Applying for recovery of compensation

Process for recovering past due compensation for new and returning applicants.

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Before you apply

In most cases, applications under section 36 of the Surface Rights Act are decided by a panel of the Tribunal solely on written evidence presented with the application.

Your completed application and any documents you submit supporting your claim is part of the evidence considered by the panel when making a decision. It is your responsibility to provide all documentation you want the panel to consider with your application.

Be aware that the Tribunal may, at its discretion, decide to direct the minister to pay the full amount, a reduced amount, or not pay at all.

We will notify you in writing once a decision has issued on your application.

  • Entitled to compensation

    If you are not the registered owner or occupant of the land, you must provide proof of your entitlement to the money you are claiming on your application. The Tribunal can only direct payment to the persons legally entitled to the compensation.

  • Evidence

    When considering your application, the panel typically looks to see:

    • a valid agreement exists
    • when the said agreement was signed
    • what area is covered under the agreement
    • how much was agreed upon to pay

    The kinds of documents that might contain this information are:

    • a signed copy of the original Surface Lease or Consent of Occupant Agreement or reference to the right of entry order if the amount you are requesting on your application has not changed since the original agreement was signed
    • a signed copy of the most recent amendment to your agreement, which references the date of the original agreement, the land description and the compensation that is currently payable under the agreement
    • a copy of the annual letter you received from the operator the last time you were paid. This letter should reference the date of the original agreement, land description of the area covered under the said agreement and the amount of the compensation that is currently payable.
    • a combination of documents that reference only part of the information required but clearly relate to each other to form the whole picture, that is. they all have the same file or reference number
    • any other documents you wish to include with your application to support your claim
    • do not send original documents 
  • No evidence

    The Tribunal needs to be satisfied you have a valid agreement and know how much you are entitled to receive under that agreement. If an application is incomplete, we will ask you for the missing documents which may result in your application taking longer to process.

    Your application will not be processed until we have all the relevant documents or have your express intention to proceed with your application as submitted.

    If you are unable to provide us with any documented evidence to support your application, and would like to proceed without it, you must indicate your reasons to us in writing.

    Applicants who have previously received payment under the recovery of compensation process are not required to resubmit supporting documentation. 

  • Processing application

    You can help speed up the application process by:

    • using the correct application form
    • completing all parts of the application
    • sending only what is relevant to your application, include all the documents you would like the Tribunal to consider as evidence with your application
    • submitting your documents to us via email at [email protected]

    Do not send originals of your supporting documents.

    Factors that delay processing

    The following may delay processing:

    • incomplete or partial documents
    • unclear photocopies of documents
    • sending your supporting documents separately from your application

    Sometimes we discover other operators have an interest in the site, we then give them an opportunity to respond which may prolong the amount of time it will take to process your application.

How to apply

Go to the Forms and resources page to download the Recovery of Compensation form.

If money is past due under a surface lease agreement or board order, you may apply to recover the money under section 36 of the Surface Rights Act. You will have to file a separate application for each surface lease agreement (or each board order).

After you apply

After receiving the required documentation, the operator will be provided notice of the application. The operator will then have an opportunity to comment on your application. After this, the application will be put before a panel of the Tribunal.

Decisions are based on the evidence provided with the application. However, it can also choose to ask for more information or to hold an oral hearing. If the Tribunal does not have enough evidence to decide, the application may be dismissed.

If the panel is satisfied that all legal requirements have been met, a decision will be issued demanding full payment from the operator. The Tribunal may demand that a lower amount be paid if it decides that payment of the full amount would over-compensate the landowner.

If the operator still does not pay, its right to enter the site may be suspended after 15 days and may be terminated 15 days after that. The exact dates of suspension and termination will be given in the decision.

If the operator’s rights have been terminated and full payment still has not been made, the Tribunal may direct the minister to pay you out of the Government of Alberta’s General Revenue Fund.

The amount paid by the minister and any expenses incurred in collecting the debt becomes a debt owed by the operator to the Crown in accordance with section 36(9)(a) of the act. An operator wanting to repay this debt should contact Crown Debt Collections at 780-644-1704.


Connect with the Land and Property Rights Tribunal:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed noon to 1 pm, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-2444
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-427-5798
Email: [email protected]

Land and Property Rights Tribunal
2nd Floor, Summerside Business Centre
1229 91 Street SW
Edmonton, Alberta  T6X 1E9