Lack of easement

Authority Land Title and Survey Authority

John told us that decades ago he bought a property that had a 20 foot easement between his and an adjacent property (ten feet on each property). John explained this easement was used by various neighbours to provide access to the highway. During subsequent subdivisions, the ten foot easement on the adjacent property seemed to have disappeared. John’s property still showed a ten foot easement, but he said it was difficult to manoeuver around other vehicles in the narrower ten foot space.

John thought his easement should be removed since most of the other property owners now had direct access to the highway. He wrote to the Land Title and Survey Authority (LTSA) and they explained the process for removing his easement. However, John did not understand why the easement on the adjacent property had disappeared in the first place.

We investigated whether the LTSA followed a fair process, if it registered the subdivision of an adjoining property without including a road easement, and whether the LTSA provided John with adequate reasons. In response to our investigation, the LTSA conducted historical research on the state of title of the two properties. The LTSA told us it appeared the easement on the lot adjacent to John was inadvertently dropped from the title decades ago. The LTSA explained that the Land Title Act only authorized the LTSA to correct errors in situations where the correction would not prejudice rights acquired in good faith. Since the owner of the adjacent property bought the property without the easement showing on title it was the LTSA’s view that the easement could not be placed back onto the adjacent property without prejudicing the rights of the current owner.

We suggested the LTSA provide John with an explanation regarding the status of the easement on his property and why the adjacent easement could not be restored and the LTSA wrote an explanatory letter to John.

Category Housing and Property
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2012
Location The Interior