Why do you need a land survey plan?
Private ownership of property demands well-defined boundaries, and those boundaries cannot be interpreted or understood without the aid of a survey plan. The strength of a survey plan lies in its ability to communicate how unseen boundaries, physical site features and abstract title information relate spatially to one another. It enables data from a variety of important sources to be illustrated visually on a specialized map.
Imagine trying to grasp the complexities of land ownership documents, poorly defined boundary descriptions, the geographic fabric of various land parcels and the real-world location of physical entities with only the help of written documents that use obscure legal language known as "metes and bounds". In contrast, a survey plan’s accurate, at-a-glance depiction of your land is worth a million words!
The most important feature of a survey plan is that it displays the legal boundaries of the property, a factor that often gets little regard until a boundary issue arises. When property boundaries matter, they really matter!
A survey plan enables the reader to ascertain:
- the size and shape of the property
- the location of rights of ways and easements
- dimensions and distances to the boundary of houses, sheds, fences, utilities and any features of importance to the landowner
- the location and description of physical monuments or markers that have been placed to mark the limits of the land
Survey plans, when required, also include topographic mapping features identifying elevations and prominent features such as trees, hedges, fences, sewer access manholes and more. They can reveal hidden title deficiencies, highlight building encroachments and demonstrate authentic property dimensions that do not necessarily correspond with (and override) the unverified descriptions included in the deed.
It’s important to consult a survey plan when you are:
- Buying a house
- Renovating/Adding to your home or building a structure on your property
- Disputing a boundary
If you are selling your home, provide a copy of your survey plan to prospective buyers to assist their due diligence process.
Survey plans are highly valued by lawyers, courts, banks and realtors, as well as other institutions and government agencies because they are created by specially trained, tested and licensed professionals. Approval agencies, such as municipal building departments, rely on surveys to make decisions about submissions and confirming compliance with design, code and zoning by-law criteria.
In summary, a survey plan is an essential homeownership document that will help you protect your property rights and enjoy your land with confidence and peace of mind.