Real Property Reports - Frequently Asked Questions
A Surveyor's Real Property Report is a legal document that clearly illustrates permanent above-ground structures and registered easements in relation to property boundaries. The document consists of a plan showing the physical improvements with a written report outlining the details of the property.
In a real estate transaction, the Surveyor's Real Property Report can be relied upon by the purchaser, seller, realtor, lawyer, financial institution, and the municipality as an accurate representation of the property.
The purchase of a property is often the largest financial investment a person will make in their life. You do not want to discover problems with the property after the sale. Your Saskatchewan land surveyor assumes full professional responsibility for the accuracy of the survey giving you peace of mind knowing the location of all buildings, registered easements and encroachments.
Prior to 1990, land surveyors issued documents called Surveyor's Certificates. In 1990, the Saskatchewan Land Surveyors Association adopted new standards to provide more information and better protect the public by replacing the Surveyor's Certificate with the Surveyor's Real Property Report.
Property Purchasers, to be informed of:
- the location of buildings relative to the property lines.
- registered easements that may restrict future developments.
- encroachments that may become a liability to the purchaser.
Property sellers, to provide:
- a plan and report that clearly illustrates the marketability of the property.
Realtors, to provide:
- a visual representation of the property for sale.
- information to avoid delays in completing property transactions.
Lawyers, to assist in:
- verifying the current state of your title.
Financial Institutions, to verify:
- that there are no encroachments that may affect the marketability of the property offered for security.
- compliance with bylaws and zoning regulations.
- the registered owner, the certificate of title number, legal description, the date of the title search, and registered easements affecting the property.
- the municipal civic address (if available) of the property.
- the parcel designations of adjoining lands.
- the linear measurements of the property boundaries.
- the location and dimensions of buildings relative to property boundaries.
- the location and description of visible encroachments onto or off of the property.
- the location of the listed registered easements.
- the original signature and seal of a Saskatchewan land surveyor.
The Surveyor's Real Property Report shows the location of buildings on the property on the date of the survey. In a majority of cases the survey was performed when only a foundation existed and the building was under construction. This document may not reflect current conditions after only a few weeks. In other cases, old documents may appear to reflect current conditions, but neighbours may have additions that are over the property lines or easements may be registered against the property.
The Saskatchewan land surveyor is professionally responsible for the document and will issue a Surveyor's Real Property Report only if certain that it shows the current state of the property.
A valid Surveyor's Real Property Report will have a current date and bear the original signature and embossed seal of the Saskatchewan land surveyor. An unsealed copy may not be reliable. Under law, the copyright to the document remains with the land surveyor and cannot be reproduced without the surveyor's consent.
A Saskatchewan land surveyor is, by legislation, the only individual who can legally determine and mark out boundaries in Saskatchewan and prepare a Surveyor's Real Property Report. A Saskatchewan land surveyor will undertake the following tasks in preparing a Surveyor's Real Property Report:
- a search of the title, all registered easements and plans relating to the location of boundaries of the subject property.
- locate survey monuments and verify their position and origin.
- from survey measurements, establish one or more monuments on the property in accordance with the Land Surveys Act.
- measure the external walls of buildings and determine their distance from the property boundary.
- review the field notes.
- produce a plan and report reflecting the results of the field survey and title research.
- consult with the client or agent and deliver documents.
The amount of work to prepare a Surveyor's Real Property Report varies from one property to another. Factors that affect the costs are:
- travel expenses of the field crew.
- the size, shape and natural features of the property.
- the number, size and location of buildings and improvements.
- the availability and location of survey monuments on or near the property.
- the age of the property (some subdivision surveys are more than 120 years old.)
It is important to remember that your Surveyor's Real Property Report represents only a small portion of your total property investment and may help you avoid costly and troublesome problems in the future.
A Surveyor's Real Property Report will ensure that one property corner is established. Arrangements can be made with the surveyor, while it is most economical, to have any missing corners monumented at the time of the RPR survey.
Title Insurance is a policy issued to the mortgage lender to protect against a defect in title. In Saskatchewan, the Land Titles system guarantees ownership of your land by title. Title Insurance policies provide no information about your property.
Only a Surveyor's Real Property Report can assure you of the extent of your property and warn of any possible problems.
Current standards require completion of extensive University education, followed by a period of articles and professional exams. As professionals, Saskatchewan land surveyors are governed by provincial law with a mandate to protect the public's interest in matters of real property. They must be registered and maintain an annual licence with the Saskatchewan Land Surveyors Association. They must also carry professional liability insurance to protect their clients from losses due to errors or oversights.
If you have questions about Surveyor's Real Property Reports or if you wish to learn more about surveying, please contact the Saskatchewan Land Surveyors Association.
See your local "Yellow Pages" under "Surveyors, Land" for the names of registered Land Surveyors in your area or contact:
Saskatchewan Land Surveyors Association
408 Broad Street #230
Regina, Saskatchewan S4R 1X3
Ph: (306) 352-8999 or Fax: (306) 352-8366 or e-mail: email@example.com