The City’s proposed Right of Entry By-law would allow a property owner to seek approval from the City to enter an adjoining property in specific situations where property owners requiring access are unsuccessful at negotiating authorization with their neighbours. See Authority to enact and overview of the proposed Right of Entry By-law below for circumstances where permission may be granted.

Why would my neighbour require access to my property?

In urban areas where houses are built close together and close to the property line, some homeowners may need to pass through or temporarily occupy a portion of a neighbouring property in order to make repairs or alterations to their own property.

Getting permission to access an adjoining property

When these situations arise, it is necessary for the property owner to gain permission from their neighbour to enter the adjoining property. Without this permission, the property owner could be subject to allegations of trespass. The property owner can approach their neighbour and negotiate an agreement, either in writing or verbally, to gain entry. If the neighbour gives their consent, the property owner may enter and undertake the necessary work without any requirement for municipal involvement.

At the direction of Council, staff have prepared the proposed Right of Entry By-law which would provide a mechanism by which entry can be gained by seeking authority to enter from the City in situations when property owners requiring access are unsuccessful at negotiating authorization with adjoining property owners.

Authority to enact the proposed Right of Entry By-law

Authority to enact the proposed Right of Entry By-law derives from Section 132 of the Municipal Act, 2001, which authorizes the City to pass a by-law that grants the owner or occupant of land to enter adjoining land, at any reasonable time, for the purpose of making repairs or alterations to any building, fence or other structures on the land of the owner or occupant, but only to the extent necessary to carry out the repairs or alterations.

Overview of proposed Right of Entry By-law

View the proposed By-law

The proposed By-law outlines a formal permit process to be handled through Municipal Law Enforcement Services and will require a completed application form to be submitted along with confirmation of insurance and a security deposit. The permit will indicate the period and times during which the right of entry may be exercised and proper notification to be given to the adjoining property owner.

A permit issued by the City under the proposed Right of Entry By-law only authorizes access to adjoining lands to undertake repairs or alterations to buildings, fences or other structures. The by-law cannot be used to gain entry to a neighbouring property to undertake new construction, and cannot be used to gain access to the interior of a neighbouring building.

The conditions under which right of entry must be exercised are that it must be done at a reasonable time, with reasonable notice, for the purpose of making repairs and alterations to buildings, fences or other structures, and only to the extent necessary to carry out the repairs or alterations. In addition, the person exercising the right to enter the adjoining land must restore the land to its original condition, provide compensation for any damages caused by the entry, and provide a security deposit.

The proposed Right of Entry By-law is intended primarily to address urban areas of the City where structures are built close to lot lines, making repairs or alterations difficult without encroaching onto a neighbouring property. The Right of Entry By-law only permits entry onto adjoining lands for repairs or alterations when necessary, and if no other access is available. The proposed by-law will not affect areas where property owners can repair or alter buildings, fences or other structures while remaining on their property

Provide your Comments/Have Your Say

The City is seeking feedback from residents on whether they support the passage of a Right of Entry By-law.

Take our survey or submit any questions or concerns to Kim Thompson, Manager, Municipal Law Enforcement Services.