Standard 9: Ensuring Sound Transactions
The land trust works diligently to see that every land and conservation agreement transaction is legally, ethically and technically sound.
A land trust usually intends to protect the property it conserves in perpetuity. To help secure the perpetual conservation of land, its transactions must hold up over time and withstand challenges. Sound transactions rely on the land trust performing “due diligence” in its transaction steps. Land trust representatives need not be lawyers, but they must have good legal advice, and they should familiarize themselves with basic principles of real estate and tax law. The land trust should draw a landowner’s attention to issues that must be addressed as the transaction proceeds. However, a land trust should not represent itself as giving specific legal or financial advice; a landowner’s own advisors should do that. A land trust may have to call on other financial and technical experts in order to complete the transaction. Carefully documenting the steps a land trust takes in performing its due diligence can help secure the perpetual conservation of the property.
- Property Law Act, RSBC 1996, c. 377, s. 35.
- Land Title Act, RSBC 1996, c. 250, s. 218-223.
- Canada Revenue Agency policy interpretation of Income Tax Act, SC 1985, c. I; see:
- Environmental Management Act, SBC 2003, c. 53, s. 40
- Contaminated Sites Regulation, BC Reg. 375/96, as am., s. 3.
- Land Title Act, RSBC 1996, c. 250, Parts 10 and 10.1
- Canada Revenue Agency policy interpretation of Income Tax Act, SC 1985, c. I;
see Income Tax Technical News No. 26 at:
- Taxation (Rural Area) Act, RSBC 1996, c. 447.
- School Act, RSBC 1996, c. 412.
- Police Act, RSBC 1996, c. 367.
- Property Transfer Tax Act, RSBC 1996, c. 378.
- Social Service Tax Act, RSBC 1996, c. 431.
N. Subsurface Rights
The land trust investigates the ownership of subsurface rights for all property transactions and where possible, works to mitigate the impacts the future development of those rights may have on the conservation values of the property.
Land trusts recognize that the subsurface rights of conservation properties may be owned and developed by outside parties. Land trusts make an effort to investigate the ownership of any relevant subsurface rights and where possible work to purchase those rights, negotiate with the owner of those rights or use other means to prevent a loss of conservation values from the property in question.
BC Assessment Questions
- As part of their property assessment process, does the land trust investigate possible subsurface activities, including the potential for mining activities and claims that are actively staked?
- Does the land trust monitor mineral claims on their properties and take action to minimize or eliminate the impact on their properties?
CLTA Assessment Questions
- Does the land trust investigate the ownership of subsurface rights for all of its property transactions?