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The PYB Process™ Step 8: Protect your future

Protect yourself from future boundary-related legal problems through legally supported proactive measures. Completing your plan and resolving your boundary-related issues calls for a celebration but protecting your boundaries, your financial investment and your long-term future is the final step in the PYB Process. Along the way you've learned to read and interpret your survey plan and related ownership documents. You understand precisely what you own, and exactly where your property boundaries are located and how to resolve the situation you first identified.

Below are some proactive measures that will help you to avoid future boundary issues.

Boundary disputes

Tips for avoiding or managing boundary disputes arising in the future:

  • Know your rights, zoning bylaws and your boundaries.
  • If you have a new fence installed, make sure you and your neighbour have a written agreement in place for future fence maintenance and repairs (e.g., splitting the cost equally). Consider giving your neighbour a copy of your survey plan and be aware that a City of Toronto bylaw allows you to access your neighbour’s property in order to fix a fence that is falling down and needs repairs.
  • Keep a journal of things or occurrences that happen with the property, documenting potential boundary issues with written notes and photos. Document where existing fences are located in relation to the property boundaries, especially as fences tend to move over time.
  • If you notice any potential boundary issues, be sure to speak with your neighbour about it. “Silence is acquiescence” under common-law principles, and by remaining silent you may be surrendering your rights.

Five boundary best-practices for homeowners

  1. Know the physical extents of your property—find your bars, measure your boundaries and understand your easements.
  2. Know your basic rights as a property owner.
  3. Know your boundary-related bylaws.
  4. Be ready and have the confidence to act. decisively when a boundary challenge arises.
  5. Be diligent in protecting your land and boundaries. No one else will do it for you.

Checklist

  • Take proactive and pre-emptive measures for long-term protection of your property boundaries.
  • Keep records including your survey plan, deed, mortgage document and contact information for your professional team.