The City’s By-law enforcement team interact on a daily basis with property and business owners within the community and, as such, they are routinely asked to intervene in boundary line disputes that typically concern fence or accessory structure locations on neighbouring properties.

Property owners are ultimately responsible for the enforcement of their private rights and should utilize the legal resources already available to them to protect these private interests rather than relying on the By-law enforcement team to enforce their private rights.

The By-law enforcement team does not intervene in these private matters as staff do not possess either the expertise or, in many cases, the historical information required to make a proper determination relative to the issues.

By-Law Enforcement Services do not respond to private boundary and property disputes, but rather will refer the following options that may serve to address concerns.

For more information regarding fences, accessory buildings, and construction, please visit the Building Permit Applications & General Information webpage.

Options for Property Owners to Address Private Boundary Disputes:

1. Obtain Private Legal Advice
Property uses and structures evolve over time and, as such, there is often a broad range of issues that need to be reviewed and understood in order to determine the specific options available to individual land owners. The onus is on private property owners to determine their options. 

2. Obtain a Survey from an Ontario Land Surveyor (OLS)
To definitively define property boundaries, a certified Ontario Land Surveyor is qualified to provide expert opinions to property owners.

3. Pursue a claim through private Title Insurance provider
Where property owners have title insurance, they may contact their title insurer to discuss their concerns and opportunities for assistance.

Questions

For further questions regarding this subject, please contact bylawenforcement@sarnia.ca.