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 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 all documentation you want the panel to consider with your application.

Please 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.


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

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 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.

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.
  • Complete 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 Tribunal 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
  • discovering there are other operators that 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
  • 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).

Recovery of compensation form

PDF form issues

Fillable PDF forms do not open properly on some mobile devices and web browsers. To fill in and save the form:

  1. Save the PDF form to your computer – click or right-click the link and download the form.
  2. Open the PDF form with Adobe Reader. Fill it in and save it.

Fill out the Recovery of Compensation – New Applicant form (PDF, 2.4 MB) to begin the process to recover any past due money.

Instructions for completing the application are provided with the form.

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 make a decision, 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.

If the operator continues to miss payments after the first year, you may be eligible for the Tribunal’s streamlined process for Recovery of Compensation – Returning applications.


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: 780-427-0986
Email: [email protected]

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

Was this page helpful?

All fields are required unless otherwise indicated.

You will not receive a reply. Do not enter any personal information such as telephone numbers, addresses, or emails.

Your submissions are monitored by our web team and are used to help improve the experience on If you require a response, please go to our Contact page.