Articles

Access to Property

19 February 2019

When undertaking surveys which involve re-establishing old survey marks, it is quite common for Surveyors to require access onto neighbour’s properties. This is because surveys involve a network of survey marks which are linked together, and these marks were often placed long before more intensive development of the properties occurred.

Without access to these adjoining survey marks, it can become almost impossible to re-establish the boundaries of properties. Where access to a neighbour’s property is required, Surveyors will try to talk to the neighbour about what they are doing, and explain why they need access to their property. Almost invariably, neighbours are very helpful in allowing surveyors access to their properties for the purpose of searching for old survey marks.

In the rare circumstances where neighbours refuse access and access is considered essential, Surveyors can obtain authority under the Cadastral Surveyors Act, to access a property for the purpose of completing a Survey. This authority is very rarely used, as the public are generally very understanding and helpful when it comes to the issue of access to property. If this section of the Act is utilized, the Surveyor must, if practicable, give reasonable notice to the occupier of the land of the intention to exercise these powers. They must also provide some form of identity and the authority to exercise these powers when first entering the land and whenever subsequently reasonably requested to do so.