Technology plays a significant role in many industries now, and when that technology stops working, it can have a major impact. This is the case in Alberta, where the land titles portal was knocked offline during an update over a late November weekend. Buyers are advised pay close attention to any real estate transactions that take place while the land portal is down.
The glitch occurred during the last week November, a time of the month when many Alberta real estate transactions come to fruition. Calgary and Edmonton land titles offices were closed on the Tuesday following the system outage as support teams worked to fix the problem. Service Alberta says that sensitive user information remained secure during the outage, and the disruption was due to a data processing issue caused by a routine system update.
During these kinds of glitches, there are two things real estate buyers can do to protect themselves from overpaying for property. The first is to purchase title insurance. This will ensure that any outstanding issues with a closure, including disputes due to the portal being down, will be covered. Another option is for the home buyer to pay the seller daily rent or interest.
Despite the availability of services such as Alberta's land title website, the law governing real estate transactions remains the same. This may mean extra steps will be required in order to finalize a deal, which should be overseen by a lawyer. Lawyers are important to consult in any real estate transaction, regardless of the tools available, to ensure all legal responsibilities are met on both sides.
Source: Calgary Herald, "Technical glitch kills Alberta's land titles website, stoking concerns over real estate deals", Shawn Logan, Nov. 28, 2017