If a boundary survey done after purchase results in more acres than stated in the deed, is there an ownership issue?

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If a boundary survey done after purchase results in more acres than stated in the deed, is there an ownership issue?

I purchased 40 rural acres. The deed stated 40 acres and the metes and bounds checked out. After the purchase I had a boundary survey performed which showed that I had purchased 47 acres. If I modify the deed and the original owner discovers the error, is there any recourse for them? Do I still own the entire property?

Asked on April 23, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

Darren Delafield

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I disagree. You need to see an attorney ASAP. Although the legal description is giving more weight that the description of acres, you are describing a mutual mistake of a material fact. Seven acres is a significant mistake. A mutual mistake occurs when both parties have an erroneous belief about the same material fact, and it can make the contract voidable.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not your deed states that you purchased 40 acres is not material to what you actually purchased if the legal description of the land that you purchased shows that you actually received 47 acres.

Under the law of this country, the legal description of what land one purchases controls over what the deed states in terms of approximate acreage. It matters not what the original owner discovers as to the actual acreage that you purchased. You own the 47 acres even though every one thought you were buying 40 acres.


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