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Module Three: Application for Registration

Learning Objective(s)

In this section, you will learn about the second electronic process, the "Application for Registration" (AFR). This is the application which confirms all the current interests in a parcel. From your title search, you will have assessed all the interests in the parcel and will enter them in the AFR to create the parcel register. Again there are legal issues to understand and processes or procedures to follow as required under the Act and Regulations.

This section also contains a detailed discussion of easements in the Land Registration context, and what enquiries must be made to “match” easements with applicable parcels, including ones other than that of your client/owner. We also discuss developments arising out of the May 4, 2009 LRAR and the Directive of the Registrar General of August 2009 on how the rules in Land Registration Administration Regulations ("LRAR") 14-18 work in the AFR context, and when there are “mismatched” easements.

Instructions

Background

An Application for Registration “AFR” is the process required for converting the title of a parcel from the old Registry System to the Land Registration System. This section will provide an overview of the process and then detail the basics involved in the AFR process.

This is the longest and, in some ways, the most important module in these materials – the process of converting Registry of Deeds lands to Land Registration parcels using the AFR. Over time, AFRs will decrease in number as more parcels are converted, and Module 4 (which deals with parcels already in the system) will become more critical to your practice. In other words, keep printing and using these modules as you will come across the need for these materials again and again.

This module also covers various types of interests you will encounter, both in terms of their existence in the “old world,” and in terms of how they are treated under the LRA. Debentures, leaseholds, and powers of attorney for example have special treatment. Foreclosures require a particular procedure depending on whether they are LR or non-LR lands. Challenging and removing interests are also introduced, and covered in more detail in “Removing a Recorded Interest” on page 18 of Module 4.

The AFR submits all interests in a parcel of land which affect title to that parcel into an electronic system which displays those interests. The registered interests are guaranteed while the effect of recorded interests are not. There are four interests which may be registered:

  1. A fee simple estate;
  2. A life interest;
  3. Remainder interests;
  4. An interest of Her Majesty.

The most common example is the fee simple interest in a parcel. The registered owner is the guaranteed owner, subject to certain provisions in the LRA such as overriding interests.

The effect of recorded interests are not guaranteed by the LRA. Recording confers priority of interest. Each recorded interest must be reviewed by the lawyer to determine its legal status including validity and priority. Note, however, that with the 2009 LRAR, lawyers who record interests are required to sign certificates of legal effect certifying that the document being placed on the parcel register has the effect that it purports to have. Your ten year liability to the Province for negligent errors or omissions in Certificates of Legal Effect (“CLE”) pertaining to recorded interests is the same as for registered interests. Recorded interests by authorized lenders (ie banks with access to the system) do not have to have the same CLE. Thus, there will be some duality as to what is and is not certified to the system, but what is certified BY the system will not be changed.

The title to a parcel is most often based on the documents on file at the Registry of Deeds; however, there may be situations where additional documents not found at the Registry of Deeds must be recorded or obtained before conversion of the parcel into the Land Registration system.

The AFR documents all of the current interests of a parcel identified by a PID (registered owners, benefits, burdens, recorded interests, and qualifications on the registered interest), together with the certified parcel description (approved PDCA), which is added electronically when the final AFR is submitted.

A draft AFR is first prepared and submitted for pre-approval electronically to the Land Registration Office. Once approved, the final AFR is submitted, which creates an individual electronic parcel register in which all registered interests and recorded documents associated with a parcel of land (except post-migration judgments, general powers of attorney and overriding interests) are listed together with the approved PDCA. Note that judgments affecting the property up to the time of migration must be incorporated into the parcel register at the time of the final AFR: LRAR 23(2).

Any document which creates an interest in a parcel (or “enables” it) will be, or is already, scanned and linked to the parcel register to allow it to be viewed in the parcel register. Currently, most, but not all documents at the Registry of Deeds are scanned.

Once the parcel register is created, you will find it on POL by entering the PID, if known, or by searching for the PID by name of owner. As previously indicated, the registered owner of the PID is guaranteed to have marketable title to the parcel. All other interests in the parcel must be reviewed by the lawyer to determine their priority and effect on title.


LRA Qualification Assessment

Overview

Nova Scotia Barristers' Society Land Registration Act (LRA) Competencies