When a home buyer undergoes a land survey, an Ontario land surveyor will officially confirm the location of the cottage, the land boundaries of the cottage property and the property’s relation to nearby things like lakes or rivers.
While a land survey is also a good idea when you’re buying any home or piece of land, getting one when you’re buying a cottage, other recreational property or a home in a rural area is even more important, because official boundaries can become lost over time. It can also be a very big risk to just assume that the property boundaries and size of the land on a listing are always accurate.
In a recent column, real estate lawyer Bob Aaron outlined just a few instances where buyers, including many cottage buyers, unexpectedly did not get what they paid for (or actually got more than they paid for) because a land survey wasn’t done before the purchase. These include:
- A homeowner who found out his driveway was technically a sidewalk and illegal to park on.
- A cottage owner who technically owns the neighboring cottage’s driveway and part of their living room.
- A cottage owner whose cottage was built almost completely on the township-owned shoreline land, leaving her with no ownership of the actual land under her cottage and no way to buy that land.
- Situations where swimming pools or septic tanks are on the neighbour’s property.
- Fences that are far from accurate when it comes to the property boundaries.
You can read the entire column here.