Ontario: a messauge doesn’t necessarily engage the RPLA

The decision in Beniuk v. Leamington (Municipality) affirms an esoteric aspect of real property limitations (though to be fair, most aspects of the RPLA are esoteric).  It affirms that the presence of a messuage doesn’t necessarily engage the RPLA.

The plaintiffs argued that the tort of private nuisance to land was effectively an action to recover messuages and therefore subject to the s. 4 limitation period, which applies to actions for recovery of land.  Section 1 of the RPLA defines land to include “messauges”—a dwelling house, its out buildings, the area immediately surrounding the dwelling, and adjacent land appropriate to its use.  Whether or not the property was a messuage, the action concerned land, but was not to recover land.