With the new social distancing guidelines in BC and the move to working remotely, we have received many questions from clients as to how they will be able to complete their real estate deals.
Fortunately, the Law Society of B.C. and the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia have modified the requirements for in-person real estate signings during this time. Clients are now also able to be identified over video call by their lawyer.
For the execution of land title documents, if in-person signing is not an option, execution may be carried out remotely and supported by way of an “affidavit of execution” under section 49 of the Land Title Act. This is a procedure where the document is signed by the client and an affidavit of execution is provided to explain why the parties were unable to meet in person (i.e. due to social distancing concerns regarding COVID-19).
Usually an affidavit would also need to be sworn before a commissioner in person. However, the in –person requirement to have this sworn has also been temporarily relaxed and the affidavit may be sworn remotely over video conferencing between the parties when a strict execution procedure is followed.
Our lawyers are continuing to work remotely and closing our client’s transactions. You can expect that they will be asking for your identification and taking prudent steps to verify your identity when they are executing documents with you over video call. However, transactions can certainly be completed and closed in this new remote working environment.
We look forward to assisting our clients through these times and encourage you to reach out to one of our lawyers if you have any questions
Written by: Nicola Collins