Easement on your property? Here’s what you need to know

An easement agreement is a legal agreement that allows municipalities to access private land to inspect or maintain infrastructure, without owning the land.

What is an easement?

Municipalities and other services use easement agreements to obtain legal access to private land to inspect or maintain municipal infrastructure. The City of Mississauga is aware of over 9,000 registered agreements with the City for various purposes, related mainly to stormwater infrastructure and creeks. City staff often get asked about infrastructure and easements on their property, so “What is an easement?”

An easement is ‘non-possessory,’ meaning that while the City does not own the land, they have the right to access and maintain infrastructure on the land. Easement agreements are unique to each property, yet all easements are registered on the title to the property and can be temporary or permanent.

What does a stormwater easement agreement mean for my property?

Property owner responsibilities:

You must generally maintain the area around the easement as you would on the rest of the property, in accordance with Mississauga By-Laws and per the terms of the registered easement agreement.

Most often, the easement area can not be obstructed by fencing, trees, other plants, retaining walls or permanent structures like sheds or garages. The easement location must be accessible by the City for potential inspection or maintenance.

City responsibilities:

The City is allowed to access the easement area to inspect and potentially undertake works to the infrastructure. The decision to begin work remains the City’s sole decision in order to protect infrastructure, land, public safety and the environment. The City is under no legal obligation to conduct work at the property owner’s request.

How do I determine if my property contains a City easement for stormwater infrastructure?

Please speak to an experienced real estate lawyer who can search title to your property and explain the terms of the easement and its precise location. The City does not offer this type of advice.

More information

Province of Ontario Land Registry Office

Ontario Land Titles Act 

2005-02 Easements and Release of Easements

Ontario Land Registry Act

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