2011 ALTA ACSM STANDARDS PDF

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. 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 National Society of Professional Surveyors, Inc. Request for Survey - 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.

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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.

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 National Society of Professional Surveyors, Inc. Request for Survey - 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 scope of work related to such properties should be discussed with the client, lender and insurer, and agreed upon in writing prior to requesting 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.

Surveying Standards and Standards of Care A. In addition to the standards set forth herein, surveyors shall also conduct their surveys in accordance with all applicable jurisdictional requirements and standards of practice.

Where conflicts between the standards set forth herein and any such jurisdictional requirements and standards of practice occur, the more stringent shall apply.

Measurement Standards - The following measurement standards address Relative Positional Precision for the monuments or witnesses marking the corners of the surveyed property.

Relative Positional Precision is estimated by the results of a correctly weighted least squares adjustment of the survey. Any boundary lines and corners established or retraced may have uncertainties in location resulting from 1 the availability, condition, history and integrity of reference or controlling monuments, 2 ambiguities in the record descriptions or plats of the surveyed property or its adjoiners, 3 occupation or possession lines as they may differ from the written title lines, and 4 Relative Positional Precision.

Of these four sources of uncertainty, only Relative Positional Precision is controllable, although due to the inherent errors in any measurement, it cannot be eliminated. The magnitude of the first three uncertainties can be projected based on evidence; Relative Positional Precision is estimated using statistical means see Section 3.

Relative Positional Precision is a measure of how precisely the surveyor is able to monument and report those positions; it is not a substitute for the application of proper boundary law principles. A boundary corner or line may have a small Relative Positional Precision because the survey measurements were precise, yet still be in the wrong position i.

It is recognized that in certain circumstances, the size or configuration of the surveyed property, or the relief, vegetation or improvements on the surveyed property will result in survey measurements for which the maximum allowable Relative Positional Precision may be exceeded.

If the maximum allowable Relative Positional Precision is exceeded, the surveyor shall note the reason as explained in Section 6. Reference is made to Section 3. Field Work - The Survey shall be performed on the ground except as otherwise negotiated pursuant to Table A.

Item 15 below, if selected by the client , and the field work shall include the following: A. Monuments i. The location and description of any monuments or lines that control the boundaries of the surveyed property. The location, size and type of any monuments found or set, if Table A, Item 1 is requested by the client, or if otherwise required - see Section 3.

Rights of Way and Access i. The distance from the appropriate corner or corners of the surveyed property to the nearest right of way line, if the surveyed property does not abut a right of way. The name of any street, highway or other public or private way abutting the surveyed property, and the width and location of the travelled way relative to the nearest boundary line of the surveyed property.

Visible evidence of physical access such as, but not limited to, curb cuts and driveways to any abutting streets, highways or other public ways. The location and character of vehicular, pedestrian or other forms of access by other than the apparent occupants of the surveyed property to or across the surveyed property, including, but not limited to driveways, alleys, private roads, sidewalks and footpaths observed in the process of conducting the survey.

Without expressing a legal opinion as to ownership or nature, the location and extent of any potentially encroaching driveways, alleys, and other ways of access from adjoining properties onto the surveyed property observed in the process of conducting the survey.

Where documentation of the width or location of any abutting street, road or highway right of way was not disclosed in Record Documents provided to the surveyor or was not otherwise available from the controlling jurisdiction see Section 6. Evidence of access to and from waters adjoining the surveyed property, such as paths, boat slips, launches, piers and docks observed in the process of conducting the survey.

Lines of Possession, and Improvements along the Boundaries i. The character and location of evidence of possession or occupation along the perimeter of the surveyed property, both by the occupants of the surveyed property and by adjoiners, observed in the process of conducting the survey. The character and location of all walls, buildings, fences, and other improvements within five feet of each side of the boundary lines, observed in the process of conducting the survey.

Without expressing a legal opinion as to the ownership or nature of the potential encroachment, the evidence, location and extent of potentially encroaching structural appurtenances and projections observed in the process of conducting the survey, such as fire escapes, bay windows, windows and doors that open out, flue pipes, stoops, eaves, cornices, areaways, steps, trim, etc.

Buildings - Based on the normal standard of care, the location of all buildings on the surveyed property shown perpendicular to the nearest perimeter boundary line s and expressed to the appropriate degree of precision. Easements and Servitudes i. Evidence of any easements or servitudes burdening the surveyed property, disclosed in the Record Documents provided to the surveyor and observed in the process of conducting the survey.

Evidence of easements or servitudes not disclosed in the Record Documents provided to the surveyor, but observed in the process of conducting the survey, such as those created by roads; rights of way; watercourses; ditches; drains; telephone, fiberoptic lines, or electric lines; water, sewer, oil or gas pipelines on or across the surveyed property and on adjoining properties if they appear to affect the surveyed property.

