September 05, 2016
Surveyors' Right of Entry
Landowners affected by infrastructure projects and/or facing expropriation often wonder if a surveyor may access private property without permission. The simple answer is yes.
In Ontario, the Surveys Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. S. 30 allows licensed surveyors and persons in the surveyor`s employ to enter onto private lands to carry out survey works. However, a surveyor may be liable for any damage caused to the property while carrying out investigative activities. Section 6(1) the Act states:
Right to enter land, buildings
6. (1) A surveyor or a person in the surveyor’s employ while making a survey may,
(a) at any time enter and pass over the land of any person; or
(b) at any time suitable to the occupant of a building enter the building,
and do any act thereon or therein for any purpose of the survey, but the surveyor is liable for any damage occasioned thereby.
Moreover, the legislation provides that landowners cannot obstruct a surveyor from entering the property. Section 6(2) of the Act provides that an owner can be fined up to $100 for obstructing a surveyor from entering the property:
Offence for obstructing
(2) Every person who interferes with or obstructs a surveyor or a person in the surveyor’s employ in the exercise of any of the powers conferred by subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $100. R.S.O. 1990, c. S.30, s. 6.
To minimize intrusion, owners may consider speaking with the expropriating authority or responsible government agency to request advance notice, or to seek specific times for surveyors to enter the property.