A lawyer must not certify title to land described in a tax deed until either six years have passed since the date the tax deed was registered or the lawyer has examined an abstract of title for the lands and determined that there is a good root of title.1 Alternatively, a lawyer may certify title to the lands based on such other enquiries or documentation as may be required to determine that good and marketable title exists pursuant to the Marketable Titles Act, the Real Property Limitations Act or the common law.
A lawyer may migrate a parcel using a tax deed as the root of title only if six years have passed since the tax deed was registered, subject to any qualifications that may apply under the applicable legislation or the common law.
1. Refer to Standard 3.1: General Principals of Title Review
- A Tax Deed does not ensure compliance with Section 268 of the Municipal Government Act. A lawyer may need to search behind a tax deed root to ensure compliance.
- While a Tax Deed may be a good root of title in some instances, the lawyer must consider that there may be pre-existing benefits and burdens that are not extinguished, that may affect the parcel that may not be reflected in the Tax Deed. (See Municipal Government Act, s. 156(3))
- Setting aside – Desmond v. Guysborough (Municipality), (2000) 186 N.S.R. (2d) 123, per MacLellan J. (N.S.S.C.)
- Changes to Tax deed Policy as per Registrar General – December 2, 2021
Amended by Council on November 25, 2022