Common Questions - Land Titles

Be advised that the answers provided here to frequently asked questions cover basic situations and, depending on the circumstances, cannot be applied to all situations.

For additional questions, you may contact our technical help line at 780-427-2742 in Edmonton or 403-297-6300 in Calgary.

Click on a below question to see its answer.

1. What are the fees for registering my documents?

The fees vary depending on the document type and how many titles are affected. For fee information, review the Land Title Fees (pdf) document.

2. What type of payment is accepted at the Land Titles office?

Land Titles fees may be paid by cash, MasterCard, Visa, Interac or cheques made out to the Government of Alberta.

For customers who use Land Titles services regularly, they may wish to apply for a Land Titles charge account by calling 780-422-7812 or 780-422-1761 in Edmonton or 403-297-6534 in Calgary.

3. Can I prepare my own documents for registration?

Yes. If your documents are properly executed, and meet the statutory Requirements, then Land Titles will accept them for registration. The staff will try to answer your questions about these documents, but they cannot fill them out for you and they cannot offer any legal advice. The staff will commission Land Titles documents provided you have picture identification issued by a government agency. Staff cannot act as a witness.

Although many of the documents appear to be simple to complete, their registration can, and often does, carry very different legal implications and obligations to all parties to the document. Therefore, if you are unfamiliar with land law and real estate transactions, it may be in your best interest to seek professional advice and assistance when dealing with real property.

4. I have paid my mortgage off, how do I remove it from my title?

Generally a discharge document will be sent to you from the lending institution. Forward the original discharge document along with the prescribed Land Title Fees (pdf) to the Land Titles Office for registration.

5. What are the different types of land ownership?

There are three common types of land ownership:
  • Sole Ownership - either a person or a registered company is the sole owner of the land

  • Tenancy-in-Common - in this type of ownership there are two or more owners called tenants-in-common; when a tenant-in-common dies, that person's share in the land goes to his or her estate, not automatically to the other co-owner(s)

  • Joint Tenancy - this type of ownership also involves two or more owners but each owner has the right of survivorship; when one owner dies, that person's interest automatically passes to the other owner(s)

If you wish to become a joint tenant you must specify this on the transfer document, otherwise, you will automatically become a tenant-in-common.

6. One of the registered owners has died, how can their name be removed from the title?

  • If it is a Joint Tenancy ownership, a statutory declaration may be completed by the surviving joint tenant or some other party who is able to declare the necessary facts (Note: The declaration must be accompanied by an original death certificate issued by the Vital Statistics Registry, Medical Examiner's certificate, funeral director's certificate, cremation certificate or by a comparable authority if the death occurred outside Alberta. The original death certificate will be returned to you.)
  • If it is a Tenants-in-Common ownership or Sole Ownership an Application for Transmission on Death form may be completed (Note: An original or court certified copy of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration under seal of the Surrogate Court of Alberta must be attached to the application. A notarized copy or photocopy is unacceptable. If it is issued from a court in a jurisdiction other than Alberta, it must be re-sealed by the Surrogate Court of Alberta.)
In either situation, the appropriate documents must be submitted for registration to Land Titles along with the associated  Land Titles Fees (pdf).

7. How do I change ownership of title?

A Transfer of Land form must be completed and submitted for registration to Land Titles along with the associated Land Titles Fees.

8. Do I require my spouse's consent in order to dispose of an interest in my property?

Yes. The Alberta Dower Act gives both spouses the right to prevent a disposition of their homestead, regardless of whose name appears on the title. A homestead is defined as a parcel of land on which you live and can consist of up to four adjoining lots in a city, town, or village or not more than one quarter section elsewhere.

If you are married and wish to dispose of an interest, you must first obtain your spouse's consent or obtain an order of the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta which allows you to dispose of your interest in land without your spouse's consent.

9. What is the difference between a Title Search, Copy of Title or a Certified Copy of Title?

There is no difference; all title copies provided by Land Titles are “certified”. Titles identify the registered owner, the legal description of the land, and any instruments registered against the land.

To obtain a title search you must know the legal description, Land Identification Number Code (LINC number) or the title number for the property you want to search. Generally, a title cannot be searched by municipal address, however some registry agents have the ability to search by address through the Alberta Registries Spatial Information System, SPIN 2 or the Registry Agent Network. Consult your Yellow Pages directory or call 310-0000, and then dial 780-427-7013 to locate a Registry Agent in your area.

