A property survey is an important step to take when purchasing property in Costa Rica, as it can help to confirm the legal boundaries and dimensions of the property and ensure that the property is being conveyed to the buyer as advertised. It can also identify any encroachments or disputes over the property’s boundaries, which can help to avoid potential legal issues in the future.
In Costa Rica, property surveys are typically conducted by a professional land surveyor, who will use specialized equipment and techniques to accurately determine the boundaries and dimensions of the property. The survey will typically include a map or plat of the property, which will show the location of the property, its boundaries, and any structures or features on the property.
It is important to note that property surveys in Costa Rica are not always required by law, but they are highly recommended, especially if the property is being purchased from a private seller or if there is any uncertainty about the property’s boundaries or legal status. In addition, lenders may require a property survey before approving a mortgage or loan for the property.
Overall, obtaining a property survey can provide peace of mind and help to protect your investment in the property. It is a good idea to discuss the need for a property survey with your real estate agent or lawyer before completing the purchase of a property in Costa Rica.
How to avoid some common property boundary issues
By having your private surveyor conduct an independent survey of the property you intent to purchase you can avoid some of the common property boundary issues that can arise in the real estate market in Costa Rica. Some of these include:
- Encroachments: An encroachment is when a structure or feature on one property extends over the boundary onto an adjacent property. This can be an issue if the encroachment was not authorized by the owner of the adjacent property.
- Boundary disputes: Disputes over the location of property boundaries can arise when there is a disagreement about the location of the boundary line between two properties. This can be due to unclear or incorrect descriptions in property deeds, or it can be the result of mistaken or erroneous surveys.
- Adverse possession: Adverse possession occurs when someone occupies a piece of property openly and continuously for a certain period of time (typically at least 10 years), and the true owner of the property does not object or challenge the possession. If the requirements for adverse possession are met, the occupier may be able to claim ownership of the property.
- Easements: An easement is a right to use someone else’s property for a specific purpose. This can include rights of way, access to utilities, or other types of access. Disputes over easements can arise when there is a disagreement about the existence or scope of an easement.
To help avoid these types of issues, it is important to thoroughly research a property before purchasing it, and to obtain a property survey if there is any uncertainty about the property’s boundaries or legal status. It is also a good idea to consult with a lawyer or surveyor who is familiar with the laws and practices in Costa Rica.