In Detail: Building Location Certificates

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A Building Location Certificate ("BLC" or "Cert" for short) is a document prepared and signed by a British Columbia Land Surveyor that clearly shows the positions of existing buildings on a parcel of land. By looking at a Building Location Certificate, anyone can see how far the buildings are from the property boundaries.

Building Location Certificates are similar to Real Property Reports in Alberta. Though they typically show only buildings, other improvements can be included as well.

When to order a Building Location Certificate

Building Location Certificates are primarily used:

  • When buying or selling a property, to assure the buyers that the buildings are within the parcel boundaries. Buyers may make an offer subject to inspection of a Building Location Certificate.
  • When constructing or renovating a building, to ensure the building conforms to local zoning setbacks. A post-construction Building Location Certificate is often a requirement of the building inspection process.

Sometimes, a Building Location Certificate can be used to plan new construction or apply for a building permit. However, since a Building Location Certificate doesn't include elevations, a site plan is usually better.

What to expect

Sample Building Location Certificate

A Building Location Certificate can be done on existing buildings or once the foundation of a new building has been poured. A field survey crew will need to visit the site (typically for 1-2 hours) to measure the legal survey evidence and the buildings. After the crew has finished, a Professional Land Surveyor will draft, check, and sign the document.

Building Location Certificates are usually digitally signed and delivered by email, but they can be signed and sealed in paper form if required. Unless requested, the final document will be delivered directly to the client.

The document should be easy to understand, complete, and correct. The Building Location Certificate will be signed by a practicing British Columbia Land Surveyor, correct as of the field survey date.

When to order something different

Visit our Projects page if you think you need a site survey, a boundary survey, or a registrable legal survey and plan.

A Building Location Certificate survey may not include location of all legal survey evidence, like property pins. No legal survey evidence will be replaced and no boundaries will be staked. If you need this work done, a Boundary Survey is a better option.

Building Location Certificates do not include topographic information. For design or application purposes, a site plan is usually better.

Building Location Certificates are not centrally registered like legal survey plans, and cannot be re-issued without visiting the site again. The client should carefully archive both a paper and digital copy of the document.

Contact us to order a Building Location Certificate now.