Essential Tips to Find a Good Property Surveyor in Kenya

Property survey is one of the most important steps when buying or selling property. Here is how to find a good property surveyor in Kenya.

property surveyor

BuyRentKenya understands that when it comes to buying or selling property in Kenya, ensuring that you have accurate and reliable information is crucial. A property survey is one of the most important steps when buying or selling property. Hiring a professional to do this will go a long way in your property journey. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the key factors to consider when searching for a reliable property surveyor in Kenya. We will delve into the qualifications that surveyors should possess, the types of surveys available, and the cost considerations involved.

By understanding how to find a suitable property surveyor, you can confidently navigate the real estate market. You will be armed with the knowledge necessary to make informed choices. Whether you’re a buyer, seller, or investor, this guide will equip you with the tools to ensure a smooth and successful property transaction. Let’s dive in and discover the world of property surveying in Kenya.

Who is a Property Surveyor?

A property surveyor is a trained expert who can inspect a property and provide an independent report on its condition, giving you valuable insights before making important decisions.

In Kenya, property surveyors are governed by the Land Surveyor’s Board. Established under section 7 of the Survey Act cap 299 of the Laws of Kenya. This professional body serves as the statutory body responsible for setting and maintaining standards for registered surveyors. This includes:

  • Regulating and advancing the practice of land surveying in Kenya. With a focus on upholding professionalism and ethical conduct 
  • Ensuring surveyors adhere to high standards, comply with legal requirements, and continuously develop their expertise. 

What do Property Surveyors Do?

When it comes to property transactions, a property surveyor plays a vital role. He will ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the property’s condition. Their expertise and knowledge are essential in assessing the property’s physical state. They alsoidentify potential issues that may impact its value or pose risks. 

Here are the roles of a property surveyor: 

  • Property Inspection: Conduct thorough examinations of the property to assess its condition, identify potential issues, and evaluate its overall safety.
  • Independent Reporting: Provide an unbiased and impartial report on the property’s condition, allowing buyers, sellers, and investors to make informed decisions.
  • Identifying Problems: Identifying existing or potential problems such as structural defects, dampness, pest infestations, or compliance issues with building codes.
  • Impartial Assessment: Working independently to provide an objective evaluation, avoiding conflicts of interest and ensuring transparency.
  • Buyer’s Decision-Making: Assisting buyers in making informed decisions regarding the property’s suitability, renovation needs, and potential additional costs.
  • Seller’s Preparation: Enabling sellers to address any issues before listing the property, enhancing its appeal and potential value.
  • Investor Evaluation: Providing investors with insights to assess profitability and feasibility, aiding in investment decision-making.

By understanding the role of a property surveyor, you can appreciate their significance in the property market and make better-informed choices. Now, let’s explore the qualifications and expertise to consider when searching for a reliable property surveyor in Kenya.

What Qualifications Should a Property Surveyor Have?

When searching for a professional property surveyor in Kenya, it is important to consider their qualifications. This provides assurance of their expertise and competency. Here are key aspects to consider:

  1. Degree in Surveying or Related Field: A fundamental qualification for a property surveyor is a degree in surveying or a closely related field. This educational background equips surveyors with the necessary knowledge and skills to carry out accurate and reliable property surveys.
  2. Professional Membership in Recognized Surveying Associations: Membership in recognized surveying associations, such as the Institution of Surveyors of Kenya (ISK), is crucial. These associations uphold ethical standards, promote best practices, and require members to engage in continuous professional development. Being part of such associations demonstrates a surveyor’s commitment to professionalism and staying updated with industry advancements.
  3. Licensing and Registration: It is essential to ensure that the property surveyor is licensed and registered with the relevant regulatory authorities. In Kenya, this includes registration with the Land Surveyors Board (LRB). This guarantees that the surveyor meets the legal requirements and is authorized to practice land surveying. Here is a list of licensed surveyors in Kenya

By prioritizing surveyors with the appropriate qualifications, professional memberships, and registration, you can have confidence in their expertise. Their adherence to ethical standards, and dedication to ongoing professional development. This ensures that you are working with a qualified and reliable property surveyor who can provide accurate survey reports.

 What is the Cost of a Property Survey in Kenya?

The cost of property surveys can vary depending on several factors. However, the cost of how much your property survey should cost is provided by the Survey Act Chapter 299 in the Constitution of Kenya

Consider the following factors to understand the fees involved and budget accordingly. Here are key considerations:

  • Property Size: The size of the property is a significant determinant of surveyor fees. Larger properties generally require more time and resources to survey, which can result in higher costs compared to smaller properties.
  • The complexity of the Survey: The complexity of the survey plays a role in determining the fees. Factors such as the terrain, presence of structures or obstacles, and accessibility can impact the complexity of the survey. More intricate surveys may require specialized equipment or additional expertise, which can increase the overall cost.
  • Location of the Property: Geographic location also influences surveyor fees. Factors such as travel distance, logistical considerations, and local market rates can contribute to variations in pricing. Properties located in remote or challenging-to-reach areas may incur higher fees due to increased travel time and expenses.
  • Type of Survey Required: Different types of surveys have varying levels of complexity and scope, which can affect the cost. For example, a basic boundary survey may be less expensive compared to a comprehensive topographic survey or a land subdivision survey. The specific requirements of the survey will impact the overall cost.

