Land surveyors have many different roles and they can provide a range of services for us. One of the main uses of land surveyors for example is to both work out and then legally define the bounds of a property – in other words to ascertain what precisely constitutes an area of land. Another role of land surveyors and one that many people are more familiar with and understand better is to check over land in a similar way to the way in which a property surveyor checks over a property. Here then will look at things such as whether or not there is any contamination in the land (perhaps if this was once the site of a spill), whether it is on a fault line, or whether it is on a flood plain. In this way land surveyors can be used in a similar way to property surveyors but without the property – as it only makes sense for someone buying property that they intend to develop to first make sure that it is a good buy that will yield a good return on the initial investment.
Here we are going to look at how land surveying is used however in order to assess the precise bounds of a piece of land and precisely what an individual owns in it.
Here land surveyors are used when buying a property, or when the bounds of someone’s property are called into question. There are various reasons that this can happen and that it might not be easy to know precisely where the land stops and starts. For instance this can occur as a result of erosion and natural degradation. Over time it may be that the actual earth has moved or eroded, but of course this shouldn’t alter the amount of land you technically own. Likewise erosion and also vandalism may affect the physical markers that you have in place. For instance if there is a fence or wall and this should get smashed by a strong wind, or by vandals, then this might leave you without the border for your property that you normally use to indicate where it starts and begins and without this it can be hard to know where to erect it subsequently.
Over time we will of course replace and repair our fences and walls normally, and this can result in slight movement too – based even on the thickness of the fence. If this leads to disputes with the surrounding council or other land owners, or if it affects the value of the property then using land surveyors is very important.
So the question is, how do land surveyors go about identifying the bounds of the land when you cannot? One way they can do this for example is to look at legal documents – perhaps owned by you, perhaps owned by the state, or perhaps owned by the previous residents. These might record the precise surface areas, any gradients in the ground, and it may refer to other landmarks and ‘monument’ which are placed at specific points often below the ground in order to indicate the precise boundaries. If you don’t already have these monuments, after having land surveyors check your boundaries then, you will have these iron rebar rods or pipes placed beneath the surface of the ground in order to help ensure that the precise boundaries of your property are not called into dispute in future.