The 2011 major revision to ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey Standards was recently updated. The adjustments impact survey requirements and modify Table A items, and affect all ALTA surveys as of Feb. 23, 2016. The push by the American Land Title Association and the National Society of Professional Surveyors to alter the standards was to help generate a more complete and accurate survey document and eliminate some ambiguities that existed in the former standards.
What’s Changed … and Why It Matters?
The new standards language addresses the following items:
- Clarifying the parties responsible for performing Records Research.
- Offering better guidance regarding locating and depicting abutting streets, roads or private ways as they relate to “Access,” whether pedestrian or vehicular.
- Making the depiction of observed utility features mandatory, typically indicating the presence of a potential utility easement impact.
- Expanding the definition of water features to be depicted to include marshes and low-lying wet areas (without requiring a determination of wetlands).
- Elevating some previously optional standards to be classified as minimum standards.
- Altering or deleting some prior Table A items.
- Formally changing the survey title to now “ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey.”
By clarifying the surveyor’s and client’s roles regarding record research and what should be depicted on an ALTA survey, some grey areas have been eliminated. The primary benefit for many developers and land owners is that utility locations should be improved and help all parties better evaluate existing conditions. In addition, the refinements should result in fewer interpretations being required by attorneys to discern the dynamics of a particular property.
For more information about the changes or greater detail regarding the new minimum standards and Table A items, contact V3’s Director of Survey Chris Bartosz at (630) 729-6124 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information on ALTA survey basics, please click here.