Before you apply

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

Your completed application and any documents you submit in support of your claim are part of the evidence that is considered by the Panel when making a decision. It is your responsibility to make sure that you provide us with all documentation you want the Panel to consider.

Please be aware that the Board may, at its discretion, decide to direct the Minister to pay full amount, 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, be sure that you have provided proof of your entitlement to the money you are claiming on your application. The Board can only direct payment to the person(s) legally entitled to the compensation.


When considering your application, the Panel typically looks to see: that a valid Agreement exists; when the said Agreement was signed; what area is covered under the Agreement; and 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, i.e. 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

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.

The Board needs to be satisfied that you have a valid Agreement and know how much you are entitled to receive under that Agreement. Typically, if an application is incomplete, Board Administration sends out a notice asking for the missing documents and your application may take longer to process.

We are unable to begin processing your application until we have all the relevant documents or have your express intention to proceed with your application as submitted.

Processing application

There are certain things you can do to help make sure your application is processed in a timely fashion:

  • Use the correct application form.
  • Make sure you have completed all parts of the application. Refer to the Application Instructions for help with filling out your application form.
  • Send only what is relevant to your application, but make sure you include all the documents you would like the Board to consider as evidence with your application.
  • Submit 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:

  • Using the wrong application form.
  • An incomplete application form.
  • Incomplete or partial documents.
  • Unclear photocopies of documents.
  • Sending your supporting documents separately from your application.
  • If we are legally bound by law to put your application on hold, for example the operator has declared bankruptcy.
  • If we discover that there are other operators that have an interest in the site, we give them an opportunity to respond which may prolong the amount of time it will take to process your application.
  • Your application may require consultation with a Board Officer for extraordinary circumstances.

How to apply

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).

If this is your first time applying for recovery of rentals, follow the instructions below.

Rental recovery form

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Fill out the Rental Recovery – New Applicant (PDF, 2.2 MB) form to begin the process to recover any past due money.

If the operator has missed payments before, you might be able to use our streamlined process for repeat applications.

Form help

Use these tips to fill out the fields in the Rental Recovery – New Applicant (PDF, 2.2 MB) form.

  • Part 1: Contact information


    This is a required field. You must enter the details of the person(s) entitled to the compensation. If there is more than one person entitled to the unpaid money, click on the plus button and add another field.

    If the compensation is payable to a corporation, enter the details of the corporation here.


    If you are not the registered owner or occupant of the land, enter the details of the registered landowner or occupant in this section. If there is more than one person who legally owns or occupies the lands, click on the plus button to add another field.

    Agent information

    If you are appointing legal counsel, a licensed land agent or an individual as your representative, you must complete this section with their contact details. Once you appoint a representative, all correspondence from us about your application will be sent to the representative and not to you.

    All the applicants who wish to authorise the agent to act on their behalf for this application must sign and date this section of the application.

  • Part 2: Recovery of compensation

    This information is required to establish important details about your claim. Do not leave any parts blank; if you do, it may delay the processing of your application.

    Land description and lease activity

    Make sure that you write the legal land description in full and include the surface legal subdivision (LS) the lease is located on.

    Select the type of activity that your Agreement is for (example: a wellsite and roadway). This is especially important if you do not include a copy of the survey plan with your application.

    Original agreement and compensation

    Write the date and year that the Agreement or Board order originated. If you know your Board order number, please reference it in this section. Please note, the date of the original Agreement or Board order is not the same as when you may have taken over the land and/or lease.

    Write the current rate of compensation that is payable to you under your agreement.

    Payment information

    Your compensation is typically due on or by the anniversary date of your surface lease agreement or Board order, unless otherwise specified. You must include both the year(s) the compensation was due and the amount that remains unpaid. Use the plus button to add additional fields to the form if you are claiming more than one year. If you are applying to recover unpaid compensation for something other than an amount payable annually under a surface lease agreement or Board order, please provide an explanation in the comment section and include a copy of the document evidencing the compensation.

    For example, you have a Board order for compensation payable to you by an operator as the result of a damage claim under section 30 of the SRA; or you were awarded a top-up amount as the result of an application to review your rate of compensation under section 27 of the SRA which remains unpaid. If this type of scenario applies to you, reference the relevant Board file number and/or Board order number in the comments.

    Condition of leased area

    You must select an answer for questions 1 to 3. If you answered ‘No’ to all 3, provide details about the condition of the leased area in the space below.

    If you are using the leased area, you must answer question 4 and describe how you are using the land. You should use the space below to provide a detailed explanation of the use of the land. If you run out of space, please attach a separate page to the application.

  • Part 3: Supporting documentation

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

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

    Make sure that you submit complete documents, where possible. Refer to the Important Information sheet for details on what kinds of documents you can submit as evidence to support your claim.

    No documented evidence available

    If you do not have any documentation to support your application for the recovery of compensation, you must indicate your reasons in the space below.

    We are unable to begin processing your application unless we have your express intention to proceed with the claim as is, such as with no supporting documentation.

  • Part 4: Declaration

    It is important that you read and understand each statement carefully in this section.

    Who is applying?

    Choose only one option in statement 2.

    • Select the first box if you are the only person entitled to the compensation.
    • Select the middle box if there is more than one person entitled to the compensation, such as the applicants named in Part 1 of the application. When each of you signs the application, you are declaring there are others also entitled to the compensation.
    • Select the last box if the applicant is a corporation and you are the person responsible for making the application on behalf of the corporation. The person signing must have knowledge of the corporation’s financial and other records relevant to the site.

    You must read and check all the boxes for statements 4 to 7, inclusive.

    Signing the application

    It is important that all the persons entitled to the compensation sign the application form. Make sure you print each signatory’s name underneath their signature and that you enter the date that you signed the application form.

    If the persons applying are unable to sign the application at the same time, contact the Board for assistance.

After you apply

After receiving the required documentation, Board administration will give the Operator 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 Board.

The Board usually makes a decision based on the written documents before it. However, it can also choose to ask for more information or to hold an oral hearing about the claim. If the Board does not have enough evidence to make a decision, the application may be dismissed.

If the panel is satisfied that all legal requirements have been met, the Board may issue a decision demanding full payment from the operator. The Board might instead demand that a lower amount be paid if it decides that payment of the full rentals 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 Board may direct the Minister to pay you out of the Government of Alberta’s General Revenue Fund. Usually, the Board directs the Minister to pay the full amount owing, but the Board has authority to direct the Minister to pay a lower amount.

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.

If the operator continues to miss payments, you may apply for Recurring rental recovery applications after the first year.


Connect with the Surface Rights Board:

Phone: 780-427-2444
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-427-5798
Email: [email protected]

1229 91 Street SW
Edmonton, Alberta  T6X 1E9