A survey certificate is a professional document used in British Columbia to determine legal boundaries of a property (similar to a Real Property Report in Alberta). It shows where a building(s) is located on a property, and also shows the property’s boundary lines together with the building footprint within those lines.
A survey certificate is used by a municipality, buyer, seller, and lender as an accurate representation of the improvements on a plot of land. It may include the following information:
- Location of improvements in relation to the property lines
- Registered charges such as easements, rights-of-way, or covenants
- Dimensions of the property and improvements
- Encroachments onto the property
- Encroachments by improvements on the property onto neighbouring properties
In British Columbia, survey certificates are not a requirement to sell your home, however buyers may request an existing copy from the seller or choose to have their own survey completed. If the seller has an existing survey certificate, in many cases, this document would be accompanied by a statutory declaration from the seller confirming that, to the best of their knowledge, the certificate is still current and no changes have been made to the improvements on the property.
Buyers may need a survey certificate if their mortgage lender requires a this document be submitted during the mortgage approval process. In some cases, lenders will accept a title insurance policy in lieu of a survey certificate, or could require both of these documents. Title insurance provides the lender with protection against a number of different potential issues with a property (some encroachments, fraudulent issues with title in the past).
If you do not have a survey certificate, and you require one, you will need a professional surveyor to complete this document for you. Pricing is determined on a project by project basis.