Real Property Reports (RPR)
The following information was supplied, with permission, courtesy of the Alberta Land Surveyors Association (2014).
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What is a Real Property Report?
A Real Property Report (RPR) is a survey performed by an Alberta Land Surveyor that clearly illustrates the location of significant visible improvements relative to property boundaries. It takes the form of a plan or illustration of the various physical features of the property, including a written statement detailing the surveyor’s opinions or concerns. It can be relied upon by the buyer, the seller, the lender and the municipality as an accurate representation of the improvements (permanent fixtures) on your property.
Who needs a Real Property Report?
Property owners use the RPR to inform themselves of the locations of improvements within the property boundaries, any encroachments from or onto adjacent properties, and property compliance with municipal requirements.
Property Purchasers can be informed of the boundary and improvement locations on the property, and any potential problems relating to the property boundaries before they purchase the property.
Realtors use RPR’s to provide a visual representation of the property for sale, meet requirements of the real estate listing/purchase contract, and to have information to avoid delays in completing property transactions when a RPR is arranged early in the sales process.
Property Sellers (vendors) can help provide protection from potential future legal liabilities resulting from problems related to property boundaries and improvements.
Municipalities use RPR’s to assist them in determining compliance with bylaws and fire codes, and for the planning and development process.
Mortgage Lenders can be informed of conformance of improvements with municipal bylaws, and any potential problems that may have to be resolved prior to registration of the mortgage.
How does a Real Property Report protect you?
Purchasing a property may be the largest financial investment you ever make. With a Real Property report, owners are aware of any boundary problems before they complete the sale transaction. They know whether their new home is too close to the property line, if there are any encroachments either from, or onto a neighbouring or city property.
“Good boundaries make good neighbors!”
Since legal complications may occur if a sold property fails to meet requirements, a Real Property Report protects the seller.
How does municipal compliance protect you?
A Real Property Report is necessary to determine compliance with municipal bylaws. A municipality reviews and endorses the Real Property Report and indicates if the improvements meet the requirements of the local bylaws. The property owner can then resolve any outstanding issues identified by the municipality. Early preparation of a Real Property Report significantly speeds up the process of selling a property.
How long is a Real Property Report valid?
The Real Property Report is a “snap shot” of the property on the date of the survey. Changes are often made to improvements on a property or adjoining properties. These may be new or modified fences, decks, driveways, garages or other features. Only an updated RPR can show their location relative to property boundaries. Changes to your title will also be shown. An RPR will be as valid as long as there have been no changes to the property or title since it was last produced.
How is a Real Property Report prepared?
A registered Alberta Land Surveyor is the only individual who can legally prepare an RPR. A valid RPR must bear the original signature and permit stamp of the Alberta Land Surveyor. In preparing a Real Property Report, an Alberta Land Surveyor will:
- Search the title of the subject property.
- Search all pertinent encumbrances registered against the title of the subject property.
- Search all plans related to the location of boundaries of the subject property.
- Perform a field survey to determine the dimensions of the property and location of improvements. It will be necessary for the Alberta Land Surveyor to access property markers on the subject and nearby properties.
- Prepare a plan (diagram) reflecting the results of the field survey and title research.
How much does a Real Property Report cost?
The amount of work to prepare a Real Property Report varies between properties. Lot size and shape, number of buildings, natural features, age and availability of the property boundary information all affect the cost.
A Real Property Report is only a small portion of your total property investment and may help you avoid costly problems in the future.
A Real Property Report does not include replacement of any property corner posts. Arrangements can be made to have property boundaries visibly marked on the ground. It is most economical to have this additional service performed at the time of the survey. Neighboring landowners occasionally share the cost because of the mutual benefit of the Real Property Report and marking of boundaries.
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The benefits of a Real Property Report:
- Problems are identified and can be resolved before a sale is finalized.
- Owners know accurate locations and dimensions of buildings, improvements, rights-of-way, and encroachments relative to boundaries of their property.
- Purchasers know the physical dimensions of the property.
- Financing usually requires verified survey information.
- Property transactions are simplified.
- Development and building permits require boundary information.
The following information was supplied, with permission, courteously of the Alberta Land Surveyors Association (2014).
View the full document.