Property infringement, Open houses, Rental property renos


Dear David,

Our neighbour has built a shed so close to our home that eaves of the shed sit under the eaves of our roof. If I go to city hall and find a survey that proves there is a property infringement, what do I do?  – TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT

DEAR CLOSE: From what I understand, the City of Kitchener has no process in place to enforce boundary issues between property owners. Generally speaking, the city considers boundary infringement to be a civil matter. They don’t tend to get involved.

That said, the bylaw office will enforce permit issues. According to the City of Kitchener, no permit is required for a shed of 107 square feet or under (which in some cases can be build right up to the property line). If the shed measures 108 square feet or above, you can call the city bylaw office and ask them to look into whether necessary permits were obtained. To pursue the issue, you’ll obviously want to be completely sure of the property lines. You’ll need a copy of your survey, and perhaps the assistance of a surveyor to locate the original stakes. If the shed eaves are under your eaves, it sounds like your neighbour has a problem.


Dear David,

A house around the corner from us just sold. We had planned on seeing it at an open house, but they never held one. What’s the deal? – MISSED THE BOAT

DEAR MISSED: Not all houses have open houses. The decision to host one or not is up to the homeowners and the listing agent. If you see a listing that catches your eye, call your Realtor right away to schedule a visit.

The state of the market can be tough to gauge from a consumer standpoint, but I’m finding that due to our current inventory shortage, well-positioned properties are not taking long to sell and on average over the last 60 days, one in three is selling at or over asking price.


Dear David,

We’ve crunched the numbers, and it looks like we could get an extra $200 a month for our rental property if we finished the basement at a cost of $25,000. What do you think? – READY TO RENOVATE

DEAR READY: Decisions like this come down to simple math. A $200/month increase in revenue will give you a $2400/year return on your $25k investment. That’s an over 9 percent return, which is actually pretty great. On top of that, you’ll increase your property value.

Before getting started, obtain the proper permits, choose a professional to do the work, and ask a Realtor about which layout you can expect future buyers to find most desirable.