Often, a purchaser may discover that the property they are buying encroaches on someone else’s property, or vice versa, that there is an encroaching improvement on the property they are buying. This encroachment could be on or by a private property or municipally owned land. This can be dealt with by utilizing an encroachment agreement.
WHAT IS AN ENCROACHMENT AGREEMENT?
An encroachment agreement is a legally binding real estate document signed by neighboring property owners when a property encroachment is found to exist. An encroachment agreement acknowledges and describes the encroachment, identifies the owner of the encroachment, and states the agreed-upon resolution. The encroachment agreement becomes binding between the two properties and once the encroachment agreement is registered it runs with the land-meaning it will remain registered on the Certificate of Title even after the original owners sell.
WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF AN ENCROACHMENT?
Fence lines can be the most common type of structure that may encroach onto a neighboring property. A few other examples of frequently seen encroachments are structural additions, the original house, decks, sheds, retaining walls and sometimes even eaves troughs.
HOW CAN I TELL IF I NEED AN ENCROACHMENT AGREEMENT? HOW DO I GET AN ENCROACHMENT AGREEMENT?
The surest way to confirm if an encroachment agreement is required is to review the up to dateReal PropertyReport with your real estate lawyer. The RPR is a legal document prepared by an Alberta Land Survey or that illustrates property boundaries and improvements (structures) relative to the boundaries and will show if there is anything encroaching on those boundaries.(How do I get a Real Property Report? Click here for a detailed article on RPR’s.)
Dependent on whether the encroachment is on private property or municipally owned lands, your real estate lawyer will then guide you through the appropriate agreement drafting or application process and explain your obligations and potential risks under the agreement.
As with any additional agreements or applications, these processes can take time when required. It is best practice to review the Certificate of Title and current RPR early on in your transaction and send any questions or concerns to your real estate lawyer as soon as possible in order to keep your real estate purchase or sale as smooth as possible.
Contact our real estate lawyers today for assistance with any encroachment agreement related matters.