This is what you need to know.
You know in those cartoons we used to watch as kids when Bugs Bunny or Elmer Fudd would give up the DEED to someone? And it was usually a big fancy scroll with gothic letters with gold gilt on heavy embossed paper? Wouldn’t it be fun if house titles today came on that?
A property “title” can refer to two things: 1) an interest in a property – as in a theoretical thing – “I hold the title to this land”, and 2) the actual documents that make up the legal paperwork that proves you hold the title.
In Canada, the Land Title Offices are administered by the individual provinces, and the Land Titles Office in Alberta is responsible for registering land ownership rights in the province.
They are who your lawyer will work with to make your home officially yours when you make a purchase, but they also offer some other services (sometimes with a fee) you may one day access as a homeowner: such as looking up the names of owners of particular properties (say, if you’re curious who owns the house next door and want to talk to them about going halfers on a fence), or if you need information about your surface and mineral rights (say, if you think you’re sitting on a coal deposit).
As well as really interesting data called the Spatial Information System (SPIN) about township plans, survey markers and surveys, and other neat data. They also administer a recent law called the Agricultural and Recreational Land Owners Act, which regulates how much of Alberta’s land may be owned by off shore owners.
The Land Titles Office is one of those government entities we tend not to know much about, until we need it. Check out their website, or talk to us about obtaining a new title to call your own – we just can’t promise you it will be a gold leaf scroll!