All You Need to Know about ALTA Survey – Part II

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A Look Back

In our last article we discussed about the basics of American Land Title Association (ALTA) survey, its scope, why ALTA Survey is required and steps in the execution. However, between all this, there are defined guidelines and standards which must be followed while executing these survey requirements.

What are the Minimum Standard Details Required for an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey 2016?

  1. Purpose - Members of the American Land Title Association® (ALTA®) have specific needs, unique to title insurance matters, when asked to insure title to land without exception as to the many matters which might be discoverable from survey and inspection, and which are not evidenced by the public records.
  2. Request for Survey - The client shall request the survey, and shall provide a written authorization to proceed from the person or entity responsible for paying for the survey. The scope of work related to surveys of such properties or interests in real properties should be discussed with the client, lender, and insurer; and agreed upon in writing prior to commencing work on the survey.
  3. Surveying Standards and Standards of Care –
    1. Effective Date - Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys are effective February 23, 2016. As of that date, all previous versions of the Minimum Standard Detail Requirements are superseded by these new standards.
    2. The Normal Standard of Care - There may be unwritten local, state, and/or regional standards of care defined by the practice of the “prudent surveyor” in locales.
    3. Boundary Resolution - The boundary lines and corners of property being surveyed as part of an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey shall be established and retraced in accordance with appropriate boundary law.
    4. Measurement Standards – The ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey has predefined standards for measurement called Relative Position Precision. It’s a measure of how precisely the surveyor can monument and report the positions. The maximum allowable Relative Positional Precision for an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey is 2 cm (0.07 feet) plus 50 parts per million (based on the direct distance between the two corners being tested).
  4. Records Research - It is recognized that for the performance of an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey, the surveyor will be provided with appropriate and, when possible, legible data which can be relied upon in the preparation of the survey.
    Land Surveyer
  5. Fieldwork - The fieldwork shall include – Monuments (location, size, character, and type), Rights of Way and Access, Lines of Possession and Improvements along the Boundaries, location of buildings on the surveyed property, Easements and Servitude, Cemeteries, water features etc.
  6. Plat or Map - A plat or map shall show -
    1. Boundary, Descriptions, Dimensions, and Closures
    2. Easements, Servitude, Rights of Way, Access, and Documents
    3. Presentation & The evidence and locations gathered, and the monuments and lines located during the fieldwork
  7. Certification - The plat or map of an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey shall bear only the following certification, unaltered –“To (name of insured, if known), (name of lender, if known), (name of insurer, if known), (names of others as negotiated with the client):This is to certify that this map or plat and the survey on which it is based were made in accordance with the 2016 Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys, jointly established and adopted by ALTA and NSPS, and includes Items ___________ of Table A thereof. The fieldwork was completed on ___________ [date].Date of Plat or Map: ___________ (Surveyor’s signature, printed name and seal with Registration/License Number)”
  8. Deliverables - The surveyor shall furnish copies of the plat or map of survey to the insurer and client and as otherwise negotiated with the client. Hard copies shall be on durable and dimensionally stable material of a quality standard acceptable to the insurer. A digital image of the plat or map may be provided in addition to, or in lieu of, hard copies pursuant to the terms of the contract.
  9. Table A – It’s a list of optional survey responsibilities and specifications to be included in the ALTA/NSPS land title survey.

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