Property Title Transfers

December 9, 2015 | Published by

There are a variety of reasons for and/or circumstances in which a property owner may want, or need to, make changes in the ownership structure of their property. The following are examples:

  1. A property owner may wish to add their spouse on Title after marriage or cohabitation;
  2. A parent may want to add a child on Title, so that their share automatically passes to that child upon their passing;
  3. A parent may want to be on Title to make sure that the property that they are purchasing for their child cannot be sold or transferred without their consent;
  4. One spouse may want to be removed from Title for estate planning purposes;
  5. One spouse may decide to buy the other spouse out, and have their name removed from Title, upon separation or divorce;
  6. Spouses may have to transfer Title to each other pursuant to a separation agreement;
  7. A party would have to be added on Title if they are a borrower on a new mortgage.

The above is not a conclusive list, but shines light on the various scenarios in which property Title transfers may be needed.

Two or more people could be on the same property Title, and their respective shares do not have to necessarily be equal. There are few different ways of structuring Title, each for a different purpose and with a different set of implications; your lawyer or notary public would be able to explain the differences and help you decide which one would suit your needs.

Each time an individual is added on Title, they have to pay Property Transfer Tax as if they were purchasing a share of the property. This would be regardless of whether actually any money would be exchanging hands. The Property Transfer Tax would be calculated based on the fair market value of the interest in the property being transferred. Some cases, such as transfers of Title between or to related individuals, may qualify for a Property Transfer Tax exemption. Your lawyer or notary public would be able to identify whether you would qualify for the exemption but, if not, inform you as to the amount of Property Transfer Tax payable.

Any changes to Title have to be made through the Land Title & Survey Authority of BC by way of the registration of a Transfer form, which your lawyer or notary public would handle on your behalf. The process for condos and townhouses requires the extra step of obtaining certain strata documents, so more time needs to be allocated for that vs. if the property in question were a detached house.

Once the transfer process is complete, your lawyer or notary would be able to request a State of Title Certificate from the Land Title Office, which would set out the new ownership structure.

If you have any questions about property title transfers, please feel free to contact Vancouver Downtown Notary at 778-819-8553 or email us at [email protected].