Land Title Search & Rescue: An Overview of Charges, Liens and Interests in Land
Most local government employees will encounter a title search at some point in their careers. It can be an overwhelming experience; a document filled with words and numbers that mean very little at first glance. And now that local governments have the ability to designate employees to sign and submit electronic land title documents on the local government’s behalf, more and more local government staff are reviewing title searches and preparing and filing new charges, liens, and interests in the Land Title Office, asking themselves questions like: When should I use an easement instead of a statutory right of way? What does that legal notation mean? When do I need a housing agreement instead of a 219 covenant? Does this option to purchase need priority over that mortgage? What the heck is a profit à prendre?
This paper attempts to provide an overview of the various charges, liens and interests in land that can be found on a title search, each of which is important for the use, development, regulation, and enjoyment of land in British Columbia. The rules governing such interests are often highly technical and must be followed to ensure that the interests are properly created and legally enforceable.