If you have a question about surveying or are concerned with the manner in which a surveyor offers services to the public, contact the Association office, and the staff members will help you. Often, problems arise from poor communication or a lack of understanding between the surveyor and the client. Please contact:
The Registrar Association of Ontario Land Surveyors 1043 McNicoll Avenue Toronto, Ontario M1W 3W6
Telephone: 416-491-9020 or 1-800-268-0718, Extension 29 Fax: 416-491-2576 To email a concern. Click here
The Registrar can answer your questions about what to expect from an OLS, even if you do not wish to register a formal complaint.
RIGHT OF ENTRY
The following is an excerpt from AOLS Members Bulletin 2005-01 and represents Association Policy concerning the right to enter private property.
Section 6(1) of the Surveys Act does allow a licensed surveyor, or a person in the surveyor's employ, while in the performance of a cadastral survey, to enter and pass over the land of any person at any time, or to enter into a building, at a time suitable to the occupant. However, the surveyor is responsible for any damage resulting from his or her actions.
Section 1 of the Surveys Act defines surveyor as: "surveyor" means an Ontario land surveyor licensed under the Surveyors Act.
The AOLS recommends to its members that they attempt to contact the owner or occupant before entering a property. This is not always possible or practical, and the surveyor may have to complete the work without advising the owner. Surveyors or their employees are expected to identify themselves or provide contact information for the surveyor if requested to do so.
Right of entry does not allow right of anonymity. Persons must identify themselves accurately when asked. The project manager or party chief should be equipped with business cards and door hangers. If your vehicle is not identified with permanent corporate logo and coordinates, ensure that identification information is placed in the vehicle where visible. Right of entry does not necessarily allow right of entry for vehicles and parking of vehicles on property.
Representatives of Ontario Land Surveyors should consider themselves as proxies of the Ontario Land Surveyor and behave in a professional manner in speech, actions and personal appearance. The well-kept appearance of the vehicle in which the field crews arrive is also important to creating impressions of professionalism in the field. Answers to questions should be polite and respectful.
Right of entry does not preclude right of the person to privacy and safety of their property. When exiting a site, it should be left the way it was found in appearance. Temporary markers left on site should be explained to owners and permission asked to leave them until crews return to complete the work.
LODGING A COMPLAINT
If it is necessary to file a complaint against an OLS, a formal complaint must:
be made in writing and addressed to the Registrar,
explain the nature of the problem,
detail the events in chronological order, and
include copies of any documents or other information pertinent to the complaint.
To help us to better understand the nature of your complaint, please download and print our Complaints Help Form which is available in the Forms section of our website, complete it and include it with your submission.
If the evidence does not support a formal complaint, the Registrar may suggest other means of addressing your concerns. You have the right, however, to insist that a complaint be submitted directly to the Complaints Committee.
The Complaints Committee is composed of AOLS members and a lay member of Council. It does not include any members of the AOLS staff. There is no cost involved in filing a formal complaint. All complaints are kept confidential by the AOLS staff and committee members, however a copy of your complaint will be sent to the OLS for response.
The Complaints Process
(Note: A downloadable version of the Complaints Procedures Brochure is available in the Document Library.)
The Registrar reviews the letter of complaint and the details to ensure that it is clear and complete.
The OLS complained against is notified and is allowed at least two weeks to respond. A copy of the letter of complaint is sent to the OLS.
The OLS responds in writing, to the Registrar, submitting all pertinent information.
The Registrar may then request the person filing the complaint to respond to the OLS's explanations.
At its meeting, the Committee reviews the submissions. The Committee is not required to allow either the complainant or the OLS complained against to speak to the Committee or to attend the meeting.
The Committee may:
direct the Registrar to obtain more information,
request an interview with either or both parties,
direct the way in which the complaint is to be resolved,
dismiss the complaint, or
refer the matter or any part of it to the Discipline Committee.
The decision and reasons of the Committee are sent by first class mail to both the complainant and the OLS complained against.
If the Complaints Committee finds it necessary to refer a part or all of any matter, which is the subject of a complaint, to the Discipline Committee, you, as a complainant, may be asked to testify.
Complaints Review Councillor
If the person who filed the complaint is not satisfied with the manner in which the Complaints Committee handled their complaint, he or she may apply to the Complaints Review Councillor (CRC) for a review of the treatment of the complaint. The CRC is a lay member of the AOLS Council. The CRC cannot overturn a decision of the Complaints Committee. He or she may only review the procedures used to process and decide the complaint.
The CRC prepares a report, which is provided to the Council, to the complainant and to the person complained against.
A COMPLAINT ABOUT FEES
The Fees Mediation Committee is available to either mediate or arbitrate a complaint about the fees charged by a member of the Association to his or her client.
As a mediator, the Committee will attempt, with the co-operation of both parties, to resolve any dispute with respect to fees. A mediated resolution is not binding.
As an arbitrator, with the written consent of all parties, the Fees Mediation Committee will arbitrate a dispute with respect to fees. The decision of the Committee in this case is final and binding. An arbitration decision may be filed with the Ontario Court (General Division) and enforced in the same way as a judgment of the Court.
UNLICENSED PEOPLE OFFERING SURVEYING SERVICES
One of the responsibilities of the AOLS is to protect the public from unlicensed practitioners offering to provide cadastral surveying services. If you are suspicious of a person who holds him or herself out to be a surveyor, offering to establish legal boundaries (including the marking of your property for fencing purposes) or prepare survey plans, ask for identification. If the person cannot prove that they are a member of the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors, or are working for a member, please note the name of the person and contact the Registrar at the Association Office.
Unlicensed practitioners do not carry liability insurance and may leave you subject to serious financial liabilities.
By law, only licensed members of the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors can carry out cadastral surveys in the Province of Ontario.