Unregistered Easements

Would you buy a house with a shared driveway? | GBCN

There is a significant problem with unregistered easements. They are not on title and therefore a real estate agent should investigate matters in order to determine whether they may be present.

This will require some knowledge of the creation of the lot in the first place and access to the property. Many cottage properties have access by a private road over neighbouring properties. Is it registered? If yes, then that’s fine, but if it isn’t, then further investigation is required.

There are probably 50,000 unregistered mutual driveways in the City of Toronto. They can have a material effect upon value. They can easily be worth $50,000.00 to $80,000.00 or more.

In addition, apart from access, the next major issue is “encroachments”. Are there any? Look at the survey. Then, are there any new encroachments since the survey? This is determined through visual inspection.

You require a working knowledge of the rules of prescription (as well as adverse possession) in order to identify any potential problems. However, you don’t actually need to solve the issues, that can be left to the surveyor and the lawyer.

The expectation is that you will see the evidence and undertake an investigation, otherwise, no one will know about them.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker


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