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What does "an easement" mean?

So your property has an easement on it. What does this mean?

First of all, easements are not bad things that need fixing. An easement is simply a legal right to use a portion of another property. There is no cause for alarm!

However, easements are a critical element of a property, so knowing about a property’s easements and what rights they afford to whom is very important.

In some cases you are the beneficiary of an easement. This means that your property comes with the legal right to use a portion of another property for a specific reason. Examples of this include being able to use a portion of your neighbour’s driveway to access your garage in the back yard. Or you being able to use a small portion of your neighbour’s property to repair your eves (this is common is semi-detatched homes).

In other cases your property is subject to the rights of others. An example of this is a local utility has rights over a portion of your yard to maintain and repair their equipment, or a neighbour has access to a strip of your backyard that lets them get to their backyard.

Whether you are a potential buyer, seller or homeowner, not knowing about a property’s easements can put you at risk.

How do we know the easement status of your property?

We partner with Teranet Inc., the agency that manages all land title and registry information for the Province of Ontario. Every property in Ontario has a Parcel Register... think of it like a property’s “passport”. The Parcel Register contains a Property Description (also known as a thumbnail legal description). If a property has one or more easements registered on title, it usually appears in the Property Description. Our system scans a property’s Property Description for evidence of easements. The Easement Status we provide is based on this.

Is your easement status always correct?

Any easement that appears in the property’s Property Description (on the parcel register) is picked up by our system. However there are some instances where this may not be a complete picture. This can include easements that were not registered on title, or unregistered easements. These are rare situations, but they do occasionally occur. IF you are unsure please contact us at 289-459-0210.