The property title details the most pertinent information about a home or commercial property. Therefore, when it is outdated or incorrect, it can present a huge problem should you need to transfer ownership, obtain financing or repossess a leased property.
The title report often details the history of ownership, along with other information (such as):
- The legal property description
- Name of the property owner(s)
- Amount paid for the property
- Encroachments (eg. liens, easements and caveats)
Why You Might Need to Update Your Property Title
During the time in which you own a home or other property, you might have some changes in your life that require you to update your property title. This may include:
- Change of name due to marriage or divorce
- Adding an owner to the property (such as a new spouse)
- Removing the name of an owner due to death or divorce
- Adding a right of survivorship for a child or non-spousal co-owner
You’ll also want to update the property title when a lien or caveat is no longer valid.
Landlords and the Property Title
When leasing or renting out a property, you may need to have to repossess it to enforce an eviction of the tenants due to nonpayment of violation of the lease. If you have to evict a tenant and your legal name is incorrect or is not even on the title, you can face conflicts with obtaining a possession order.
Joint Ownership and the Property Title
Do you own property with someone? Are you on the title? If you aren’t on the title and something happens to your partner, their family may have the right to claim ownership of the property. Consequently, it is of utmost importance that everyone who has a legal right to the property be named on the title.
The Physical Address on Your Land Title
Any legal notice that is sent to you from the land title’s office will be sent to whichever address is registered with the Alberta land title that is assigned to your home. By registering an address with the land title’s office, you are claiming that you will be fully responsible for receiving any notices that are sent to you. This means that if you don’t end up receiving said notice for whichever reason, you can effectively lose your property rights. As such, changing your address on your legal title is crucial.
Selling the Property
When you sell your property, an outdated title can hinder or delay the transaction from processing. Real problems can occur when there is an owner not named on the title or an old lien or outdated easement still appears on the title work.
The Process of Changing the Property Title
We are frequently asked how to add a name to a property title. To edit or update your property title, your first step will be to contact the Alberta Registries Spatial Information System. You should begin this process by ordering a current title to see what information needs to be changed. Next, you’ll need to decide which form(s) will be required.
There are different forms for varying situations. For example, if you need to remove a deceased person from the title, you’ll need to complete a Statutory Declaration/Proof of Death form. Land Title requires that you include an original death certificate or a document from the funeral home or cemetery with the form. Another type of form is the discharge paper, which removes a lien or caveat from the title. All applications for changes to the title must be signed before a notary or another authorized representative.
If there are multiple owners on the property, everyone must agree on the changes. This is also true if there is a mortgage on the property. You may have to gain the approval of the mortgagee to make updates to the title.
Condominium Corporations and the Property Title
If you live in a condominium, you could find yourself in a situation where a caveat or foreclosure action is commenced against you for non-payment of fees or condominium contributions. If your legal name or address is incorrect, you may not receive the official notice of action and incur additional payments. When it comes to legal service, the condominium board or condominium management company has to rely on this information. So to avoid being unaware in such situations, it is important to update your title with current information.
How Much Does it Cost to Transfer a Property Title or Add a Name?
Registration fees are $15 and may require supplemental documentation when you file. You can file these forms yourself or, alternatively, you can hire a real estate attorney to represent you. Although it may seem simple to do it yourself, you can end up with an invalid title if any mistakes are made. Additionally, fixing an error can be quite costly in the end as it may require you to hire an attorney to successfully fix it.
Where to Change Your Title in Alberta
Alberta residents can inquire about updating their property title at the following location:
Alberta Registries Spatial Information System
Physical Address: Mailing Address:
Service Alberta Building Box 7575
710 4 Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2P 2R4
Calgary, Alberta T2P 0K3
If you have any further questions about why you should update your property title, contact Emerald Management and Realty Ltd. today! Our team is always happy to help.