This Div is a JS Trigger

2.1 Legal Descriptions and Parcel Identification

Standard

[previously Standard 2.1 and 2.2, merged June 15, 2012]

REGISTRY SYSTEM

Legal Description

1. A lawyer who examines a legal description of a parcel or a condominium unit found in the Registry system when giving an opinion on title, must be satisfied that the legal description

a) is a proper and complete description of the parcel of land or condominium unit;

b) identifies the parcel; and

c) when based on a plan of survey, reflects the parcel as shown on the plan.1

Abstract of Title

2. If a lawyer determines that an abstract of title shows that the legal description has been amended from time to time, the lawyer must assess each amendment to determine whether the amendment complies with legislative requirements for transfer of title to land.2

Opinion of title

3. A lawyer must ensure that an opinion of title prepared by the lawyer clearly identifies the parcel by a metes and bounds description or in another form as authorized by legislation or common law.3

LAND REGISTRATION SYSTEM

Migration

Legal Description

1. When a lawyer registers a parcel pursuant to the Land Registration Act, the Act and Land Registration Administration Regulations require that the legal description of the parcel

(a) reflects the contents of the parcel register, unless the parcel is a condominium unit.4

(b) where a short form description has been approved, accurately reflects the information contained in the plan on which the short form description is based;5

(c) accurately reflects the information contained in the description in the Declaration on file with the Registrar of Condominiums when the parcel is a condominium unit;6

2. Except in the case of a condominium unit, a lawyer submitting a PDCA must assist the owner or authorizing person7 in identifying the PID and must take reasonable steps to identify the parcel. This includes reviewing the legal description and the mapping and placing a comment in the PDCA Comments field if an error in the mapping is identified.8 The Registrar must be provided with sufficient information concerning the size and location of the parcel to permit assignment of a PID and mapping of the parcel in relation to neighbouring parcels, with reasonable accuracy.9

Errors in Property On Line

3. At the time of migration, the Land Registration Administration Regulations under the Land Registration Act require a lawyer who identifies errors in the Property Online mapping to bring the information to the attention of Property Online.10

Historical Information

4. A lawyer must give consideration to retaining historical information in the parcel description to assist with interpretation of the parcel register.11

Registration and Recording

Legal Description

1. When a lawyer registers or records a document in the parcel register pursuant to the Land Registration Act, the Act and Land Registration Administration Regulations require that the legal description of the parcel:

(a) reflects the contents of the parcel register in the form of full text, short form legal description or PID, unless the parcel is a condominium unit;12

(b) where a short form description has been approved, accurately reflects the information contained in the plan on which the short form description is based;13

(c) where the parcel is a condominium unit, the description accurately reflects the information contained in the description in the Declaration on file with the Registrar of Condominiums;14

Errors in Property On Line

2. At the time of revision, the Land Registration Administration Regulations under the Land Registration Act require a lawyer who identifies errors in the Property Online mapping to, bring the information to the attention of Property Online.15

Historical Information

3. A lawyer must give consideration to retaining historical information in the parcel description to assist with interpretation of the parcel register, and particularly when adding an easement benefit or burden to the parcel register during a revision.16

Amendment of Parcel Description
The lawyer’s obligation to assist the owner or authorizing person with identification of the parcel applies equally to an amending PDCA.17

_______________________

Footnotes

1Precision in legal descriptions: Countway v. Haughn and Chataway (1975), 15 N.S.R.(2d) 138, per MacKeigan C.J.N.S. (N.S.S.C.A.D.), T.O. Boyne, "Conveyancing Legal Descriptions" (1992) 3 The Claims Wise Bulletin, Claims Wise No. 20 at 1; T.O. Boyne "Legal Descriptions/Surveys"(1992) 3 The Claims Wise Bulletins, Claims Wise No. 23 at 4;
2Subdivision compliance: Municipal Government Act, S.N.S. 1998, c. 18, s. 268-292, as am., Land Registration Act, S.N.S. 2001, c. 6 ;
3See footnote 1;
4 Land Registration Act, s. 19, Land Registration Administration Regulations, 5(8), Reg 7(10) and 7(11);
5 Land Registration Administration Regulations, s. 2(1) definition of short form legal description, Land Registration Administration Regulations, s. 5(8), 10)(a)(ii), 7(12) and 7(13);
6 Land Registration Administration Regulations, s.7(11)(b);
7 Land Registration Administration Regulations, s. 7(6);
8 Land Registration Administration Regulations, s. 7(7);
9 Land Registration Administration Regulations, s. 37(7);
10 Land Registration Administration Regulations, s. 7(7)(c) and 7(8);
11 Land Registration Administration Regulations, s. 7(10A), Registrar General’s Communique Sept 2006, Land Registry Resource Materials- PDCA standards checklist; Gordon, Garth, / Access and Red Flag Issues Under the LRA
12 Land Registration Act, ss. 19, 37(A)(1)(e), 47(3) and 47(9), Land Registration Administration Regulations 2(1) definition of short form legal description, 5(8), 7(2), 7(10), 7(11), 14(4) 15(2) and 16(2)(b);
13 Land Registration Administration Regulations., s. 2(1) definition of short form legal description; Land Registration Administration Regulations, s. 5(8) and 7(10)(a)(ii);
14 Land Registration Administration Regulations, s. 7(8) and 7(11)(b);
15 See Footnote 4;
16 Land Registration Administration Regulations, ss. 7(7)(C) and 7(10A) Registrar General’s Communique Sept 2006, Land Registry Resource Materials- PDCA standards checklist; Gordon, Garth / Access and Red Flag Issues Under the LRA

Additional Resources

Practice Notes

  • Note that a PID for a parcel which has been subdivided may remain the same PID number after the extent of the parcel is altered by the subdivision. Caution should be exercised when the extent is altered, especially in regard to easements. The extent of an easement at the time the easement is created is not altered even though the extent of the parcel which has been assigned the same PID has changed. 
  • The parcel description should match the parcel register whether the description is long form or short form. All benefits and burdens should be described in the parcel description unless the property is a condominium unit.
  • Consider using the long form description when the plan on which the short form description was based contains less information than the long form description.

Amended by Council on May 23, 2014