604-725-1000 Value of properties sold as of Apr 15, 2024: $1.4 Billion +

The importance of using a survey before buying a house

This blog post deals with two different matters.

The first deals with the failure of agents to provide the name of the property manager in the Property Disclosure Statement. Property managers charge rush fees if the request for the Form F is not made with 7 business days of the day it is needed. The Form F as you know is needed in order to transfer title. If the buyer’s lawyer has to chase down the name of the property manager from the buyer’s agent, who often says he has to speak to the seller’s agent, the 7 days might run out and a rush fee will be charged . This can range from $25 to $150. In this case who should pay for the rush fee? Neither the client nor the lawyer. It is the agents responsibility to provide the information. There is even a specific space on the PDS for it.

The second matter deals with being careful to determine where the lot lines are on a property and the importance of using a survey. In the photo below where is the lot line? You might think it is between the left edge of the driveway and the right edge of the retaining wall. But it is actually 6 feet to the left of the edge of the driveway.

My client was buying the house on the right and had they not looked at the survey they would have thought the neighbour’s lot was up to the edge of the driveway. While under the land titles system, the neighbour does not acquire title to the 6 feet, there is still a problem as my client has no use of the 6 foot wide strip. Plus who is responsible for the upkeep of the retaining wall and any damage if it fails? There were no agreements on title between the two owners. I advised my client that he has the right to demand that the encroachment be removed complexly prior to closing. Or if he didn’t want to do that he should require that the vendor and the owner to the left sign and register of title an encroachment and maintenance agreement relating to the wall and trees.