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BILL NO. 53

                                              Government Bill

                 
                                                               
              3rd Session, 56th General Assembly
                         Nova Scotia
                   44 Elizabeth II, 1995-96

                 
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                      An Act Respecting
                   Marketable Title to Land




                          CHAPTER 9
                       ACTS OF 1995-96




                 
                                                               
                                                               
                The Honourable Sandra L. Jolly
                Minister of Municipal Affairs


                 
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
                                                               
          AS ASSENTED TO BY THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
                       JANUARY 11, 1996






                 
                                                               
                           Halifax
          Printed by Queen's Printer for Nova Scotia
                               
                               
                               
                               
                               
                       An Act Respecting
                    Marketable Title to Land



         Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:


         1  This Act may be cited as the Marketable Titles Act.


         2  The purpose of this Act is to

            (a) remove uncertainties respecting the determination
         of marketable titles to land in the interests of all present
         and future landowners and facilitate the development of the
         Province; and

            (b) remove uncertainties respecting the validity of past
         and future tax deeds.


         3  In this Act,

            (a) "chain of title" means a chain of title as described
         in subsection 4(2);

            (b) "instrument" means a conveyance or other
         document by which the title to land is changed or in any
         way affected, including a will or other testamentary
         instrument, a grant from the Crown, a court order, a
         certificate of title under the Quieting Titles Act or the Land
         Titles Clarification Act or a report of commissioners
         appointed to make partition;

            (c) "registered" means registered or filed in the
         registry of deeds for the registration district within which
         the land is situate.


         4  (1) A person has a marketable title to an interest in
land if that person has a good and sufficient chain of title
during a period greater than forty years immediately preceding
the date the marketability is to be determined.

            (2) A chain of title commences with the registered
instrument, other than a will, that conveys or purports to
convey that interest in the land and is dated most recently
before the forty years immediately preceding the date the
marketability is to be determined.

            (3) A chain of title may commence before or after the
coming into force of this Act.

            (4) Notwithstanding the Intestate Succession Act and
the Descent of Property Act but subject to Section 5, an interest
in land, whether arising before or after the coming into force of
this Act, that has not vested pursuant to an instrument that is
registered is extinguished by a registered instrument, other
than a will, that conveys or purports to convey that interest in
the land and is executed by a person with a marketable title,
upon the expiry of

                (a) the twenty-year period immediately following
            the vesting of the interest;

                (b) the ten-year period immediately following the
            attainment of the age of majority by the person with the
            interest;

                (c) where the person with the interest is of
            unsound mind, the ten-year period immediately
            following the person ceasing to be of unsound mind or
            the forty-year period immediately following the vesting
            of the interest, whichever is earlier; or

                (d) the three-year period immediately following
            the coming into effect of this Act,

whichever is latest.

            (5) Nothing in this Section extinguishes any interest in
land except as provided by subsection (4).


         5  (1) A person may preserve an interest in land that, but
for this Section, could be extinguished by subsection 4(4) by
filing a notice of claim.

            (2) A notice of claim shall be in the form prescribed by
the regulations.

            (3) A notice of claim shall include

                (a) the name of the claimant;

                (b) the names of the owners of all interests in the
            land known to the claimant;

                (c) the address of the claimant;

                (d) a description of the land in which the interest
            is claimed;

                (e) the nature of the interest in the land claimed;

                (f) a summary of the basis of the claim, including
            the recording particulars of every instrument
            constituting the chain of title on which the claim is
            based; and

                (g) such other information as the regulations
            prescribe.

            (4) A notice of claim does not validate or extend an
interest that has been extinguished  by subsection 4(4) or that
has expired or is invalid.

            (5) A new notice of claim may be registered pursuant
to this Act and, for that purpose, an earlier notice of claim is
the instrument on which the claim is based.

            (6) For greater certainty, lack of knowledge or absence
from the Province on the part of any person does not extend the
period during which a notice of claim may be registered.


         6  (1) In this Section, "tax deed" means

                (a) a certificate that has or purports to have the
            effect of vesting land that was to be sold for non-payment of taxes in a city, town, municipality of a
            county or district, regional municipality, village
            commissioners or service commission as defined by the
            Municipal Affairs Act; or

                (b) a deed from a city, town, municipality of a
            county or district, regional municipality, village
            commissioners or service commission as defined by the
            Municipal Affairs Act to land sold or purportedly sold
            for non-payment of taxes.

            (2) A tax deed may not be set aside for any reason
whatsoever except during the six years following registration
of the tax deed, and thereafter the tax deed is binding and
conclusive upon all persons and is not liable to be attacked or
impeached at law by any person, and the tax deed conveys an
absolute and indefeasible title in fee simple to the land
described in the tax deed and is conclusive evidence, with
respect to the purchaser and every person claiming through the
purchaser, that every requirement for the proper assessment
and sale of the land has been met.

            (3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), a court may
exclude from a tax deed all or part of the lands described in the
tax deed that the court finds were assessed to a person, other
than the person to whom the property was assessed when the
lands were sold for arrears of taxes, who has an interest in the
lands or part thereof and in respect of which taxes were not in
arrears for more than one year at the time of the sale.

            (4) Subsection (2) does not apply where a court finds
that the current owner of the land participated in a fraud or
breach of trust with respect to the sale.

            (5) Subsection (2) applies whether the tax deed was
registered before or after the coming into force of this Act.

            (6) Subsection (2) does not deprive any person of any
cause of action that person may have for damages for the
wrongful sale of land for taxes.


         7  (1) This Act does not apply to

                (a) any interest in land created or preserved by a
            statute;

                (b) the interest of a municipal government in a
            public street, road, highway or road reserve;

                (c) a right of way or easement in favour of a
            public utility or a municipal government;

                (d) mineral rights; or

                (e) an easement or right of way that is being used
            and enjoyed.

            (2) Subsections 4(1) and (2) do not apply to

                (a) land in respect of which a certificate of title
            has been issued under the Quieting Titles Act;

                (b) land registered under the Land Titles
            Clarification Act or the Land Titles Act; or

                (c) any interest in land that a registered owner
            may no longer recover by reason of the Limitation of
            Actions Act.

            (3) Subsection 4(4) does not apply to an adverse
interest acknowledged or specifically referred to in the
description of land in a deed forming part of the chain of title
to the land.

            (4) Section 3 of the Limitation of Actions Act does not
apply to any time period set out in this Act.


         8  (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations

                (a) prescribing the form of the notice of claim
            authorized by this Act;

                (b) prescribing additional information to be
            included in a notice of claim;

                (c) prescribing a system of indexing notices of
            claims;

                (d) defining any word or expression used in this
            Act and not defined in this Act;

                (e) respecting any other matter or thing that the
            Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable
            to effectively carry out the intent and purpose of this
            Act.

            (2) The exercise by the Governor in Council of the
authority in subsection (1) is regulations within the meaning of
the Regulations Act.


         9  For greater certainty, nothing in this Act affects any
interest of Her Majesty in any land.


         10 This Act has effect on and after July 1, 1996.