An accurate and up-to-date record of property boundaries is essential for administering property taxes, enforcing environmental and zoning regulations, enabling owners to use their real estate property as collateral for loans, and resolving boundary disputes. There are several cadastral systems in use around the world. For example, the single national system in The Netherlands differs significantly from the typical system in the United States, where cadastres differ from state to state and, within states, from county to county.
Since 2006, all of The Netherlands has had a single cadastre, land registry, and mapping agency, called Kadaster. Previously, there were 15 separate offices. Ruben Roes is Kadaster’s Chief Registrar. He studied law and worked at a notary office before joining the land registry and becoming a registrar. “My role is to register the deeds that come in and to update their Kadaster registration. It is an object-based registration; we pull into it essentials from the deeds. Kadaster’s base register also includes a cadastral map. My duty is to update the registrations and the map and make decisions if there are complaints.” Parties who do not agree with his decisions or argue that boundaries were not registered correctly can appeal them to a court.
In The Netherlands, all the plots are parcels; therefore, Kadaster does not have to register new parcels. Sometimes, however, parcels are split, or must be changed. There are about ten million parcels and about one million transactions a year—such as conveyances, deeds of ownership transfer, and mortgages. The transactions affect about five percent of the parcels, because usually transfers and mortgages are done at the same time.