The invisible line: Dealing with property boundaries

Thursday Aug 31st, 2017


Throughout the course of this blog I have been helping and guiding you all how to buy or sell your property, decide on revamping your home for the technology of today and tomorrow and other aspects of the financing of a home sale or purchase. Today I want to discuss property boundary disputes.


In a perfect world, everything is without issue after you are moved into your new neighbourhood and home. But sometimes you may want to adjust a few items in your home through a renovation, or add or remove items from your property itself. Don’t like that old fence, think the branches on the tree behind your home are blocking sunlight? As a home owner looking to do what you believe is right for you home, these issues can cause disputes between yourself and a neighbour. Before you start any plans, ensure you get a property line surveyor to confirm where you can build, or what you can remove.  If you are already being accused of encroaching, you may want to now escalate this matter to a legal professional.

On a personal note, I once knew someone that was going through a property dispute with their neighbour. In this case, it was not because of an item that was being built on their property or being removed but because of an item that had long been hovering over both homes. 

In this case, a tree was casting too much shade on their home and resulting in the lack of sun to their backyard garden. A dispute ensued over cutting the branches and well, let's just say it got nasty. 


So what should you correctly do if you are the one being encroached on?


First, confirm the location of the boundary. You can start by getting an existing copy of a survey plan. Once you have the facts about your home, speak with your neighbour and try to find a common ground for the issue. If no common ground is found, you will need to take the next step and speak with a lawyer that specializes in property and boundary dispute litigation, this speciality lawyer can help you understand your property rights.


Record as much as you can about the dispute, logs, photos, video and do not attempt to remove any items that are encroaching your property. Let the law take its course, if you are correct in your accusation then it will all be resolved legally and not over yelling and cursing.


Planting a tree, widening your driveway, and placing sheds and other structures around your property should not be a headache. Get the right information from a certified surveyor before you start your project and avoid any issues with your neighbours.


For help getting a surveyor in Ontario visit  



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