How Do I File A Claim Of Builder’s Lien In British Columbia?

By Pushor Mitchell LLP
Categories: Blog, Construction

An individual, partnership or company who has supplied labour or labour and materials to an improvement, on most lands in British Columbia, is entitled to file a claim of lien against the property title.  Renters of equipment, engineers and in some cases, architects are also entitled to file a CBL.  A lien claimant can file a lien without using a lawyer.  The claimant must complete a Form 5 – Claim of Builders Lien (“CBL”).

The CBL form is Form 5 in the Regulations of the Builders Lien Act, available at www.bclaws.ca.  Then search “Builders Lien Forms”.

The CBL form requires:

  1. that the Claimant (individual or Company) identify themselves, together with their address and postal code;
  2. the legal description of the location of the project.  The civic (or street address) is not enough.  Information on obtaining a legal description is available on the BC Assessment Authority website at www.bcassessment.bc.ca.  You can also obtain the legal description through a BC Online account.  If the property owner is a Company, you will also require the Company’s incorporation number.  If you do not have a BC Online account, check with your lawyer and they can do the property search and Company search for you;
  3. a brief description of the work performed or material supplied;
  4. the name of the individual or Company who hired the Claimant;
  5. the amount due and owing.

Once the CBL form has been completed, it must be registered in the Land Title Office.  When the CBL form has been registered, it will be assigned a “charge number”.  This number is the reference number for your CBL and will now show on a Land Title Search of the subject lands.

The CBL must be filed within the time limits for filing a lien.  Generally, the deadline for filing a CBL is 45 days after a “certificate of completion” has been issued for a contract or subcontract.  If there is no certificate of completion, generally the deadline for filing a CBL is 45 days after the project has been substantially completed, abandoned or ended.

Filing a CBL does not prove your claim.  However in many cases, the filing of a CBL is sufficient to get an account paid without having to prove your claim.

This article was prepared by Allan R. Elliott of Pushor Mitchell LLP, Lawyers of Kelowna B.C.  This article is not to be taken as legal advice and readers with any particular requirements should see legal advice from a lawyer with experience in the area of Builder’s Liens.

Allan Elliott is a lawyer and partner at Pushor Mitchell, LLP having a civil litigation practice in Kelowna, British Columbia.  Mr. Elliott has 30 years of experience in civil litigation matters including construction and builders lien disputes. He can be reached either by telephone at (250)869-1105 or by email at elliott@pushormitchell.com