Note On Real Property Reports (RPR)

What is a Real Property Report?

Anna Dunaeva DLegal Anna Dunaeva July 31, 2020

What is a Real Property Report?

A Real Property Report (also known as an RPR) is a land survey of your lot prepared by a registered land surveyor. A Real Property Report shows structures located on your property, relative to property boundaries. It shows any boundary problems. Such structures include houses, decks, sheds, garages, fences, retaining walls, patios, window wells, A/C units, stone flower beds, concrete pathways, and driveways. If you are the owner of a single-family home, duplex, or a townhouse, which is not a condo, you may need a Real Property Report one day.

Do you need a Real Property Report for a Condo?

You may request a Real Property Report for a bare land condominium because you own the actual plot of land, and you are responsible for your structures and boundaries there. However, Real Property Reports will not be prepared for a conventional condominium because the area outside the private units is a common property of all the unit owners. Instead, all conventional condominiums have a condominium plan containing information on the size and boundaries of the entire condominium complex, including individual units, common property, unit factors (i.e., share in the common property), and an illustration of the perimeter of the property.

What is the Certificate of Compliance?

A Certificate of Compliance, or a Compliance Stamp, is a confirmation from the municipality that the locations of structures on a property comply with the land-use bylaws. This confirmation will be provided by the municipality upon a satisfactory review of the Real Property Report. Because Real Property Reports deal with boundaries and location of structures, the Certificate of Compliance, or a Compliance Stamp, only confirms that the property complies with land-use bylaws. It does not verify compliance with building code requirements or existing permits for structures or improvements to the property.

Why do you need a Real Property Report with the Certificate of Compliance?

A Real Property Report with the Certificate of Compliance confirms that the location of the structures on your property adheres to applicable land-use bylaws and that you will not have to remove the non-complying structure one day at the request of your neighbor or the city. However, a Real Property Report with a Certificate of Compliance is not a legislative requirement, and you can usually live without it until a buyer or lender requests it.

A current Real Property Report with a stamp of compliance is critically important for buyers of your real estate and lenders. It assures them that their investments into the property will be protected and that they are not taking responsibility for previous structures that contradict the land use bylaw. A standard real estate purchase contract requires the seller to provide a current Real Property Report with a stamp of compliance. However, this is a contractual term that can be changed by agreement between the parties.

When do you need to update your Real Property Report?

The Real Property Report shows your property boundaries on the date of the survey. To remain valid, the Real Property Report should reflect the current state of the property. As long as all structures on your property remain the same, your existing Real Property Report with the stamp of compliance is acceptable unless the lender or your house sale contract requires otherwise.

Most changes to the boundaries, such as new or modified fences or decks, roof extensions, or other features, require an updated Real Property Report to confirm that the property still complies with the land-use bylaws.

As for A/C units, the current commitment accepted by the lawyers in Calgary is that an A/C must be shown on a Real Property Report unless the seller can prove that the A/C unit existed on the property before June 1, 2008. If the A/C unit was on the property before the Real Property Report’s date, but prior tp June 1, 2008, an MLS listing or other evidence can suffice. If the A/C was added to the property after the RPR date, but before June 1, 2008, the seller will also need to confirm under oath the date when the A/C was added.

For the window wells, the current commitment between lawyers in Calgary is that the Real Property Report does not need to be updated to show window wells.

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