What is a Land Survey?
A land survey is the procedure of determining the location of monuments which mark a property line, boundary or corner of a parcel of land. This parcel of land is then represented on an accurately scaled drawing showing all measurements and total area.
What Does a Land Survey Do?
A Land Survey locates and marks the property corners. If those corners are not marked, the surveyor will monument them. A Plan of Survey is then prepared and signed by the surveyor which shows the position of the monuments found or set, geographic co-ordinates for the property corners, measurements of all property lines, encroachments, building lines and easements.
Is the Surveyor Responsible to register my Survey Plan & Description with the Registry of Deeds for the applicable Province?
No the client has the responsibility to see that his documents are registered with the appropriate authorities. The registration process is usually carried out by a Lawyer.
When Should You Order a Land Survey?
Most people order a land survey whenever there is any transfer of property. A land survey will ensure the location of the boundaries. Some other reasons are:
- Most lenders will require a land survey for all mortgage purposes.
- It can be necessary to settle a boundary dispute.
- It can be necessary to erect a fence.
Are There Different Types of Surveys?
There are several types of survey services which may be offered to a client. A few of these are:
- Survey of a lot in a previously recorded subdivision.
- Crown Land Survey.
- Topographic survey to show horizontal and vertical aspects of the land together with the location of features thereon, both natural and man-made.
- Construction stake out survey for the building and improvements.
- Mining and Marine (Aquaculture) surveys.
What is a Real Property Report?
A Real Property Report (also commonly known as a certificate) is a legal document that clearly illustrates the location of all visible public and private improvements relative to property boundaries. It generally takes the form of a plan or illustration of the various physical features of the property along with a written report highlighting the surveyor's opinion of any concerns. The plan and report may be combined on one document.
In a Real Estate transaction the Surveyor's Real Property Report can be relied upon by the purchaser, the seller, the lending institution, the municipality, the Realtor and all other parties to the transaction as an accurate representation of the property.
How is a Real Property Report prepared?
A registered Newfoundland Land Surveyor is the only individual who can legally prepare a Real Property Report. A valid Real Property Report must bear the original signature and seal (digital) stamp of the Newfoundland Land Surveyor. In preparing a Real Property Report, a Newfoundland Land Surveyor will:
- Search the title of the subject property.
- Search all pertinent encumbrances registered against the title of the subject property.
- Search all plans related to the location of boundaries of the subject property.
- Perform a field survey to determine the dimensions of the property and location of improvements. It will be necessary for the Newfoundland Land Surveyor to access property markers on the subject and nearby properties.
- Prepare a plan (diagram) reflecting the results of the field survey and title research.
How much does a Real Property Report cost?
The amount of work to prepare a Real Property Report varies between properties. Lot size and shape, number of buildings, natural features, age and availability of the property boundary information all affect the cost.
A Real Property Report is only a small portion of your total property investment and may help you avoid costly problems in the future.
A Real Property Report does not include replacement of any property corner posts or markers. Arrangements can be made to have property boundaries visibly marked on the ground. It is most economical to have this additional service performed at the time of the survey.
What Should a Survey Cost?
The cost of a survey can vary widely. Cost can depend on lot size, location, time of year and property features. However, an estimate can usually be obtained over the phone by calling a Surveyor in your area.
Why should I have my property corners marked?
Any time you purchase a piece of property you should have the corners marked if possible. This establishes an understanding with the neighbors as to where the property lines are at the beginning of your possession and allows disagreements to be settled before bad feelings begin.
Property corners should also be marked before erecting a new fence if the boundary location is in doubt. The cost of having your boundary corners re-established could be far less than the expense that may be incurred by erecting a new fence in the wrong location.
Survey markers are mandatory and must be placed at each corner of a survey or restake where an iron pin can be placed. All survey markers must have the inscription “Penalty for Removal”, The Surveyors Name and/or Company Name as well as the two-year time frame the cap is valid for. All survey markers are ordered directly through the Association office.
