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Frances Traynor's picture

Moral of missing land is: get a survey done

Wed, 27 Sep 2017



This article refers to a recent Home Buyers Survey.

A farmer who bought what was advertise as eight acres of land that turned out to be missing two acres has been left thousands of pounds out of pocket.

In a cautionary tale that emphasises how important it is to have a survey carried out, the buyer – Andrew Watson of Cumberworth in Yorkshire – relied on the estate agents' information before buying the land. As he already owns 5.5 acres of land, he would have been eligible to apply for the Rural Payments Scheme from the government, potentially worth thousands of pounds, as he now had the qualifying 12 acres.

However, he has since discovered the additional land only measures 5.967 acres, leaving him short of land and out of pocket. Mr Watson is to complain to the Property Ombudsman over the £850,000 purchase via estate agents Yorkshire's Finest.

No formal measurement had been done

Mr Watson bought the farm in September 2015. At the time the prospectus said it was set "in approximately eight acres of land". Once the sale was complete, he used an online program called MagicMaps to map out his land so he could apply for farming subsidies. It was then he discovered the land was actually less than six acres in total, a figure confirmed by the app Promap that uses Ordnance Survey data.

Justin Dugdale, director of the estate agent involved, insists his company had made it clear to Mr Watson that the land had not been formally measured.

Accuracy is essential

Whether you're buying land or a property, it's essential to have it professionally surveyed before you put pen to paper on a sales contract. Surveyor Local works with a nationwide panel of chartered surveyors, all members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, to ensure the information you receive from the survey you commission is as accurate as possible.

To make sure you're not short-changed, call our expert team on 0800 038 6667 for advice on the survey that's right for you or click to get a no-obligation instant quote.

Click for more information, or to arrange a HomeBuyer Report or Building Survey.