NPM Geomatics

Know Your Property Boundary

beacon certificateS and beacon relocation

Defining the a property boundary can only legally be done by a Professional Land Surveyor. Knowing your property boundary is the first step in ensuring that you do not have any unexpected surprises after buying your new property.

Beacon Certificate or Beacon of Identity

When buying a property, it is wise to request a Beacon Certification or Certificate of Identity. This document will identify the correct boundaries of your property. There have been many cases in which the walls or fence around a property have been erected in the wrong place. This means that a buyer may think that they are buying a much larger (or smaller) property than is reflected on the title deed. In some cases, NPM Geomatics have even found that the walls of a house have been built over a property boundary. This creates significant problems that are best resolved before you buy a property.


It is important that before you begin any development, the property boundaries are clearly marked out. If you are a property owner, make sure that you get a Certificate of Identity and give this to your architect or contractor before you build. Even a simple build, such as a swimming pool or braai area, needs to be within your correct property boundaries and building lines. And, when you want to put up a new wall be sure to confirm that the position of the exiting wall or fence is in the right position.

Beacon Relocation

You can locate your own property beacons if you know where to look and what you are looking for. A beacon, which could be a steel peg, large stone, a buried whale bone, rifle barrel or even a yellow-wood tree, will have been placed by the Land Surveyor who first surveyed your property. These are usually placed at each point where the property boundary changes direction.

Of course, these beacons often go missing over time (or get cut down in the event of the tree!). They might sink deep into the ground, or be disturbed during development. If you cannot find your property beacons, it is time to call a Land Surveyor from NPM Geomatics. They will visit your property and establish where your property beacons should be. They will then replace these if they are missing, or mark the spot in which they have been found.