What Real Estate Professionals Should Know About the Role of the Professional Surveyor in the Real Estate Transaction

Protecting the Public Interest

Real Estate Professionals and Ontario Land Surveyors best serve and protect their clients’ interests when they understand the importance of each other’s role in the real estate transaction. Consulting with a Professional Surveyor like Clarke Surveyors and obtaining a new survey should be seen as an integral part of the real estate transaction. If there is any doubt or if there are any questions about a survey or the boundaries of a parcel, then a Professional Surveyor like Clarke Surveyors should be contacted to protect the interests of both the Real Estate Professional and the client.

A Professional Surveyor’s Opinion is an Informed Opinion

A Professional Surveyor (Clarke Surveyors) is trained to gather and analyze facts and use legal principles and rules of law to interpret the information to prepare a professional opinion. Before preparing an opinion, a surveyor (Ross A. Clarke) examines the documentary evidence related to both the subject land and the adjoining land. This would include documents obtained by searching their own files, those of professional colleagues, and those of the Land Registry Office. An Ontario Land Surveyor (Clarke Surveyors) will carry out a thorough field investigation for the best available evidence of all boundaries, lines and corners, and give priority to the evidence in accordance with Statute and Case Law.

What is a Land Survey?

The land survey in a real estate transaction enables the certification of title by providing a plan which shows the extent of title and any factors which may affect the quality of the extent. It is not, as many people believe, for the sole purpose of showing the buildings in relation to the property lines. In common use, the term “survey” often refers to a drawing or plan of a parcel of real property, yet the final plan or report represents only one element of a “survey.” A survey of a parcel of land is a project undertaken with four components: research, measurement, monumentation and a plan or report. All of these elements combined represent an Ontario Land Surveyor’s (Clarke Surveyors) professional opinion of the boundary of a parcel. In Ontario case law, the term “survey” in a purchase agreement has been held to mean an up-to-date plan of survey prepared by an Ontario Land Surveyor.

A plan of survey may be up-to-date if:

  • The Plan complies with the current Statutes and Regulations of Ontario;
  • No physical changes have taken place to the property or the monumentation since the plan was signed; and
  • A search for documentary evidence (including a search in the Land Registry Office) indicates that no changes have occurred.

An “old survey” is a document that has not been prepared for the current transaction. A current opinion must have the embossed seal of an Ontario Land Surveyor on the print.

A Professional Surveyor’s Opinion (Clarke Surveyors) can best be expressed through different plan formats, and each one is prepared for a specific purpose. A Real Estate Professional should use caution in the selection of the type of survey for the purpose for which the Real Estate Professional and his or her client intended.