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A property line describes the legal boundary of a parcel of land.
Your property begins where your neighbour's property or a City-owned property ends. These lines are rarely visible to the naked eye, but it's important to know your land boundaries. Your neighbour might not mind you mowing some of their lawn and saving them the trouble, but erecting a structure, such as a fence, or using a part of another person's land is likely to be a different story. A homeowner who knows the location of his property lines is able to use the information to avoid potentially unpleasant situations with neighbours.
Before performing any construction on your property, including building a fence, deck, gazebo, shed, garage or an addition to your house, it is necessary to establish where your property lines are located.
Please review your Real Property Report (survey). The survey is a document with a rendering of the property lines and measurements, and should have been given to you when you purchased your home. The distance from your house to the property lines should also be shown on the survey. The survey must be produced by an Alberta Land Surveyor (a person surveyor who is recognized and currently in good standing with the Alberta Land Surveyors Association). These professionals have the methods and experience to most accurately determine the location and dimensions of your property lines as well as the location and dimensions of buildings/structures on your property (i.e. house, deck, garage, shed). The survey is also registered on the title of your property, which is guaranteed by the Province, as described below. For more information about retaining a surveyor, please follow the links to the Alberta Land Surveyors Association found below.
Our best advice is to retain the services of an Alberta Land Surveyor for the reasons described above.
An alternative to hiring a surveyor is to locate the survey pins that were originally placed where the lot lines intersect on your property. Survey pins are typically metal and are placed in the ground by an Alberta Land Surveyor. A one metre-long metal pin is typically inserted at the exact intersection of two or more property lines.
If you are unable to locate your survey pins, ask your neighbours if they have had to recently locate the survey pins for their properties. This could save you the trouble of having to find them yourself. If no one knows where they are, you could use a shovel to probe the area of ground where they are assumed to be located, as the pins can be a foot or more below grade. If that proves fruitless, you may need to use a metal detector to help find them. A metal detector might help you locate your pins, but beware, the loud beeping may simply mean you’ve found an old bottle cap. Please also be aware that measurements based on your found location of the pins using more commonly available methods, such as a measuring tape, performed by anyone other than an Alberta Land Surveyor shall be treated as approximate. The reason for this is there may be differences, such as angle of a property line or dimension, in the measurements that you make and those made by a surveyor.
If you require a copy of your Real Property Report (RPR) you can submit a request for a file search to see if we have a copy.
A General File Search (including search for Real Property Reports) is $25.00 per Municipal Address. There is an additional fee of $25.00 to copy any documents located for you.
Requests can be submitted electronically by emailing a completed File Search Application to: email@example.com
Alberta uses the Torrens Land Registration system.
The Torrens System – A government office has custody of all original land titles and all original documents registered against them. Government staff examine and register the documents and issue the titles. The government then guarantees the accuracy of the titles.
Please visit the Service Alberta website to learn more about the Torrens Land Registration System
An Introduction to Land Titles and enter Introduction to Land Titles into the search engine on the upper right.
Boundary Markers - Brochure
Real Property Report - Brochure
This is a general guide and has no legal status. It cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws and policies currently in effect. The City of Grande Prairie accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information.
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