Imagine a situation whereby you are in a home on a bright sunny afternoon, and the next thing you see is an uninvited guest surveying your property. This will be a surprising experience for you as a homeowner; you would probably feel many emotions at that particular time, with the first one being fear.
The first thing on your mind would be to call the police, but the minute the person tells you they are a surveyor, you cannot do this as they are backed up by the law and allowed to survey properties in some states. Either they are trespassing or have a legal right to take a look at your property.
Different states have different laws regarding a surveyor taking a property. Most times, surveyors have a right if they work for the government. When this happens, the primary question on anyone’s mind will be; can someone survey my property without my permission?
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- 1 What is a Property Survey?
- 2 What is the Purpose of a Property Survey?
- 3 Can Someone Survey My Property Without My Permission?
- 4 Why Will Someone Survey My Property Without My Permission?
- 5 Is It Illegal for Someone to Survey My Property Without My Permission?
- 6 Conclusion
What is a Property Survey?
A property survey entails defining a particular parcel of land using angles and distances. It is always best to hire a professional when you want to survey a property as it does not just involve the land in question but everything that relates to it, such as walls, gas lines, roads, etc.
Before land can be surveyed, the surveyor has to come to the land to look at the property to establish the right angles and distances. There is always a defined point where the surveyors start which has been set beforehand by either a surveying firm or the government.
The surveyor then uses distances, angles, and elevations to create other set-point points. This is used to ensure that the property lines are correct, and if they are not, they establish them. They can also create new property lines, and it is during this period that new additions are found and documented.
A property survey includes every vital detail about the property, such as the address, the location of the building, a description of what the property looks like, and the various additions and improvements that you can add to the property.
What is the Purpose of a Property Survey?
A property survey is essential for you as a homeowner because it helps to establish boundaries. This is the most crucial reason why most people have their properties surveyed. Nobody wants their property to be infringed upon as it could lead to significant issues between neighbors, not to mention that it is also illegal.
It is illegal to build anything on your property, such as a pool or a shed, and extend it to someone else’s property. There are property lines to define where your property starts and when it ends appropriately. A property survey outlines all new buildings, power lines, gas lines, etc. It also reveals the exact size, dimensions, new constructions, and land location.
Without a property survey, a homeowner will not be aware of their property lines, which can cost them a lot of money. If they build a fence or maybe a shed on someone else’s property, they would have to take it down and make it again on their land after it has been proven.
Property surveys are also used to locate utilities and easements on the land, establish and determine boundary lines on the land, and improve the land in many ways.
Can Someone Survey My Property Without My Permission?
As stated above, the answer to this question depends on the laws guiding the state one lives in. Every state has unique entry laws that guide a surveyor in accessing bordering properties. If the surveyor is from a government agency, they automatically have the right to survey the property.
For example, the law in New York City states that a land surveyor of any property and every other authorized agent that works for that land surveyor can enter into the property to perform inspections. They can also access every other land necessary for them to conduct the property survey.
So, if you are a resident of New York City and other similar states, the answer is yes, your property can be surveyed without your permission.
Why Will Someone Survey My Property Without My Permission?
There are many reasons why you could wake up one morning and see someone surveying your property without your permission; some of them are listed below.
It is normal to have neighbors or different properties around you as a landowner. People usually have their properties surveyed to establish boundary (property) lines – these are lines that demarcate the beginning and end of your property.
Before one adds something new to their home, such as a pool, shed, or fence, they should be aware of the boundary lines that guide their property so that they do not end up building something on someone else’s property.
If you see an uninvited person surveying your property, it could probably be because you have crossed the boundary lines or are trying to establish them, so they do not cross them.
Another reason why someone can choose to survey your property without your permission is an easement. Easement occurs when you share a particular portion of your property with someone else, so they must be granted access to it. As a property owner, you would be aware of any easements on your property through a property survey.
A property survey is required when processing a mortgage loan by almost all financial institutions. This means that if you are applying for a mortgage, there will be a time when your property will be surveyed, and the surveyor could show up unannounced.
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Is It Illegal for Someone to Survey My Property Without My Permission?
The legality of a surveyor showing up to inspect your property depends on the laws of the state you live in. as written above, it is not illegal for authorized land surveyors to look at your property without your permission. It becomes unlawful when they are unauthorized and do not have a right to be there. That is considered trespassing.
The next time an uninvited guest shows up on your property to survey the land, you should immediately ensure that they are authorized to be there. They could either be from a government agency or your neighbor who wants to establish the boundary lines. Whatever the reason, make sure they are there for a good purpose.