Why Mortgage Certificates Matter
If you are purchasing a home, a current Mortgage Certificate (Survey Certificate) from a qualified surveyor in BC is the only way to determine the lot boundaries and the location of the improvements on the property. The plan filed with the Land Title Office is not conclusive. The Land Title Office does not certify plans as being an accurate reflection of the boundaries and dimensions of a piece of property. This is why Mortgage Certificates are important.
What does a Mortgage Certificate show?
A Mortgage Certificate will typically show the lot boundaries, improvement locations and often the locations of any rights of ways or easements registered against the property. A survey certificate will also assist you in determining whether any of the improvements on the property encroach on a neighbouring property or if there are improvements from an adjacent property that encroach on your desired property.
The cost of a survey varies but is a small price to pay to determine the true boundaries and location of improvements on what is likely the most expensive single purchase you will ever make.
On occasion, the seller of the property will have an existing survey certificate. Depending on the age of the survey certificate and whether any changes have been made to the property or improvements, you may be satisfied with the seller’s survey certificate. The survey certificate may also be accompanied by a statutory rights declaration from the seller confirming that, to the best of their knowledge, the survey certificate is still current and no changes have been made to the improvements on the property.
Although not as good as a current survey certificate, this route does provide you with some comfort if you do not wish to obtain a new survey.
If you are getting a mortgage, your lender will often require a Mortgage Certificate in BC as part of their requirements.