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Removing Discriminatory Covenants from your Property


by Orla O’Malley

Up until the 1960s, various developers in British Columbia registered restrictive covenants over BC properties that prevented minorities from owning those properties. Since 1978, these discriminatory restrictions have been deemed void and unenforceable by the provincial government’s introduction of section 222 of the Land Title Act. Despite being unenforceable, these restrictions are still registered on properties throughout Vancouver, West Vancouver, and Victoria, and have the potential to offend anyone who reads them.

What can we do about it? The Registrar at the Land Title and Survey Authority of British Columbia (the “LTSA”) is authorized to take action to remove discriminatory covenants. The Registrar may do this by its own initiative, or by request from a property owner whose property is subject to discriminatory restrictions. There is no customer fee for cancelling a discriminatory covenant.

Typically, instruments containing the discriminatory covenants also have other provisions that are not affected by section 222 and which will remain valid.

In several cases, the covenant documents which are affected by section 222 are stored on microfilm (generally documents registered prior to 1960). For technology-related reasons, it is not readily possible to remove individual documents from microfilm reels, so the original versions of documents containing discriminatory covenants will continue to be accessible on microfilm. However, the official record of the document is stored electronically online with the LTSA, meaning the Registrar can rectify the official record.

If you own property and would like to remove a discriminatory covenant from that property, you can submit requests to the Registrar as follows:

Online (but you will require an LTSA account): via the LTSA Customer Service Centre at

In Writing by Mail: addressed to the Registrar, New Westminster Land Title Office, Suite 300-88 Sixth Street, New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada, V3L 5B3

Your request should include the legal description and parcel identification number (PID) of the lands affected by the discriminatory covenant, as well as the covenant’s registration number.

If you need help having a discriminatory restrictive covenant removed from your property, Bell Alliance would be happy to help you do so.

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