It’s no small decision when buying land or property, and you will want to do everything in your power to protect yourself. That’s why documents like the Real Property Report come in handy. The legal document shows improvements relative to property limits and is a required piece of many real estate transactions in Alberta.
What Does the Real Property Report Do
The Real Property Report identifies many factors like encroachments from adjacent properties, easements, restrictive covenants, and right-of-ways. It also details compliance issues with municipal requirements and any problems related to property boundaries, among other things. Other things it identifies include human-made, above-ground permanent features and how close they are to property lines.
Who Does a Real Property Report Help
Overall, the Real Property Report protects sellers from any future legal liabilities related to boundaries and improvements, essentially protecting buys by giving them a clear understanding of what they are all getting into when it comes to the edges and improvements that have taken place in the past. The Real Property Report also helps buyers by giving them knowledge of the accurate property boundaries, understanding of any issues that might be associated with the property or adjacent properties, and an indication of whether the property is eligible for more developments or improvements.
When Do You Needs a New Real Property Report
If you’re selling a “bare land” condo, you will most likely require a Real Property Report. Still, you may not need a Real Property Report for those selling a traditional condominium or apartment-style condo. However, another thing to remember about selling a condo is you may have to update your old Real Property Report. The version you may have can still work even if it’s older as long as it still accurately represents the property. However, if the property structures’ size or location is now different, such as additions, alterations, or things like fences and sheds have been removed, you may need to get a new Real Property Report.
You will need a stamp of compliance, which is provided for a fee at many municipalities. The stamp indicates that the Real Property Report complies with municipal by-laws. However, many do not recommend that a Real Property Report be used to establish a property line. Instead, if you require a boundary for a fence, call the Property Line Survey.
Property and Fence Line Surveys
Knowing where the property boundary is can be critical. That’s why a professional property line survey comes in handy to stake out where a property’s borders are located accurately. If not done properly and the correct location of a property line is wrong or unknown, it’s essential to be aware that municipal setback requirements cannot be met. The construction of a retaining wall, fence, or structure may be made on someone else’s property by accident and could end in lawsuits or destroy a feature. And if you’re wondering, chances are you don’t own up to the road on your property line as the line can be anywhere from the sidewalk to meters onto what some might consider as their front yard.
If you plan on adding a fence to your property, you may be wondering how tall your fence can be. Fence height is likely determined in your municipality’s by-laws. The property owner’s responsibility is to adhere to all the regional regulations regarding fence style and height. If you’re wondering if you have to make sure your fence is exactly on the property line, you can likely build the fence on your side of the line securely on your property. You may especially want to build the fence over onto your property line if you have been having trouble with your neighbor and there have been previous disputes.
However, if you have a great relationship with your neighbor, you may agree upon the fence’s construction directly on the property line. Finally, if you own a corner lot, you should be aware that you may not be able to build now on the edge of your property. The problem is, multiple roads often border corner lots. They cannot have features like fences and buildings within a certain distance of the corner to maintain proper vehicle visibility.
In the end, you need to remember an RPR identifies:
- encroachments from adjacent properties
- easements and right-of-ways
- compliance issues with municipal requirements/bylaws
- problems related to property boundaries
- human-made, above-ground permanent features and their relation to property lines
- and much more
- Real Property Reports protect property sellers from potential future legal liabilities resulting from problems related to property limits and improvements.
RPRs protect property buyers with a better understanding of what exactly they’re purchasing. RPR preparation includes a search for pertinent encumbrances registered against the title, a search of all plans related to the location of boundaries, a field survey, and the preparation of a plan/diagram reflecting the survey results and title search results.
Optionally, the completed RPR can be sent to the appropriate municipality to receive a Certificate of Compliance. Fees for this service vary by municipality.
The Certificate of Compliance is granted to those properties that, based on the RPR provided, comply with the local municipal bylaws. However, the amount of work to prepare an RPR varies between properties due to the lot size, shape, number of buildings, natural features, age, and property boundary information availability. According to several restrictions, if a previous survey has been done on a property, an updated RPR may be created at a lesser cost.