What is the purpose of a Certificate of Location?

What is the purpose of a Certificate of Location?

A Survey or Certificate of Location is a key document in the sale of a building or land. It attests to the current state of a building and that it is in compliance with all applicable laws.

What is a Certificate of Location?

It is a document prepared by a land surveyor who is an active member of the professional order in your province.

The land surveyor always retains the original and provides you with a copy.

What about a property’s official boundaries?
Land surveyors will not stake out boundaries when they come to take measurements to create a Certificate of Location.

To formally define the boundaries of a property, you will need to commission a surveyor to obtain a boundary survey of the property’s official boundary lines.

What does a Certificate of Location include?

A Certificate of Location consists of a physical plan and a report.

The plan is basically a drawing that provides all property details (shape, dimensions, area) and includes the following:

  • Main building
  • Other buildings such as a shed
  • Fences
  • Hedges
  • Pool
  • Easement areas
  • Public utilities

The Certificate of Location report is more detailed. This is where the land surveyor will comment on the situation and the current condition of a building in relation to ownership titles, cadastre as well as applicable laws and regulations.

The Certificate of Location report allows you to compare land measurements taken by the land surveyor with official dimensions filed at the land registry office.

It also answers the following questions:

  • Does a building comply with municipal regulations and provincial laws?
  • Is there any encroachment on neighbouring property?
  • Is the building located in a flood zone?

What is the purpose of a Certificate of Location?

A Certificate of Location is essential in any real estate transaction, whether involving a house, a condominium or a piece of land.

Besides providing the future buyer with information on the current state of the land and its buildings, the certificate shows that current owners have complied with regulations in force.

How long is a Certificate of Location valid?

The law does not specify the duration of a Certificate of Location. Generally speaking, it’s valid for a period of 5 to 10 years.

It is not uncommon for a notary or financial institution to require a new Certificate of Location for a real estate transaction.

Who must provide a Certificate of Location?

It’s usually the seller who must provide a Certificate of Location during a real estate transaction.

A purchase offer or agreement states it is the buyer’s responsibility to pay for any new certificate if there have been no additions or renovations to the home since the last Certificate of Location was issued.

Important to note: a new Certificate of Location must be produced and paid for by the seller if the property’s situation has changed. For example, if the seller has installed a new pool or garden shed.

How much does a Certificate of Location cost?

On average, a Certificate of Location for a single-family home in the city will cost you approximately $1,300 (plus tax).

Obviously, the more complex the situation, the higher the rate of the land surveyor.

It is a good idea to always discuss all costs involved before doing business with a land surveyor.