No title, no contract: Don’t get caught without it

FVREB members are putting their business at risk if they get listing contracts signed before a title search is completed, according to legal advisors for the Board.  Until you have the property title for a listing, you can’t be sure that a contract with the seller is legally valid.

Sometimes the client signing the listing contract is either not the rightful owner of the property, or has excluded other owners.  Most often it’s not a deliberate attempt at fraud, but rather an oversight by the client who is either unaware or has forgotten who is on title to the property and whose signatures are required to sell it.

After reviewing the issue and getting expert advice, the Board is making changes to the title search process.

To support best practice the Board is aiming to stop doing title searches altogether by March 1 next year and is encouraging members to start doing their own title searches now, if they have not done so before. Fortunately for members, it’s faster and easier to do a title search than wait for the Board to do it.

If you would like to get ahead of the changeover, you can set up an account on the Land Title and Survey Authority (LTSA) of BC website immediately. It’s not difficult and the results are sent directly in your LTSA inbox within an hour.

Before you use LTSA for a search you’ll need to set up a LTSA account. Choose which type of account you need; Enterprise or Explorer.


  • A single user account
  • 40 or fewer land title records each year
  • Restricted to land title document search
  • No historical titles
  • Only electronic delivery
  • No electronic filing of documents
  • Payment by credit card
  • $2.50 service transaction fee (plus title search fee $9.45)
  • Account activation is immediate


  • Allows you to configure an account for use by many users
  • Searches for all types of land title documents
  • Electronic filing of documents is available
  • Postal and/or electronic delivery
  • Tax certificates can be ordered
  • Pay using a pre-paid $250 account deposit
  • $1.50 service transaction fee (plus title search fee $9.45)
  • Account activation takes 3 to 5 days

With a LTSA account you can:

  • Request plans, documents, registered titles and State of Title Certificates
  • Search by:
    • Parcel Identifier (PID) or title number
    • Document and plan number
    • ParcelMap BC Search
  • Online service is available from 6 am to 11 pm Monday to Saturday.

You will need a PID number or Title number to do the search.  This online tutorial from the LTSA explains the search process, step by step:  LTSA 6 Minute Tutorial. Online service is available from  6 am to 11 pm Monday to Saturday.

Also, the Board will be offering the PDP course ‘Electronic Title Searching’ for those who want to learn more. The next one will be held on January 11, 2018.

In person:

You can also get counter service at a Land Titles office. The nearest one to the Fraser Valley is at Suite 300, 88 Sixth Street in New Westminster which is open 9 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday.

To request a title search you must:

  1. Know the property’s PID, or legal description
  2. Pay the Searches fee of $9.45 for each title
    • Fees are payable in Canadian funds debit card, Visa, MasterCard, cheque or money order payable to: Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia

The Land Title and Survey Authority of BC (LTSA) does not process title searches by telephone or email, nor can it conduct research on your behalf.