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Is this surveyor’s report valid?

Published:Friday | January 22, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Craig Francis

Welcome to another week readers. Today, I will respond to another question from a reader.

Good day Mr Francis,

I recently commissioned a surveyor's report for my property to submit along with a building application to the parish council.

However, after I received it and went home, I found some comments that left me very concerned, and I am wondering if the report is valid and will be accepted by the council.

There is a note that states: "This report is not prepared from a survey made in accordance with the Land Surveyors Act and Regulation and therefore cannot be used for the establishment of any fence, buildings or other improvement on the property."

Mr Francis, does this mean that the report is not legal? Will the parish council accept it as it says it cannot be used for establishment of any building? I am very concerned .

Thank you


Good day F.M.,

This is a really good question and a very common one. I have had lawyers call me from time to time concerned about the very same thing.

I have even had the displeasure of being accused of being a fraud as the report I produced with that note led persons to claim that I was not a licensed land surveyor.

The notes that are placed on the land surveyor's report is very much like a disclaimer. You see there is nowhere in the Land Surveyors Act or Regulation that speaks to surveyor's reports.

As I have said in previous publications about surveyor's reports, they are more a function of convention than any prescribed law. The notes also relate the standards of accuracy used in preparing the reports.

The standards of accuracy used are different than stipulated by the Land Surveyors Act. So once those standards are not used, then the regulations cannot govern the survey. There is, however, some notes on the reverse side of the report that explain the standards that are used and define some of the terms used on the report itself.

So because it is reporting what is found, neither you, nor can your builder, use the measurements on the report to construct your wall or use it to set up any building. This is because the accuracy required to undertake those activities are not required in preparing a report.

So take heart F.M.I, your report will be accepted by the parish council, once it bears the signature of a commissioned land surveyor, and it is a legal document, as well.

All the best in your endeavours, especially the construction you plan to undertake shortly.

Keep sending our questions and comments, and let's continue to explore A Matter of 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 craig_r_francis@yahoo.com or Precision Surveying Services.