Why is the surveyor looking at the entire street and digging up my neighbor's property corners?
Just as a surveyor requires all of the written documentation about your lot, he also needs all of the physical evidence available on or near your site. Your property lines are in a relationship with the property corners of others. Each time a property corner is set, it affects the lands around it.
Can Newfoundland Land Surveyors come on to my property without notice?
In the process of performing surveys, Newfoundland Land Surveyors are often required to excavate the ground in order to find buried monuments. These survey monuments govern the property boundary between adjacent landowners and/or the municipality.
In the case of a street owned by the municipality, the common boundary with a private landowner is typically several metres back from the street curb, into the lawn.
Landowners are often surprised when they learn that large portions of their front lands are on municipal property and maintenance/care of that portion of the lawn is governed by municipal bylaw.
According to section 64(3) of the Lands Act, " A surveyor, when engaged in the performance of the duties of a surveyor, may pass over, measure along and ascertain the bearings of a section line or government line, and, for those purposes, may pass over all lands in the province.”
The Association of Newfoundland Land Surveyors strongly encourages its members to contact landowners prior to coming onto a property and in the event that a landowner is not home, to leave a Surveying Notice that a survey crew has been on the property.
To review the entry on land rights of Newfoundland Land Surveyors, please see the Statutes of Newfoundland 1991, Chapter 36, Section 64, Entry on Land (www.assembly.nl.ca/legislation/sr/statutes/l3691.htm)
The Association of Newfoundland Land Surveyors is mandated to protect the public’s interest with respect to boundaries and interests in land. In order to accomplish this mandate, there is a formal complaints procedure in place as outlined in the Land Surveyors Act.
If you have a question about land surveying in general and cannot find an answer to your question on this website, please contact the Association of Newfoundland Land Surveyors.
If you have a concern about a particular Newfoundland Land Surveyor, please contact the Association of Newfoundland Land Surveyors. We will do our best to help answer your questions and address your concerns.
There may be some situations in which you wish to file a formal complaint against a Newfoundland Land Surveyor. We encourage you to talk to the Newfoundland Land Surveyor first before filing a formal complaint as many situations can be resolved by speaking with the Newfoundland Land Surveyor in question.
How to Make a Complaint?
A complaint must be made in writing so that it is clear what has happened and what the nature of the complaint is. Your letter should state that you are making a formal complaint and whether you are accusing the member of unskilled practice or unprofessional conduct or both. Please describe in as much detail as you can what has happened and what steps you have taken, if any, to try to resolve the matter. Complaints are to be addressed to the Secretary- Treasurer.
When the Association of Newfoundland Land Surveyors receives a complaint, the Secretary- Treasurer will contact the Newfoundland Land Surveyor involved to inform him or her that a complaint has been received. The Secretary- Treasurer will then try to determine if mediation is possible.
If both parties do not agree to mediation or mediation does not work, the Registrar must forward the complaint to the Chair of the Discipline Committee Investigation Panel (DCIP). The Chair of the DCIP must investigate the complaint and the investigation usually involves the appointed Investigator speaking to both the Newfoundland Land Surveyor and the complainant and, quite often, other affected parties as well.
The DCIP must determine whether or not the complaint is frivolous or vexatious or whether there is enough evidence for the complaint to proceed to a formal hearing through the Association’s Discipline Committee Hearing Panel. For further information on the Complaints Process, please review Section 4 of the Association’s Regulations
A landowner may disagree with a Newfoundland Land Surveyor as to the location of a boundary but that does not mean that the member is unskilled or that a complaint should be filed. Instead, ask the Newfoundland Land Surveyor how he determined the boundary and if you are still not satisfied, it may be necessary to hire another Newfoundland Land Surveyor for a second opinion.
The complaints process is set out in the Land Surveyors Act and the regulation. If you have any questions about the discipline process, please contact the Association of Newfoundland Land Surveyor.
If you have a complaint:
Speak with the Newfoundland Land Surveyor first. If your concern is not resolved, please contact Secretary- Treasurer.