Each property and survey is unique, and obtaining quotes based on your specific requirements ensures that you receive an accurate assessment of the costs involved. It is advisable to consult with multiple surveyors to compare prices, services offered, and their level of expertise before making a decision.

What Type of Property Survey do you Need?

In Kenya, there are different types of land surveys.  It is important to consider the specific survey type that aligns with your needs and consult with a qualified land surveyor to ensure accuracy and obtain necessary details for landowners. 

Here are some examples:

  1. Mortgage Survey: Provides comprehensive information about the property’s size and value, assisting lending institutions in assessing loan amounts and acting as a future reference for property value.
  2.  ALTA Survey: Follows American Land Title Association standards and provides detailed information on land developments, utilities, easements, flood zones, and zoning restrictions. It is useful for vacant land purchases and financing cases.
  3. Land Boundary Survey: Establishes and defines property boundaries, verifying land size before buying or selling a plot, and determining boundaries for building structures.
  4. Location Survey: Similar to a boundary survey, it incorporates improvements on the land and their size, ensuring proper land use based on the location.
  5.  Subdivision Survey: Divides large tracts of land into smaller plots, complying with approved submission plans, and facilitating development planning by local governments.
  6. Site-Planning Survey: Helps in applying for building permits by conceptualizing proposed structures and ensuring developments remain within land boundaries.
  7. Construction Survey: Establishes accurate location and positioning of structures during construction, ensuring they are within land boundaries and verifying progress.
  8. Topographic Survey: Locates natural and artificial features on the land, such as trees, buildings, and ditches, aiding in visualizing and planning development projects.
  9. Engineering Survey: Assists in project planning and design stages, ensuring adherence to initial plans during construction works.
  10. Hydrographic Survey: Focuses on water bodies, assisting in navigation planning, locating wrecks, and submitting reports to water authorities.

Reasons to Conduct a Property Survey in Kenya

Conducting a land survey in Kenya is essential for several reasons. Here are key reasons why you need to conduct a land survey:

  1. Establishing Property Boundaries: A land survey accurately defines the boundaries of your property, providing clear demarcations of where your land begins and ends. This helps prevent boundary disputes with neighboring properties and ensures that you know the exact extent of your land ownership.
  2. Title Deed Verification: A land survey helps verify the accuracy of the boundaries stated in your title deed. By comparing the physical boundaries on the ground with the boundaries described in the deed, you can ensure that your title accurately reflects the actual land you own.
  3. Property Purchase or Sale: If you are buying or selling land, a land survey is crucial. It provides objective information about the property’s size, shape, boundaries, and any encroachments or easements. This ensures transparency and reduces the risk of future legal disputes or financial loss.
  4. Construction and Development: Before undertaking any construction or development activities on your land, a land survey is necessary. It helps determine suitable building locations and setback requirements and ensures compliance with zoning regulations and building codes. A survey can also identify potential challenges or restrictions that need to be considered during the planning phase.
  5. Resolving Boundary Disputes: In cases where there are disputes with neighboring properties regarding boundaries or encroachments, a land survey provides objective evidence to resolve the dispute. It helps establish the true boundaries and facilitates fair negotiations or legal resolutions.
  6. Securing Financing and Insurance: Lending institutions often require a land survey before approving a mortgage or loan. A survey assures them of the property’s boundaries, value, and potential risks. Insurance companies may also request a survey to assess the property’s insurability and determine appropriate coverage.
  7. Future Planning and Development: A land survey provides valuable information for long-term planning and development. It helps identify potential opportunities and constraints, such as natural features, easements, or environmental considerations. This information assists in making informed decisions about future land use, subdivision, or infrastructure development.

In conclusion

Hiring a qualified property surveyor in Kenya is essential for ensuring accurate and reliable information about your property. Throughout this article, we have discussed the importance of considering qualifications, experience, reputation, and cost factors when selecting a surveyor. By prioritizing these factors, you can make an informed decision and choose a surveyor who meets your specific needs.

A professional property surveyor brings expertise and knowledge to assess the condition of a property, identify potential issues, and provide an independent report. This information is invaluable for buyers, sellers, and investors in making informed decisions and avoiding future complications. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you prioritize the hiring of a professional property surveyor for your upcoming property transactions. Take the time to research, conduct your due diligence and find reputable property surveyors in your area. By doing so, you can ensure peace of mind and protection, knowing that your property is thoroughly surveyed and you have accurate information in hand.

Remember, a property survey is an investment in the long-term value and security of your property. Don’t hesitate to take this important step and enlist the services of a qualified property surveyor in Kenya.

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