REAL PROPERTY REPORT WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Definitely something you want.
A Real Property Report (RPR) is a legal document that clearly illustrates the location of significant visible improvements relative to property boundaries.
It takes the form of a plan or illustration of the 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.
This is important especially if any additions or changes to the property have been made. For example if a deck has been added and it does not meet community standards (height off of the ground, boundaries, hand rails) then the current owner can make the required changes to ensure the structure meets the regulations allowing for a certificate of compliance, as described by the City of Calgary.
The RPR, a document prepared by a registered Alberta Land Surveyor, has been an important component of the Real Estate transaction for more than 50 years and is now a requirement of the Listing Contract in all MLS sales.
If you’ve never seen a RPR, the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association do a great job explaining the Real Property Report
When writing an offer to purchase, a condition may be added, requiring the seller to provide you with an up-to-date RPR upon acceptance of the offer. This will ensure that what you think you are buying, is built on the lot you are buying and that it adheres to the local Land Use by-laws.
Residential Purchase Contract – CLAUSES
10.1 The seller or seller’s lawyer will deliver normal closing documents to the buyer or buyer’s lawyer upon reasonable trust conditions consistent with the terms of this contract, including delivery within a reasonable time before the Completion Day to allow for confirmation of registration of documents at the Land Titles Office, obtain the advance of mortgage financing and verify the transfer of other valuable items.
10.2 Closing documents will include an RPR showing the current improvements on the Property according to the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association Manual of Standard Practice, with evidence of municipal compliance or non-conformance and confirming the seller’s warranties about the land and buildings. This obligation will not apply if there are no structures on the land. The buyer or buyer’s lawyer must have a reasonable time to review the RPR prior to submitting the transfer documents to the Land Titles Office.
IN OUR OPINION
It is best practice not leave it up to your lawyer to obtain the real property report at the end of your transaction. Depending on how the report reads, you may require your lawyers’ assistance in dealing with any potential issues. As there is no provision of a time commitment for delivery, we recommend that you request a report immediately. We suggest that you ask your realtor to include a condition requesting “the seller provide an up to date Real Property Report, reflecting current conditions of the property upon acceptance of the offer“. This allows time for any issues with the property to be resolved before your purchase is complete. It also saves a lot of aggravation and money in the future. when you sell the property.