A Device to Handle Important Alberta Land Title Registration Delays

The Alberta Land Titles Workplace (the “LTO”) has lengthy been topic to registration delays, with the hole between submission of a doc to the LTO and completion of its registration traditionally taking one to 2 weeks. Nonetheless, the COVID-19 pandemic and up to date sizzling Alberta actual property market, have resulted within the common LTO registration time rising considerably to over three months. This raises a variety of difficulties for the closing of actual property and secured financing transactions.

Whereas the hole protection supplied in customary business title insurance coverage insurance policies and the Western Regulation Societies’ Conveyancing Protocol each stay accessible to events seeking to shut their transactions with out ready three-plus months for registration to finish, these choices might not at all times be possible or in any other case apply within the circumstances. In April 2021, in an effort to supply events one other different to coping with prolonged registration delays, the provincial authorities launched, by means of amendments to the Land Titles Act and its laws, a pending registration queue system (the “PRQ”).

What’s the Pending Registration Queue?

The PRQ is a system whereby paperwork which have been submitted for registration to the LTO are famous beneath the “Pending Registration Queue” on title to the relevant parcel of land shortly after submission. With the pending registrations within the PRQ seen towards the underside portion of each Alberta land title, events are actually in a position to pull title to a given parcel and rapidly decide what prior submissions, if any, are ready to be registered and in what order. Accordingly, fairly than ready out the prolonged registration hole solely to be stunned by an intervening registration, transacting events are actually in a position to decide whether or not there are any potential pending registrations which can be more likely to take precedence over their doc on the time of their submission. These events might then evaluate any intervening registrations and elect to proceed or not with their transaction, or in any other case take such steps as could also be wanted to deal with the potential points raised by any pending registrations recognized.

How does it work?

The PRQ has been inserted seamlessly into the usual LTO workflow and, topic to some restricted exceptions, all paperwork submitted for registration are robotically entered into the PRQ. Each doc submitted to the LTO for registration have to be accompanied by a Doc Registration Request (“DRR”) ready by the submitting celebration, being a companion doc outlining the kind of instrument being registered and the authorized land identification quantity related to the parcel of land in opposition to which the instrument is to be registered. The doc is then entered into the PRQ, with the info within the DRR used to populate the relevant fields within the PRQ. Devices are then given precedence on the idea of the chronological order wherein they’re entered into the PRQ, topic to sure restricted exceptions, such because the correction of errors made by the Registrar of Titles or pursuant to court docket orders.

What occurs if the instrument is rejected?

With the LTO rejecting roughly 30% of all devices it receives, how does the PRQ deal with devices which can be submitted into the PRQ for registration (thereby securing their precedence) which can be later rejected by LTO employees? For almost all of deficiencies, the submitting celebration is given 30 days to rectify any points and to re-submit, with the submitted doc sustaining its precedence, offered the deficiency is remedied inside the allotted time. Within the occasion the deficiency shouldn’t be remedied inside the 30-day window, the instrument is faraway from the PRQ and its precedence is misplaced. In cases the place the Registrar of Titles determines that the instrument can’t fairly be corrected or was submitted in unhealthy religion, the instrument could also be rejected outright with no interval for rectification.

Issues to remember with respect to the PRQ:

  • Time delicate registrations: Time delicate registrations, corresponding to builders’ liens, which beforehand wanted to be registered on an expedited foundation, will now be registered in the identical order as every other instrument. Expedited registration is now not obligatory for all these doc because the registration requirement is deemed glad upon the instrument’s entry into the PRQ, which occurs shortly after submission.
  • Sure doc varieties don’t seem on PRQ: Provided that devices are entered into the PRQ by reference to the authorized land ID set forth within the relevant DRR, a variety of restricted kinds of registrations that don’t require a authorized land ID (corresponding to tax arrears lists) won’t seem within the PRQ. Events ought to hold on this in thoughts, and will want to take into account title insurance coverage or different means to deal with any potential issues.
  • PRQ Registrations can’t be reviewed intimately: When an instrument is entered into the PRQ, sure key items of data, together with the kind of registration and the title and phone info of the submitting celebration, are famous on title, however the instrument itself can’t be reviewed intimately. Accordingly, in cases the place there’s any concern concerning the character of an instrument within the PRQ, events (or their counsel) might want to contact the celebration that submitted the relevant DRR for higher element as to the character of the meant registration.
  • PRQ reliant on DRR accuracy: As it’s the content material of a DRR that populates the relevant fields within the PRQ, it’s now extra necessary than ever {that a} submitting celebration train warning in getting ready DRRs appropriately, and that different events’ seeking to take care of a given property perceive the dangers of inaccurate DRRs. If, for instance, a celebration makes an error in describing the kind of instrument being registered (e.g. describing a mortgage as an easement), the instrument will likely be rejected. With the intention to defend subsequent registrants who might have relied on the misguided registration sort, the rejected instrument and related DRR can’t be corrected and re-submitted till all events with subsequent registrations within the PRQ consent to the change of instrument sort.
  • Optionally available regime: Though the overwhelming majority of paperwork submitted to the LTO for registration are robotically and essentially entered into the PRQ shortly after their submission, the choice to shut a given transaction in reliance on the PRQ is strictly optionally available. Accordingly, within the occasion events want to shut through the PRQ, they’re inspired to correctly be aware this intention within the relevant sale (or different) settlement. It’s also necessary to notice that, with the PRQ regime nonetheless being comparatively new, lenders might not but have up to date their directions to allow funding in reliance on the PRQ, and this needs to be thought-about by any potential purchaser earlier than they comply with shut through the PRQ.
  • Two hour delay: We now have beforehand mentioned the paperwork being added to the PRQ “shortly” after their submission, however extra exactly the LTO will take roughly two hours to enter a submitted registration into the PRQ. Events who hope to shut in reliance on the PRQ are due to this fact inspired to drag title two hours after submission in an effort to guarantee (a) their submissions have been correctly inserted into the PRQ and (b) no intervening registrations had been submitted by different events in the course of the relevant two-hour window.


A bit over a 12 months since its inception, we’re slowly seeing extra offers closed in reliance on the PRQ, although it nonetheless stays strictly optionally available and a decidedly unusual approach of closing actual property transactions in Alberta. The PRQ could be a invaluable software and permit events to forgo title insurance coverage prices, however whether or not it’s acceptable for a given transaction is very depending on varied elements, together with the connection between the events, the kind of deal, and the related documentation to be submitted to the LTO.

We’re happy to help any purchasers who’ve questions on or need to shut transactions in reliance on the PRQ, merely contact the authors of this weblog or one other member of Lawson Lundell LLP’s Actual Property Group

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