10. Where do I send my documents to?

You may mail, courier or come in person to either office location. Each office has the capability of registering documents for land located throughout the Province of Alberta.

11. Who can file a builders' lien?

Any person who does work in respect of an improvement or furnishes any material to be used in an improvement for an owner, contractor or subcontractor has a lien on the estate or interest of the owner of the land in respect of which the improvement is being made. The lien is created when the work is started or the first material is furnished but ceases to exist if it is not registered within the time period provided by the act.

Builders Liens in respect of an improvement to an oil or gas well, or to an oil or gas well site, for which the lien may be registered in the Land Titles Office no later than 90 days from the last day that the work was completed or the materials were last furnished is also acceptable.

The time limit is within 45 days of when the work was completed or the materials were last furnished. The lien must be for a minimum amount of $300.

You must know the legal description of the property and complete a Statement of Lien form, which is available from the Land Titles office. The completed form along with the prescribed fees can be submitted to Land Titles for registration. A builders' lien against untitled minerals can only be registered with the Minister of Resource Development.

12. Where can I get a copy of a Real Property Report?

A Real Property Report is a legal document that illustrates the location of all visible public and private improvements relative to property boundaries. A registered Alberta Land Surveyor is the only individual who can legally prepare a Real Property Report.

Visit Alberta Land Surveyors Association website (external site) or see your local Yellow Pages directory under Surveyors - Alberta Land for the names of registered land surveyors working in your area.

13. Where can I get copies of aerial photos?

You can obtain aerial photos from Air Photo Services, Main floor, 9920-108 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, T5K 2M4, phone 780-427-3520, fax 780-422-9683.

14. Where do I get a Certificate of Incorporation for a condominium corporation?

Pursuant to the Condominium Property Act, a corporation under the name "The Owners: Condominium Plan No.__________ " (the number to be specified being the number given to the plan on registration) is created on the registration of a condominium plan.

The Companies Act and the Business Corporation Act do not apply to a condominium corporation. A copy of a plan and a copy of the additional sheet are sufficient to prove the formation of the corporation.

15. Where do I get a copy of the registered condominium by-laws?

If a Notice of Change of By-laws has not been registered, the by-laws in the Condominium Property Act govern. To view or purchase a copy of the Condominium Property Act see the Queen’s Printer.

Copies of registered change of by-laws are available through the Alberta Registries Spatial Information System, SPIN 2, or the Registry Agent Network. Consult your Yellow Pages directory or call 310-0000, and then dial 780-427-7013 to locate a Registry Agent in your area. To determine if a change of by-laws has been registered, use the condominium plan number to search the condominium additional plan sheet.

16. How do I go about subdividing my land?

An application to subdivide land must be made with the subdivision authority. Check with the municipality in which the land proposed to be subdivided is located regarding the application form and the procedure to follow.

17. I have multiple lots in my title. Do I need subdivision approval to issue separate titles for each lot?

It depends on when the plan was registered. If the plan was registered prior to July 1, 1950, then subdivision approval will be required. Any plan number prior to 1966HW in the Edmonton Land Titles office or any Plan number prior to GD series in the Calgary Land Titles office will require subdivision approval. If the plan was registered after July 1, 1950, only full lots can be transferred without subdivision approval.

18. How do I consolidate two or more lots on one title?

There are three methods by which lots may be consolidated:
  1. By registering a Consolidation of Title form, a Certificate of Title can be issued with all the lots in one title (e.g., Plan 9520001, Block 1, Lots 1 to 3) (Note: You must remember that if you change your mind and want separate titles later, subdivision approval is required if the plan was registered prior to July 1, 1950. This method only applies if the lots are in the same plan and block. If not, see method number three.)

  2. You may apply to the municipality for a by-law authorizing Land Titles to cancel the lots and create a new lot (Note: The effect of the by-law is to delete the dividing line between the lots and make it into one parcel. This method only applies if the lots are in the same plan and block. If not, see method number three.)

  3. You may have an Alberta Land Surveyor prepare a plan of survey or descriptive plan of survey consolidating the lots (Note: For this method, the lots may be on the same plan or different plans, and may include an unsubdivided parcel, closed roads, etc.) 

Check with your municipality as to the best method to achieve your objective.