SERVICE N.S./MUNICIPAL RELATIONS–Nova Scotians To Benefit FromOnline Property Registration The province’s new land registration system, which will provideconsumers with better access to land-related information and giveland owners a guarantee of title, will be in place provincewideby March 1. “The new land registration system modernizes Nova Scotia’s 250-year-old property-based system to give Nova Scotians, businessesand governments access to information and services that are thebest in the world,” said Barry Barnet, Minister of Service NovaScotia and Municipal Relations. In the new system, property records are linked to the land parcelrather than the owner’s name, and records are filed and storedelectronically instead of through paper-based registries. The system was first introduced in Colchester County in 2003. Ithas since been brought to Digby, Annapolis, Kings, Hants,Cumberland, Pictou and Antigonish counties. Halifax County wasdesignated a land registration county on Dec. 1, 2004. Thesystem will be implemented in remaining counties on March 1. When all properties have been transferred to the new system in 10to 15 years, historic title searches will be possible online andownership information will be available within seconds. A greatdeal of information is already available online. That informationstreamlines property transactions for those who handle realestate transactions on a daily basis. Each parcel of land in Nova Scotia must be converted to the new system. This is a one-time process that occurs when propertiesare sold, subdivided or mortgaged, or when property ownersvolunteer to convert their properties. The province hasauthorized lawyers to convert parcels to the new system and give land owners a guarantee of title. There is no government fee for the conversion process but lawyersand surveyors will charge clients for the additional one-timeservices and expertise required on initial conversion of eachparcel. Fees for these services are set by individual lawyers andsurveyors, not by the government, so the price can vary greatlyfrom firm to firm. Developers should be aware that, if they are holding an inventoryof approved but unsold lots, the conversion process isstraightforward if all of the parcels have the same titlehistory. Once the conversion process has been completed for oneparcel, the conversion of the remaining parcels is as simple as”copy and paste.” When parcels have been converted, many of the constraints thatcan delay property transactions are removed. Consumers who ownconverted parcels should experience faster property transactionsat lower costs because the time required for title searching andvisits to various government offices to view documents isreduced. For more information about the new land registration system, calltoll-free 1- 866-518-4640 or visit the department’s website atwww.servicens.ca/property/landreg/.