Wed | Feb 21, 2018

Check your land survey documents this new year

Published:Sunday | January 10, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Craig Francis

I want to wish you all a very happy new year, prosperity and good fortunes in 2016.

May you improve on the good and positive things of 2015 and forget the bad and negative things, leaving them in the past and press forward in 2016 writing a new chapter in your life. I hope that as per my advice last week, you have called your land surveyors to discuss having your family properties surveyed this new year.

Good day, readers. As we begin another year there are some survey documents that are time sensitive and today we are going to look at them and see how to deal with same.

Expiration of Surveyors Identification Reports

There are several surveying documents that are time sensitive; that is they expire after a certain amount of time and are no longer valid. First, we will look at the most common one, that of the Land Surveyors Identification Report. This report is used by lending agencies as one piece of documentation to help their underwriters determine if they will give a loan against a property as collateral and by the parish councils as part of the documentation that helps them in the approval of building plans submitted to them. This report has a useful life of one year after the date on the report it is no longer valid and will not be accepted by either the lending agencies or the parish councils. If the date has expired, make contact with your land surveyor to have the report redone to ensure you have a valid copy again.


Pre-Check plans/Survey Diagrams


The other surveying that has a statute of limitation is the survey diagram also known as the 'pre-check' plan. This plan is used by persons in the process of land titling for their properties. This is an important piece of document in the process of obtaining a registered title. This diagram is used as the diagram that describes the property for which a title has been prepared. The title describes the person's interest in the property whereas the survey diagram describes the property specifically in a plan form. However, the survey diagram has a 'shelf life' of seven years. If you have a diagram and seven years have expired since the date on the survey, it is no longer valid and will not be accepted as a document that can be used in the process of obtaining a registered title.


Solution to the seven-year problem


To remedy this problem there are two things that can be done. First, you can contact your land surveyor and have him re-survey the property and prepare a new plan which he will submit to the Survey and Mapping division of the National Land Agency (NLA) for pre-checking and approval. When this is done, you will receive a new plan that has a useful life of seven more years. Second, you can have a legal document prepared by a commissioned land surveyor called a Land Surveyor's Declaration. This is a legal declaration made by the surveyor affirming that the diagram is still consistent with what is demarked on the ground. This is prepared and signed by the land surveyor and a justice of the peace. This document, along with the survey diagram, can then be used in the application for the registered title.

So a new year has arrived. Check your survey documents to see when they expire and if they are still valid.

I thank you, the readers, for your support in 2015 and hope that it will continue in 2016 as I continue to try to educate and inform you about matters concerning property and land.

- Craig Francis is a commissioned land surveyor and managing director of Precision Surveying Services Ltd. He can be contacted for questions or queries at or Precision Surveying Services