ALTA/NSPS Surveys

alta nsps surveyors

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. For a survey of real property, and the plat, map or record of such survey, to be acceptable to a title insurance company for the purpose of insuring title to said real property free and clear of survey matters (except those matters disclosed by the survey and indicated on the plat or map), certain specific and pertinent information must be presented for the distinct and clear understanding between the insured, the client (if different from the insured), the title insurance company (insurer), the lender, and the surveyor professionally responsible for the survey. In order to meet such needs, clients, insurers, insureds, and lenders are entitled to rely on surveyors to conduct surveys and prepare associated plats or maps that are of a professional quality and appropriately uniform, complete, and accurate. To that end, and in the interests of the general public, the surveying profession, title insurers, and abstracters, the ALTA and the NSPS jointly promulgate the within details and criteria setting forth a minimum standard of performance for ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys. A complete 2016 ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey includes:

  • the on-site fieldwork required pursuant to Section 5,
  • the preparation of a plat or map pursuant to Section 6 showing the results of the fieldwork and its relationship to documents provided to or obtained by the surveyor pursuant to Section 4,
  • any information from Table A items requested by the client, and
  • the certification outlined in Section 7

The client shall request the survey, or arrange for the survey to be requested, and shall provide a written authorization to proceed from the person or entity responsible for paying for the survey. Unless specifically authorized in writing by the insurer, the insurer shall not be responsible for any costs associated with the preparation of the survey. The request shall specify that an "ALTA/NSPS LAND TITLE SURVEY" is required and which of the optional items listed in Table A, if any, are to be incorporated. Certain properties or interests in real properties may present issues outside those normally encountered on an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey (e.g., marinas, campgrounds, trailer parks; easements, leases, other non-fee simple interests). 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. The client may need to secure permission for the surveyor to enter upon the property to be surveyed, adjoining properties, or offsite easements.

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