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Does the survey cover planning and boundary checks?

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

The surveyor will not conduct searches for or produce the documents, but once your solicitor can provide the certificates of compliance/exemption for any alterations to the property before the survey takes place, the surveyor will check to ensure the description of works matches the works complete to the property.

If the surveyor identifies any discrepancies between the work done to the property and the description of works on the certificate of exemption or compliance, they will mention this in the written report.

Likewise, if your solicitor provides a land reg map and there are any discrepancies identified in the actual physical boundaries and what is on the map, they will be outlined in the report.

This is a common request for solicitors to make and in most cases, there is no cause for concern if they do ask for it to be done, they are simply just making sure that they fully cover you from a legal aspect when you purchase the property!

Does the surveyor perform the planning and map searches?

No. Your solicitor should do a planning search and the vendor's solicitor is responsible for providing any necessary planning documents and certifications to your solicitor along with a certificate of identity if necessary.

What does the surveyor check on the certificates of compliance or exemption from planning?

The surveyor will check to ensure the description of works on the certificates of compliance or exemption for any alterations to the property match the work carried out to the property.

It should be noted that a survey is a visual inspection and so even though in most cases they will be able to ensure the doc is in order, there may be some cases where details of the build can not be checked. If this is the case, they will flag that on the written report.

What is a planning certificate (compliance or exemption)?

When the surveyor inspects the property, they will advise if any alterations to the property (extensions, conversions etc) done to the property require planning permission and a certificate of compliance with that planning, or if they are exempt from planning in which case they would need a certificate of exemption from planning.

So if the alteration to the property required planning permission, the surveyor will advise that the vendor's solicitor must provide a Certificate of Compliance with Planning.

For works that are exempt from planning approval, the surveyor will advise if a Certificate of Exemption from planning approval is required. For example, a small rear extension under 40 sq m.

What does the surveyor check on the boundaries?

If there is anything unusual about the property or just if the solicitor just wants to be extra sure, your solicitor may occasional provide the boundary maps for the surveyors to check.

Like the rest of the survey, this is a visual inspection, so the surveyor does not use any GPS equipment to measure the boundary exactly, they are just ensuring that there are no obvious signs of discrepancies or issues with the physical boundary and map.

They will also inspect the condition of any boundary structures like walls, fences, gates, etc. and flag any issues they find on the report.

If any issues are identified with the boundaries, or your solicitor believes there is a boundary concern, a professional mapping company needs to be appointed to confirm the boundary using specialised measuring equipment.


Planning and Boundaries can be one of the more confusing elements of the process for first time buyers, but between your solicitor and surveyor, you have 2 professionals looking out for your best interests and so don't be afraid to ask as many questions as you need!

To book your survey with Get House Survey, just go to and click on "Get Survey Now".


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