Pro17 Engineering has been providing ALTA Surveys on all types of commercial properties for over 27 years. This type of survey is somewhat different from most surveys because of the different standards that have to be met.
An ALTA Land Title Survey is done according to the ALTA/NSPS Standards that were jointly developed by the American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS).
The ALTA/NSPS Standards give a set of national standard guidelines for surveying property and the improvements located on the property.
This gives national companies and national lenders some consistency over the types of surveys that they have to review. Since some states do not have surveying standards and those that do vary widely in their requirements, there was a need for this national set of standards.
An ALTA Survey is usually done at the request of an out of state lender or property owner. For example, McDonald’s might be looking at a piece of property on which to build a new store.
They will generally require an ALTA survey since their real estate department is used to these types of surveys and it gives them all the information they need to make informed decisions about going forward with the project.
In the same way, a national lender, looking at making a substantial loan on a commercial property (apartments, restaurant, mall, etc.) would want to use the ALTA survey in order to receive a thorough survey of this property.
What requirements do the ALTA Survey Standards have?
- Research of deeds, easements, etc must be done prior to the survey.
- The survey drawing must show the name and contact info for the surveyor performing the work.
- The survey drawing should be a minimum size and scale to accurately depict the items found on the ground.
- Geometric and mathematical dimensions of the property must be given so that the required survey accuracy can be met.
- The difference between survey dimensions and deed dimensions must be shown if they are different.
- All documents or maps that were used to complete the survey must be referenced on the drawing.
- All monuments that represent the property corners must be identified on the drawing.
- Any observed evidence of possession over or on the property will be given.
- All easements according to documents given to the surveyor will be shown on the drawing.
- Improvements (buildings, walls, fences, cemeteries, etc) will be shown on the survey drawing to extend to five-feet outside the boundary.
- Show other items as requested by the client according to Table A in the ALTA Standards.
- Contract between the client and surveyor authorizing the surveyor to proceed and providing payment to the surveyor.
ALTA Survey Table A
Table A mentioned above is a very important part of the ALTA survey request. This table provides additional items, beyond the normal boundary information, that a client (owner or lender) might be interested in.
This table should be thoroughly reviewed and the items checked that are needed and discussed with the surveyor before the survey work is started.
Not only do they help the land surveyor to know what he/she should do for the client, but also it helps the owner or lender know what they will be getting from the surveyor in the field.
In the absence of sufficient state standards for surveying, the ALTA survey standards may be used to provide this comfort level.