What is a Real Property Report(RPR) and do you require one as a Seller?

A Real Property Report or RPR as commonly referred to is a document that shows the property and other permanent structures(e.g deck, garage, fence etc.) on the property in relation to the property boundaries. There should also be a stamp of municipal compliance from the municipal authority. The stamp confirms that the house and structures are within the property boundaries and don’t encroach on the neighbour’s property or City property. As well, it shows that the structures weren’t built on a Utility right of way. It also confirm that the structures meet the municipal requirements for setbacks. A RPR is considered current if there is a stamp of municipal compliance and there has not been any structures altered on the property since the RPR was created. A RPR can only be created by a Professional Surveyor.

To determine if a RPR is required or not it really depends on the Buyer’s plans for the property. However, I would say that in the majority of situations a RPR is required. Most savvy Buyer Agents and Real Estate Lawyers representing the Buyer will strongly advise that their client receive a RPR. Without a RPR their client might have an expensive surprise upon taking possession of the property. For example, there could be a garage or fence that encroaches on City property. Sometimes the City may grant an Easement agreement that is registered on the Property Title. However, there is no requirement that they need to. The City may require that the buyer demolish the garage or fence.

Many Banks and other Financing Companies will also require a RPR. In certain situations Title Insurance can be an option. However, this does require crossing out clauses in the purchase agreement and that can make Buyers nervous. The costs and items covered by Title Insurance vary from policy to policy. Title Insurance can be used as an alternative to a RPR in certain situations. Title Insurance can be helpful in situations where a RPR can not be obtained in time. Title Insurance can provide coverage where there is a lack of building permits, encroachment issues, outdated RPR and many other items. However, Title Insurance might not be helpful if a buyer wants an immediate fix to an encroachment issue. For example, if a fence is built encroaching on City property the Title Insurance company might not cover the rebuilding of the fence until the City demands it be moved. This is a problem if the buyer wants to sell the property. The new Buyer might demand a current RPR with municipal compliance. It’s very important to