Wed | Oct 18, 2017

'Don't go it alone'

Published:Sunday | October 26, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Craig Francis

When purchasing property, consult your attorney and land surveyor

Good day, readers. I want to thank you for your continued support of this column and your emails of encouragement and commendation.

This week, I want to again encourage persons who are contemplating property purchase to consult a land surveyor and a lawyer to protect you and secure your interest.

When you go into an agreement to purchase a piece of land, make sure you know exactly how much land you are paying for and ensure that this is written on the sales agreement.

If it is a property that is not part of a larger subdivision, you need to have a land surveyor survey the property for you. This is to ensure that you get the acreage you are paying for. Failure to do this can result in you paying for a particulate acreage but getting less than you paid for. I have seen this happen, as a person pays for a half acre of land but only gets a third of an acre. However, the sales agreement just speaks to a lot number and not acreage so the purchaser loses out.

Also, when you purchase a property and you are ready to build, especially if you are not going through a lending agency to finance your construction or you are required to spend your money before the lending agency finances the final stages, you need to bring in a land surveyor.

You need a land surveyor to first and foremost verify your boundaries. You may see some boundary markers (iron pegs), however, that may not be yours or you may not be able to locate all of the pegs. A surveyor will be able to locate all your boundary markers and replace the missing ones.

If you think it's too costly to engage the services of a land surveyor, think about the cost to correct an error you if you construct on the wrong lot or straddle a couple or a few lots. This will cost you much more to correct. I had to conduct a survey for a client who had started construction on what he thought was his lot, and when I did my fieldwork it was realised that the house was constructed on two properties.

The building straddled the boundary lines of two separate lots and was so close to another the owner would have no backyard. This resulted in my client having to purchase two additional lots, which meant he had to buy three lots when he only intended to buy one. This was because he had failed to contact a land surveyor to identify his boundaries and to set out his building.

So as to not have this problem, ensure that you have your boundaries verified and boundary marks replaced, and ensure that you engage the services of an attorney-at-law to conduct your transaction.

Keep sending your questions and comments and let's continue to explore A Matter Land. Until next time, traverse well.

Craig Francis is a commissioned land surveyor and managing director of Precision Surveying Services Ltd. He can be contacted for questions or queries at craig_r_francis@yahoo.com or his Facebook page Precision Surveying Services