Why you need them
There are various situations where one might require legal documents related to property. The requirement for a Plan of Survey and the provision of a Real Property Report are two common conditions of subdivision approval . A real property report or a letter of compliance or letter of zoning may be a condition of purchase when a property is sold. Caveats and other instruments are used to register an interest in a parcel. A common condition of subdivision is that the municipality register a caveat on title for road widening - which means a note is added to the title saying that the MD has claimed an interest in a certain amount of land, to be acquired in the future for road widening.
What is a "land survey", or "survey"
The establishment, location or definition on the ground of any boundary, limit or angle of any land, size, location, parcel, claim, common, easement, road, street, lane, district, municipality, county or township, or any other location or division of lands or right over lands whether for ownership, title or authority or the origin of any of them; Simply put, it is a precise measurement of the extents of an area of land in order to legally identify it.
A Plan of Survey
A subdivision by Plan of Survey is required when a parcel of land is subdivided into several lots and land is dedicated to the Crown for roads and reserves. A legal field survey is conducted to sufficiently establish the boundaries of the original parcel of land; and legal survey posts are placed in the ground to establish the new parcel boundaries. A Plan of Survey is prepared showing the measurements and dimensions of existing and new parcel boundaries. (cited from Alberta Land Surveyors Association documentation)
Real Property Report
A Real Property Report is a legal document that clearly illustrates the location of significant visible improvements relative to property boundaries. It takes the form of a plan or illustration of the various physical features of the property, including a written statement detailing the surveyor's opinions or concerns. It can be relied upon by the buyer, the seller, the lender and the municipality as an accurate representation of the improvements on your property. (cited from Alberta Land Surveyors Association documentation)
A registered Alberta Land Surveyor is the only individual who can legally prepare a Real Property Report. Alberta Land Surveyors are professionals governed by provincial law with a mandate to protect the public's interest in matters of real property boundaries and must be registered with the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association.