The Surface Rights Board is a quasi-judicial tribunal that grants right of entry and assists landowners/occupants and operators resolve disputes about compensation when operators require access to private land or occupied crown land to develop subsurface resources such as oil, gas, and coal or to build and operate pipelines and power transmission lines.

Recovery of Rentals
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
Maximize I have discovered an old well site on my land and have never received any rental payments. What can I do?
Maximize I haven’t received annual rentals for many years. Will I be eligible for all the back rentals?
Maximize Can I still make an application under section 36 of the Surface Rights Act if the Operator is insolvent?
Maximize Where do I get an application forms to apply under s.36?
Maximize Why do I have to file each year even if the operator is no longer active?
Maximize Can I refuse access to the site to the operator?
Minimize Are the operator’s obligations under a surface lease or board order impacted when the Board terminates the operators rights and recommends payment by the Minister of rent arrears under section 36 of the Surface Rights Act?

No. Decisions of the SRB directing payment by the Minister of rent arears do not affect any of the operator’s obligations in relation to the site. Termination orders under section 36 (5) of the Surface Rights Act terminate rights of the operator under the right of entry order or surface lease without affecting any of the operator’s obligations. For example, the termination order does not affect the operator’s responsibility to pay annual compensation and does not affect the operator’s responsibility to reclaim the site. Please note, a termination order under section 36(5) of the SRA is distinct from when a right of entry order is terminated under section 28 of the Surface Rights Act where all rights and obligations in relation to the right of entry order end. 

Minimize Can I still make an application under section 36 of the Surface Rights Act if the Operator is insolvent?

If the operator is insolvent (e.g. in bankruptcy or receivership), the landowner can still apply to recover unpaid compensation. However, if the operator is in a legal stay of proceedings, the Board might have to put the application on hold until the stay of proceedings ends. After you apply to the Board, you will receive a letter with more information.

Minimize Does the Surface Rights Board deal with the reclamation of my wellsite?
No, the Board is not involved in the reclamation of wellsites. For more information on the reclamation process, contact the Alberta Energy Regulator at 403-297-8311 (toll free 855-297-8311) or inquiries@aer.ca.
Minimize Once my claim has been filed, how long does it take to process?

A new claim will take a minimum of 60 days. However, due to the current backlog of applications, processing time may be significantly longer. A repeat claim with the same Operator will usually take less time because the Operator’s entry rights have already been terminated and a statutory declaration is not required.

Minimize Will I be notified when the Board has reached a decision on my application?
Yes, all parties to the application will receive a copy of the decision by mail or email, depending on preference.
Minimize Why is the Board asking about the condition of the land?
The Board has a duty to exercise discretion when processing Recovery of Rentals applications. The Board is required to consider whether directing payment of all the money due would over-compensate the landowner. One of the factors the Board can use to make this decision is the condition of the leased area, whether the landowner is making use of it, and how it is affecting the rest of the land.
Minimize Does the board conduct a hearing to decide my application?
Hearings for Recovery of Rentals applications are almost always done in writing, not by oral hearing. The Board member will look at all documents and written arguments filed by both parties when making its decision. This means it is your responsibility to make sure the Board has everything you want it to consider.
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