Guidance from the Director of Titles During the Covid Pandemic
The battle against the global pandemic has impacted us all. Adjustments to patterns of regular life are necessary. Those who have the agility to adjust appropriately are able to address the impacts of emerging and ongoing expropriations.
Proceedings and meetings have been modified in a number of ways. Some are adjourned, while others proceed virtually. This enables matters to proceed while still addressing the need for social distancing.
Covid-related challenges have extended to Land Registry Offices, where documentation is registered as part of the expropriation process. The unplanned closures of a number these Offices has, in certain cases, delayed the review and approval of expropriation plans.
Recognising that all parties, including taxpayers and authorities, are served by the efficient advancement of expropriation projects, the Director of Titles for Ontario has recently issued best practices guidelines to assist authorities in avoiding delays in the registration of materials. A copy of the Director’s letter is available for review at the following link:
In summary, the Director of Titles has recommended that expropriating authorities take steps to submit their expropriation plans to the LRO for approval, in advance of obtaining a signed certificate of approval. In addition, authorities are encouraged to correspond directly via email with the LRO to explain the scope of anticipated expropriation projects, including the anticipated number of Land Registry Offices affected, the number of plans to be submitted, and the names of Ontario Land Surveyors who will submit those plans. While not mandatory, this type of pre-emptive planning will assist impacted Land Registry Offices in efficiently allocating resources to minimize delays.