Newfoundland and Labrador

Contributing Editor: Susan Ledrew



Question 1: Under which legislation is the registration system governed?

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Possessory Title

Question 2: Can title to property be obtained by adverse possession over a period of time?

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Title Search Period

Question 3:   What is the title search period?

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Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS)

Question 4: Is there a standard APS used for most transactions or is it tailored for each property?  Who generally prepares the agreement?


Agreements of Purchase and Sale are primarily drafted by realtors, with occasional input from lawyers. Standardized forms prepared by the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Realtors are used. These forms change over time with new procedures and changes in real estate practice standards. A schedule is attached to the form where any special or property specific changes can be handwritten by agents.

Some parties use a standard agreement if there is no agent or for other private sales, which are tailored to suit the property and the client's specific needs. The same forms are used for residential or commercial transactions.

Access to Registry

Question 5: How is a search of title conducted?  How is registration completed?


Land titles registry system.

Search title to earliest registered deeds that weren't destroyed in the Great Fire of 1892. Unless, there is a quieting in which case no further search is required.   

Primarily professional title searchers are engaged to search the title and report back. This normally costs $150 - $200 for regular transactions - a disbursement paid by clients. Deeds can be searched online with purchased registry access, but these electronic versions only go back to the 1980s, so a full search cannot be completed remotely.

Deeds can only be registered at the Registry of Deeds in St.John’s.


Question 6: How are surveys part of the transaction?


Surveys are still very important in Newfoundland and Labrador. However, with

increased use of title insurance, older surveys are often used with the purchase of an insurance policy to close a transaction. This is primarily a time-saving strategy (and a bit of an ostrich-approach to problem avoidance). The cost of a survey is often shared between vendors and purchasers, or a policy, depending on the Agreement of Purchase and Sale.


Question 7: How can property be held?

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Question 8: What is the registration process?

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Land Transfer Tax

Question 9: Is there a land transfer tax applicable to the usual transfer?  How is it known? How much? Are rebates available?

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