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Property Surveys: Are they required?

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  1. For Condos (condo apartments or condo townhouses)

    A clause in the offer to purchase for the vendor to provide a survey for a condo is NOT NEEDED since condo plan surveys are ALWAYS on file in the land registry system and are too bulky for dealing with copies in processing a sale transaction.

  2. For Non-Condos (detached, semi, link, freehold and street town homes)

    Even though a purchaser might obtain title insurance (which can eliminate the need for an up-to-date survey or any survey), a clause in the offer to purchase which requires the vendor to provide an existing survey is important since the purchaser of a non-condo should obtain a survey copy for future reference if the purchaser should ever want to consider location of lot boundaries for the purposes of fence locations or for the purposes of an intended addition or improvement to the property.

    The survey copy is also useful to check lot size, location of building on the lot, set backs, encroachments, easements, etc. which can be reviewed by the purchaser’s lawyer when doing the legal processing for the purchase.

    The survey clause should NOT require a vendor to provide an existing survey copy AND one which shows all improvements to the property since 98% of survey copies are ONLY the original builder foundation surveys which are typically never updated when an owner adds decks, fences, patios, inground pools, carports, garages, sheds, minor additions, etc. The best survey clause to be inserted in an offer to purchase a residential non-condo property is:

"Immediately upon acceptance, vendor will provide purchaser’s lawyer with a legible copy of survey showing all structures. Should a survey not be available or should such survey copy fail to be legible, or fail to show surveyor’s name or survey date, or fail to show all structures, purchaser will receive a credit in the statement of adjustments on closing for $150.00 towards cost of title insurance policy".


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