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Why do I have to pay for a new surveyor’s report?

Published:Thursday | September 24, 2015 | 12:00 AMCraig Francis
Craig Francis

Good day, readers. Today, I will respond to another question from a reader.

My surveyor's identification report expired last month and the National Housing Trust (NHT) is insisting that I get a new one before I apply to build on my own land. It's pretty frustrating to have to pay for something that seems so unnecessary, especially when the money could be used to actually aid in my building efforts.

Why do I need a new surveyor's ID report, which will be identical to the one I already have?

- D.H.


Thanks for taking the time to contact me and I hope you are informed each week when you read A Matter of Land.

I know it is frustrating and it seems unfair for the NHT to be asking you to pay to have another surveyor's identification report done as the first one has expired.

However, I must point out that a surveyor's identification report is valid for one year, and once that period elapses a new one is required unless waived by the lending institution.

You see this as an unnecessary wasteful action but it is not.

First, how does the NHT know that nothing has changed on your property since the last report was done?

Only a commissioned land surveyor can determine if there are any breaches or encroachment on a property, and this needs to be presented in a surveyor's report.

You may done nothing to your property but your neighbour could have done some construction that causes an encroachment on your property and you may not be aware of this until it is pointed out by a commissioned land surveyor.

Also, an error could have been made on the first report (though not normally the case) and the new report would be a check to the expired one.

Importantly, the NHT, or any lending agency, needs to ensure that the property they are using as collateral has a clean bill of health with regard to breaches and encroachments, so they will always require that you present a valid surveyor's report, and that means one that is less than a year old.

Look at it this way, the surveyor's identification report is no different from any other expired document that you may have. Once it has expired a document is no longer valid and a new one is required.

In the same way that when your driver's licence expires, even though the information on it may remain the same, it is no longer valid.

What I suggest is that you approach the same land surveyor who you used to prepare the original report and have him do the new one. This should cost you less.

I hope I have somewhat lessened your frustration and you now understand the process a little more.

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

traverse well.

n 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 his Facebook page Precision Surveying Service