Do you have an Overland Drainage Canal on your property and are considering selling your home? Are you planning on purchasing a home that has one? If so, this article is for you!
When you sell a home, you will be requested to provide a copy of your Real Property Report (RPR) with a current compliance stamp. The real estate purchase contract outlines very clearly that a seller must provide the buyer with a copy of this RPR - if there is an Overland Drainage Right of Way (ODRW), you as a seller need to ensure there is nothing permanently built on your property within the ODRW setback.
In 2005 the city of Calgary began enforcing their ‘zero tolerance’ clause in the ODRW. So...what does this mean? This means ‘zero tolerance’.
Basically - if your property has an ODRW registered against it, you need to be very careful what you build or plant near this right of way. If you have build a structure or retaining wall within the setback, and you hope to obtain a compliance stamp from the City of Calgary on your RPR, the city will not give you compliance - thus holding up or collapsing the sale of your home.
I have lived here for 10 years, have an RPR with compliance when I purchased - done nothing to the yard - but the previous owner built a retaining wall within the setback - I am ‘grand fathered’ right? No. However, with that said - you should speak with a lawyer who is familiar with this topic who can help - I know of a couple, ask me who you can speak with.
How do I know if I am in compliance? If you have nothing built around the ODRW then you have nothing to worry about - if you do, you can do a couple things. Firstly, you can visit a registry office or visit the Alberta SPIN website to obtain a copy of the document outlining the details of the ODRW specific to your property - this will tell you the setbacks. You should also take your RPR to the city and obtain a new compliance stamp - if there is a problem, it will be determined at that time. Do this long before you have an offer on the table when selling!
As a Realtor, we will be requesting (at least I will be) to see your RPR with a current stamp of compliance prior to writing an offer - or making an offer conditional to having our lawyer review it if we see any potential issues. Reason being, if you have a retaining wall built too close to this ODRW, the potential purchaser will be responsible for removing/replacing it to the appropriate location - this can be very costly.
Let’s talk fences - nothing to worry about - as long as it is a perimeter fence and will in no way block the flow of water, then you are ok.
If you have any concerns with your RPR and ODRW, you can contact the city to determine if there are any issues - I also have a few examples of non-compliance RPR's - if you would like to review them, contact me.