Land Agent Negotiations

Land Agent Negotiations

The Land Agents Licensing Act (“the Act”) provides for certain controls on the negotiation process. These controls are in place to ensure the land owner has adequate time to review proposals and is treated fairly. They are also in place to ensure land agents operate consistently and professionally.

Section 17(1) of the Act states; “If a land agent enters into negotiations to acquire an interest in land, the land agent shall leave with the owner of the interest or the owner’s agent a completed copy of the proposed agreement to acquire the interest, with the land agent’s name and business address endorsed on it or attached to it, and, at that time, inform the owner or the owner’s agent of the provisions of this section.”

Section 17(2) of the Act states; “No land agent shall resume negotiations with, or accept a signed agreement from, the owner or the owner’s agent in relation to the interest in land until at least 48 hours after subsection (1) has been complied with.”

The intent of these subsections is to, before signing any agreements, inform the landowner of the provisions of section 17 and to give the owner an opportunity to see the entire proposal for a 48 hour period without any pressure from the land agent. The land agent is required to leave with the owner or the owner’s agent the completed copy of the proposed agreement sometime over the course of the negotiations. It may be left at the initial meeting, however this is not a requirement and could be left with the land owner at any subsequent meeting. It must be fully completed with exception to the date and signatures of both parties and contain all the proposed terms of the agreement. Consideration, compensation, location and other terms are integral parts of a proposed agreement to acquire an interest in land and it is encouraged that a Land Agent discuss these terms with the land owner prior to a written proposal being prepared.

If a land owner decides to waive the right to the 48 review period, a waiver as prescribed by the Land Agents Licensing Regulation (“the Regulation”) must be completed. This waiver must be sworn or affirmed before a commissioner for oaths. If the land agent acts as the commissioner for oaths, the land agent must complete schedule 3 as prescribed by the Regulation and have the schedule 3 commissioned by another commissioner for oaths.

If a land owner exercises the right to the 48 hour review period, it is recommended that the Receipt of Proposed Agreement form be completed and kept on the land agent’s file when the proposed agreement is left with the land owner or the owner’s agent. Holidays can not be included in the calculation of the 48 hour review period. Holidays include; every Sunday, New Years Day, Alberta Family Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day and December 26 (if on a Sunday or a Monday then December 27).

Section 9 of the Regulation is another very important section. It ensures that negotiations are seriously pursued before further steps are taken. It states that:

(1) Before

(a) an application is made for a right of entry order under the Surface Rights Act or the Metis Settlements Act,
(b) an interest in land is acquired in accordance with section 6 of the Metis Settlements Land Protection Act, or
(c) an expropriation is made under any law of Alberta,

the land agent who made the most recent offer of compensation to the owner of the interest in land that is the subject of the application, acquisition or expropriation must ensure that the requirements of subsection (2) have been met.

(2) The requirements referred to in subsection (1) are that

(a) section 17(1) of the Act was complied with, and
(b) negotiations resumed or a reasonable attempt was made to resume negotiations with the owner or the owner's agent at least 48 hours after section 17(1) of the Act was complied with.

(3) Subsection (2)(b) does not apply if a waiver under section 17(6) of the Act from section 17(2) of the Act was obtained.

The success of negotiations depends on good communications and the responsiveness of the land agent to the needs of the land owner. The land owner must be fully informed and have an opportunity to review the proposed agreement with no pressures from the land agent. This is the intent of Section 17 of the Act.

Modified: 2002-04-15
PID: 244