with the provincial land titles system. This acts as evidence of a registered owner’s interest in the property.
What are some of the Land Title Uses?
Land titles are used primarily by the municipalities where the property is located to assess taxes and identify ownership. Other land title uses may include:
- The registration of access rights
- Writs of Enforcement
- And much more
What Information is Required to Find a Land Title?
As a contractor filing a Construction or Builders’ Lien, to make a land title search you will need to know the legal description of the property where you provided the improvement. Usually, knowing the local street address is sufficient to locate the legal description but not always as addresses can change if the property is being developed.
When is a Land Title Search Done?
At PCM Corp, we recommend obtaining a land title search before you agree to provide goods or services. A title search can provide you with a wealth of information such as:
- The owner’s name and address
- The value of mortgages
- Other liens
- Pending legal actions against the owner
- And condominium caveats
Based on the registrations that you may see once you have obtained the land title search, this information can be used to determine the risk associated with a project. As a contractor or supplier armed with this information, you can take steps to mitigate your risk.
Where to get a Land Title Search
Property title searches are public information; you have to know where to look. Private registry agencies and government offices can provide you with a copy of a land title search if you can give them the legal description.
Legal descriptions usually have the format of Lot, Block, and Plan numbers; Parcel Identifier (PID) numbers; or Property Identifer Number (PIN). Typically, this information is obtained from the municipal tax office.
What Other Information Can A Land Title Provide?
Local tax offices can also provide you with an assessment value. The mortgage amount can be deducted from the assessed value to give you in the approximate equity value the titleholder has in the property. Knowing the equity is essential to gauge risk or to help you when attempting to recover debts owed by the owner.
Land title searches can also provide you with some bad news.
In British Columbia, a property owner can file a Notice of Intent or NOI. An NOI prevents contractors and suppliers from being able to file a Builders’ Lien. The only way to lien the property if an NOI is present is to have a contract directly with the property owner.
What Does PCM Corp Charge for Land Title Searches?
Costs to obtain a land title search varies by province. If you are supplying goods or services to a property and want to be proactive in gathering information about a jobsite, PCM Corp’s Lien-Pro® division can help. Lien-Pro® has access to all land title offices across Canada.
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