One of the biggest sources of complaints for land surveyors are incidents involving entering neighbouring properties. Often if you look up a survey company, there are one-star reviews from incensed neighbours quoting either the trespass act or wondering why a surveyor would be in their property when they had never requested a survey.
So, lets deal with the most common reasons a surveyor enters your property:
- They need to find property pins to help re-establish the property lines of the subject property. Property pins are often damaged and or destroyed over time, so finding other property pins in neighbouring properties becomes critical.
- They need to get topographical features such as a house or a tree location. Often municipalities have various restrictions on what you can build depending on neighbouring trees and adjacent houses.
So that brings us back to the main question, is a land surveyor authorized to enter your property? Want the short answer? Yes. The longer answer would be yes, but there are certain conditions to be met.
So where does it explicitly say that a land surveyor can enter your property? Land Surveyors Act, Section 59.1 states “A practising land surveyor engaged in the practice of land surveying, or a person performing, for a practising land surveyor, duties in relation to the practice of land surveying, must be permitted to pass over any land without hindrance from any person.”
Those interested can read up on this link, but Section 59.2 of this act takes it a step further and includes penalties for refusing access. A land surveyor also does have certain obligations that come along with this right:
- When requested they do need to show proper identification that confirms that they either are a registered land surveyor or work for one.
- The right to enter properties also does not exempt the land surveyor from liability or costs that could be incurred for any damages that occur in the property.
The public may wonder, why would a land surveyor be legislated such authority? To that, I would put forth a few questions of my own:
- Is land and owning a property the biggest investment or asset most of us will ever have?
- If the answer to the question above is yes, then should you have the right to know the full extent of your property?
- Once an owner makes this big investment, should they then have the right to build or renovate a house?
- Or how about an owner’s right to create more housing by subdividing or creating a multi-family development to further that investment?
- Continuing with the question above, would not the creation of more housing help with the current housing crisis we see in the Lower Mainland?
Clearly if the answers to the above seem obvious, then a land surveyor is required to help facilitate these crucial property rights. A land surveyors legislated right to access properties is needed to do their job, and in turn our ability to do our job is critical to the public and economy.
Getting a land survey can often be the first step in whatever you choose to do with your property, feel free to contact us and we can provide you consultation on your next steps. We are one of the fastest growing companies covering the Lower Mainland, come see what the fuss is all about!