What’s a Land Surveyor and do I need one?

The world is ever expanding and revolutionising, and this applies in England more so to property than any other domain. Renovations, refurbishments and extensions are just a few of the changes which people are planning to make to their homes and properties, and there is a great deal of background work which needs to be done before any of these ideas can materialise. Every inch of land in the United Kingdom has been documented and allocated and there are many regulations and laws which surround our topography.If we wish to make any major, and sometimes even minor, alterations to the land and property which we own then these need to be taken into consideration when planning. Land surveyors are the people who plot, measure and record the details of the land, using previous maps as well as creating their own, so as to advise planning and construction. They also help to uncover any queries into measurements and details of the land, as well as disputes over allocations.

When would I need a Land Surveyor?

Most simply a land surveyor is needed whenever a land survey is required. A land survey can range from an intensely detailed map of an area, including measurements and positioning of all property, to simply a skeletal plan with only the key features.There are a number of situations when this might be necessary, firstly when you wish to buy a property or an area of land. Only a licensed land survey, produced by a qualified land surveyor, is able to describe exactly what the area that you are going to purchase includes or entails. It indicates the boundaries of the other properties in relation to your own, as well as determining where trees, outbuildings, fences etc lie.The survey will also describe whether other people are allowed access to your property or land thus determining your legal permits and rights. Deeds to the house can often be outdated, previous owners might have made changes to the property and its land, and accordingly a land survey will also act as an up-to-date deed and can be used by a solicitor to produce an accurate, contemporary deed.Land surveys are also required when alterations are planned to be made on a certain area; this includes land as well as property. If an extension is intended to be built then a land survey is needed to mark out the boundaries which the land occupies in order to establish the proprietor’s ownership rights and make sure that you are only building on your own land. This will prevent any future disputes or problems. The land survey is an accurate model of the site that can be used by the possessor to design, create and position projects accurately. The surveyor will mark on the map exactly what the location of the building is proposed to be in order to guarantee that this is on your property.One of the most important situations a land survey is required for is boundary disputes. Land surveyors can produce information which stops situations like these reaching the courts, thus saving a great deal of time and money. In these situations the surveyor acts as a professional witness who assumes qualified responsibility of the details even if the situation is ever taken to court.Banks and trusts will often request that a survey is done before they authorise you with a mortgage to guarantee that all records are up to date and there is no likelihood of sudden demise or change to the building. If you re-mortgage or refinance your house then the bank may require a survey as the details surrounding the area and the house will often have changed somewhat since you purchased the property/land.

Are all the land surveyors the same?

In a word, no. Most surveyors will specialise in a certain area so you must make sure that you approach the appropriate one that will be able to deal with your specific request.
  • Geodetic surveying provides information about the size and the shape of the planet, thus ascertaining the framework for which all other surveys are then based on. All surveyors need this skill.
  • Cartography is the art of making maps, thus cartographic land surveyors provide information for the map user so they can process the details it provides sufficiently.
  • Cadastral surveying, by law, is one of the exclusive functions that land surveyors must provide. This involves measuring property and goes towards town planning thus has a key involvement within the socio-economic development of England.
  • Engineering surveying entails taking measurements of and providing plans for motorways, railways, bridges and large structures. Big companies or city councils when developing large areas will usually employ these types of surveyors.
  • Hydrographic and oceanographic surveyors map the underwater, marine world, often working closely with harbour engineers. This is the most specific of all types of land surveyors.