Survey says


Someone asked me an interesting question the other day: what happens if there is a mistake in the survey and I don’t find out until after closing?

20 years ago, when you bought property in Ontario, your lawyer would have done a full certification of title. There would have been a dozen searches and probably a brand-new survey commissioned that showed the exact location of the house and any accessory structures (sheds, decks, etc.) so that your lawyer could, with some certainty, tell you exactly what was there.

The thing was, though, that in the the vast majority of cases, everything is exactly where it is supposed to be and those searches were becoming somewhat of an extra and not completely necessary expense. Enter title insurance, which protects against defects in title from certain searches not being done as well as from the lack of an up-to-date survey. When you purchase title insurance, which is required by most lenders if there is not an up-to-date survey, fewer searches are required. Most notably, as lawyers, we are able to rely on older surveys.

If, after closing, you discover that something is in the wrong place, and you have title insurance, you are protected. Whether it involves moving an accessory structure, or compensation for the property not being what you thought it was, your title insurer will take care of it. It’s an excellent, economical product that neatly does what it is supposed to do: save buyers money and time.