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How to Buy Crown Land in BC

Crown land is territory that belongs to the province. Crown land makes up the vast majority of BC land. Crown lands in the regions include provincial parks and other protected areas, and Crown Forest lands and non-forested Crown lands. The majority of province Crown land is public forest land, covering roughly 59 million hectares.

While Crown land in remote locations is unsuitable for residential cabins, it is periodically available for sale. Crown lands get sold at market value, with the vast majority of properties listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) (Multiple Listing Services). The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations & Rural Development also has information on available Crown Land for sale. FrontCounter BC, the province’s window into natural resource permission, licensing, and tenures, receives all applications to exploit the natural resources found on Crown territory.

You can also apply for a lease or a license to utilize Crown Land by filling for tenure. A lease gives you exclusive rights for the duration of the lease, has a set period, and is a mortgageable interest that gets registered. It necessitates a survey. A survey gets required as part of a lease. A license of occupation permits non-exclusive usage for the stated purpose is not a registerable interest and does not necessitate a survey.

Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada, businesses, non-profit organizations, and governments can all apply for tenure. Foreign residents are not eligible to apply for tenancy at this time.

Crown Land Property Appraisal

When someone other than the Crown occupies Crown land (whether leased or not), it becomes taxable (i.e., taxably occupied). The market value of the fee simple interest in the property as if it were owned outright by the occupier gets used to determine the property value of Crown land. Even though the lease costs less than the purchase price, the property remains assessed as if it held entirely.

The assessor considers any restrictions placed by the Crown when making the assessment. The length or value of the lease or other tenure, however, cannot be considered. If the Crown lease is for agricultural uses, the assessment gets based on a rate schedule that considers the land’s worth as a farm without regard to its value for other purposes.

Property taxes must get paid by taxable occupants of Crown land. Many Crown land leases, licenses, permits, rights of way, easements, and other tenures require payment of property taxes in addition to the rental or some costs.

How much does Crown land cost?

In British Columbia, provincial Crown land covers 94 percent of the land, with only 2% of the land covered by freshwater. A further 1% of the province is controlled by the federal government, including Indian reservations, defense areas, and federal harbors, while the remaining 5% get privately owned.

Is it legal to build a cabin on Crown land in BC?

It is illegal to use, occupy, or construct buildings on Crown land without receiving permission. Penalties of up to $100,000 may be imposed, as well as the seizure of improvements, products, or supplies.

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