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Who should pay for a Certificate of Identity, the Buyer or Seller?

Updated: Jan 9

In most cases, the vendor (seller) should pay to have a Certificate of Identity complete on the property.

What is a Certificate of Identity?

A Certificate of Identity (sometimes called an Opinion on Identity or Declaration of Identity) is a legal document complete by an Engineer, Architect, Architectural Technologist or Building Surveyor which confirms the following:

  • The property boundaries are in line with the folio map

  • The services (Septic tank including percolation area, water wells, oil tanks etc.) are all within the property boundaries.

  • There are no issues with encroachment or overhang

  • There are no issues with right of way to the property.

This confirms to you and your solicitor that there are not likely to be any issues related to the boundaries.

Who pays for a Certificate of Identity?

In normal circumstances, the vendor would pay for any provide a Certificate of Identity upon request from your solicitor. This is all part of showing that the property is legally sound and the titles are in order.

This is not currently a legal requirement. However there is currently legislation moving through the Dail called the "Seller's Legal Pack for Buyers Bill" which would require the vendor to have this document ready before the property is listed for sale.

In some cases, your solicitor may have outstanding queries and for whatever reason the vendor is refusing to provide a Certificate of Identity. This is very rare, but if it does happen you can have one produced yourself, since a Certificate of Identity is related to the property and not the person.

What is included as part of a survey in relation to the boundaries?

Once your solicitor can provide a folio map before the survey takes place, the surveyor will confirm that the boundaries match the map. Generally as part of a survey, the surveyor will advise if there are any potential issues with encroachment or overhang, if they are unable to locate any services within the boundaries or if there are potentially any issues accessing the property (e.g. if it is not assessable straight from a public road.

Any issues identified will be noted on the survey report itself to make you and your solicitor aware. If there are any issues identified, this is when your solicitor would likely request a full Certificate of Identity from the vendor.

Although this is enough to satisfy 95% of Solicitor queries or to validate that a certificate of identity they already received is correct.


At Get House Survey, once your solicitor can share the folio map before the survey takes place, we will check the boundaries match as part of the survey and do not charge anything extra.

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

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