Unregistered easement, or maybe not? So my survey shows my property, in Toronto, to be 62 ft. wide by 120 ft. long. I have a driveway on each side of my house (house in the middle , driveway on each side). The outside of my driveways adjoin the...

neighbor's driveways, on each side. There is a 6" curb separating my driveways, from both my neighbors driveways. Wish I could post a picture. Now, I have recently discovered that my property actually goes 1ft. past the one curb, on my driveway to the west. So basically I own(?) one foot of my neighbor's driveway(?) They do not use that part of the driveway for anything. Looking at my property it looks like it goes from curb to curb, but it does not, it goes 1ft. west of the one curb. The neighbor did build a small fence in their backyard (with my approval) on the property line, which shows they knew where it really is. My garage (detached from the house) also goes one foot west of the curb. It's been there since the fifties. So if I sell the property, could the new owner remove the curb and expand the driveway 1ft. to the west? Basically claim the 1ft. back? I would think that the neighbor originally did not want to pay for the curb (60' long) so the previous owner placed it 1ft. off the property line, just conjecture of course, but sounds reasonable. Nothing was mentioned about the property going onto the neighbor's driveway when I bought the house. Additional: I have fences separating both my neighbor’s back yards from mine, and they measure the 62’ between them. Don.

 

Hello Don;

Great question. Technically speaking your property goes as far as the boundary depicted on your survey, not the curb. Notwithstanding the location of the curb and the *appearance* of it being your boundary, your property goes 1 ft past that.

However, there are, factors that muddy the waters that you may want to consider. If it's been like this since the 50's then your neighbour may, under certain circumstances, have the opportunity to claim adverse possession (squatter's rights) over that strip of land. This is probably mitigated by the fact that you have a verbal agreement with them as to where the boundary is, further evidenced by the location of the fence at the back and the garage.

So in answer to your question, new owners of your house could remove the curb and claim the extra foot of land that is part of your property. However to avoid any surprises, we would suggest drafting a letter with your neighbour in which they acknowledge the location of the boundary being a foot their side of the curb.

Don, this is general information provided without having seen a survey of your property. We suggest consulting a surveyor if to get a more definitive answer.

The Protect Your Boundaries Team