Real Property Reports (RPR’s)
What is a Real Property Report?
A Real Property Report is a legal document that clearly illustrates the location of significant visible improvements relative to property boundaries.
Over the years the standards for RPR’s have changed.
It takes the form of a plan or illustration of 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 on your property.
Who needs a RPR?
Property owners, to be informed of:
- The locations of improvements within the property boundaries.
- Any encroachments from adjacent properties, and
- Property compliance with municipal requirements
Property Purchasers, to be informed of:
- The boundary and improvement locations on the property, and
- Any problems relating to the property boundaries.
Municipalities, to assist them:
- In determining compliance with bylaws and fire codes, and
- In the planning and development process.
Property Sellers, to provide:
- Protection from potential future legal liabilities resulting from problems related to the property boundaries and improvements.
Mortgage Lenders, to be informed of:
- Conformance of improvements with municipal bylaws, and
- Problems that may have to be resolved prior to registration of the mortgage.
- Provide a visual representation of the property for sale,
- Meet requirements of the real estate listing/purchase contract, and
- Have information to avoid delays in completing property transactions when a Real Property Report is arranged early in the sales process.
How Does a RPR Protect You?
Purchasing a property may be the largest financial investment you ever make. With a Real Porperty report, owners are aware of any boundary problems. They know whether their new home is too close to the property line or part of their garage is on their neighbours land, or vice versa.
“Good Boundaries Make Good Neighbours!”
Since legal complication may occur if a sold property fails to meet municipal 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 and closing the transaction.
How Long is a RPR 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 Real Property Report can show their location relative to property boundaries. Changes to your title will also be shown.
How Can I Get a RPR Updated?
In many cases it is more economical to update an existing RPR. Contact the Alberta Land Surveyor who did the original RPR. The Alberta Land Surveyor’s Association does not have records of who did individual Real Property Reports.
Your RPR Will Show:
- Legal Description of the property and municipal address
- Dimensions and direction of all property boundaries
- Designation of adjacent properties, roads, lanes, etc
- Location and description of all relevant improvements situation on the property together with dimensions and distances from the property boundaries; for a list of the improvements which must be shown, refer to Part D, Section 8.5 of the ALSA’s Manual of Standard Practice.
- Other significant improvements
- Right of Way or easements as noted on title of the property at the date of the survey
- Location and dimension of any visible encroachments onto, or off of, the property
- A duly signed cerification and opinion by an Alberta Land Surveyor
- Permit Stamp (where applicable)
- A municipality may request additional information
How Is a RPR Prepared?
A registered Alberta Land Surveyor is the only individual who can legally prepare a Real Property Report in Alberta. A valid Real Property Report 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) reflection the results of the field survey and title search.
How Much does a RPR 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 a survey. Neighbouring landowners occasionally share the cost because of the mutual benefit of the Real Property Report and marking boundaries.
Who Are Alberta Land Surveyors?
Alberta Land Surveyors are professionals – current standards require a university degree followed by an articling period and a series of professional examinations. Land Surveyors are governed by provincial law with a mandate to protect the public’s interest in matter of real property boundaries. Additionally, they must register with the Alberta Land Surveyors Association. An extensive practice review program ensures surveyors maintain high professional standards.
An Alberta Land Surveyor is fully responsible for the accuracy of the information in a Real Property Report. Land Surveyors carry professional liability insurance as added protection for the consumer.
The Benefits of a RPR
- Problems are identified and can be resolved before a property 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 rquires verified survey information.
- Property transactions are simplified.
- Development and building permits require boundary information.