When purchasing a house (or bareland condominium) in Alberta, one of the most important documents that a buyer should obtain from the seller is a Real Property Report (“RPR”).
The RPR is a survey of the property, prepared by a qualified Alberta Land Surveyor, which shows the boundaries of the property, the location of utility rights of way and easement areas and all improvements built on the property.
A buyer should insist upon receiving an RPR that reflects all of the current improvements on the property and has received the municipality’s Certificate of Compliance. The Certificate of Compliance confirms to the buyer that all of the improvements shown comply with the municipal land use bylaw and are not built upon a utility right of way, easement area, or the boundary of the property.
While some lawyers advise that title insurance is a satisfactory replacement for an RPR, the RPR is generally preferable for the following reasons:
- The RPR provides a useful reference for the purchaser if constructing on the property in the future, whereas title insurance does not provide any reference;
- The RPR can be passed on to future purchasers and lenders (as long as no changes have been made to the Property) without further cost, whereas title insurance cannot be passed on to future purchasers or lenders; and
- The RPR allows the buyer to verify that there are no building location issues that should be dealt with by the seller prior to the possession date, whereas title insurance does not help to reveal any issues prior to the possession date.
At KH/Dunkley Law Group, we take RPRs very seriously. When acting for a buyer, we ensure that the buyer will receive an adequate RPR (where applicable) and that all building location issues are dealt with by the seller. We also take the time to carefully review the RPR with our clients to ensure its accuracy and to identify any potential issues.
If you have any further questions on this topic, feel free to give KH/Dunkley Law Group a call!