Land boundary surveys

Land boundary markers

If you are thinking about buying land and building your own home, or selling your current property, it is essential to make sure the boundaries have been confirmed. Boundary disputes can be the leading cause of troubles with land transactions, and buying land with unclear boundaries can lead to issues later on.

An official boundary survey (gyokai-kakutei-sokuryo) should be carried out when you and the neighbours are unclear about your boundaries, and when you want to sell or subdivide the land you own. It requires a qualified surveyor to confirm boundaries of the land with you and each neighbour. Adjoining land owners will each sign documents to confirm the boundary markers are correct. The survey is then submitted to the local city office. A proper boundary survey can take 1 ~ 2 months, and as long as 4 months or more in some cases.

As a buyer, you should ask about the situation of the boundary markers before taking delivery of the land. There are some cases where boundary markers are missing, especially in old neighborhoods.

Is it necessary to do a boundary check if I want to build a new house on my land?

No, although you will need to conduct a measurement survey of the current land size (genkyo-sokuryo)  in order to obtain construction approval.