Surface indications of underground easements or servitudes on or across the surveyed property observed in the process of conducting the survey. Evidence of use of the surveyed property by other than the apparent occupants observed in the process of conducting the survey.

Cemeteries - As accurately as the evidence permits, the location of cemeteries, gravesites, and burial grounds i disclosed in the Record Documents provided to the surveyor, or ii observed in the process of conducting the survey. Water Features i. The location of springs, together with the location of ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers bordering on or running through the surveyed property, observed during the process of conducting the survey.

See Table A, Item 19 for wetlands locations. The location of any water boundary on the surveyed property. The attribute s of the water feature located e. See Section 6. Where dimensioning is appropriate, dimensions shall be in accordance with the appropriate standard of care. The evidence and locations gathered during the field work as outlined in Section 5 above. Boundary, Descriptions, Dimensions and Closures i. The current record description of the surveyed property, and any new description of the surveyed property that was prepared in conjunction with the survey, including a statement explaining why the new description was prepared.

Preparation of a new description should be avoided unless deemed necessary or appropriate by the surveyor and insurer. Preparation of a new description should also generally be avoided when the record description is a lot or block in a platted, recorded subdivision. The location and description of any monuments, lines or other evidence that control the boundaries of the surveyed property or that were otherwise relied upon in establishing or retracing the boundaries of the surveyed property, and the relationship of that evidence to the surveyed boundary.

In some cases, this will require notes on the plat or map. All distances and directions identified in the record description of the surveyed property and in the new description, if one was prepared. Where a measured or calculated dimension differs from the record by an amount deemed significant by the surveyor, such dimension shall be shown in addition to, and differentiated from, the corresponding record dimension.

The directional, distance and curve data necessary to compute a mathematical closure of the surveyed boundary. A note if the record description does not mathematically close. The basis of bearings and, when it differs from the record basis, the difference. The remainder of any recorded lot or existing parcel, when the surveyed property is composed of only a portion of such lot or parcel, shall be graphically depicted.

Such remainder does not need to be included as part of the actual survey, except to the extent necessary to locate the lines and corners of the surveyed property, and it need not be fully dimensioned or drawn at the same scale as the surveyed property. When the surveyor is aware of natural or artificial realignments or changes in such boundaries, the extent of those changes and facts shall be shown or explained.

The relationship of the boundaries of the surveyed property i. If the surveyed property is composed of multiple parcels, the extent of any gaps or overlaps between those parcels shall be identified. When, in the opinion of the surveyor, the results of the survey differ significantly from the record, or if a fundamental decision related to the boundary resolution is not clearly reflected on the plat or map, the surveyor shall explain this information with notes on the face of the plat or map.

A note on the face of the plat or map explaining the site conditions that resulted in a Relative Positional Precision that exceeds the maximum allowed under Section 3. The width and recording information of all plottable rights of way, easements and servitudes burdening and benefitting the property surveyed, as evidenced by Record Documents which have been provided to the surveyor. A note regarding any right of way, easement or servitude evidenced by a Record Document which has been provided to the surveyor a the location of which cannot be determined from the record document, or b of which there was no observed evidence at the time of the survey, or c that is a blanket easement, or d that is not on, or does not touch, the surveyed property, or e that limits access to an otherwise abutting right of way, or f in cases where the surveyed property is composed of multiple parcels, which of such parcels the various rights of way, easements, and servitudes cross.

A note if no physical access to a public way was observed in the process of conducting the survey. The width of abutting rights of way and the source of such information a where available from the controlling jurisdiction or b where disclosed in Record Documents provided to the surveyor. The identifying titles of all recorded plats, filed maps, right of way maps, or similar documents which the survey represents, wholly or in part, with their recording or filing data.

For non-platted adjoining land, names and recording data identifying adjoining owners according to current public records. For platted adjoining land, the recording data of the subdivision plat. Platted setback or building restriction lines which appear on recorded subdivision plats or which were disclosed in Record Documents provided to the surveyor.

Presentation i. When recordation or filing of a plat or map is required by law, such plat or map shall be produced in recordable form. The boundary of the surveyed property drawn in a manner that distinguishes it from other lines on the plat or map. A north arrow with north to the top of the drawing when practicable , a legend of symbols and abbreviations, and a vicinity map showing the property in reference to nearby highway s or major street intersection s.

Supplementary or detail diagrams when necessary. If there are no visible buildings on the surveyed property, a note stating "No buildings existing on the surveyed property" shall appear on the face on the survey. The date s of any revisions made by said surveyor. Sheet numbers where the plat or map is composed of more than one sheet.

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. Digital copies of the plat or map may be provided in addition to, or in lieu of, hard copies in accordance with the terms of the contract.

When required by law or requested by the client, the plat or map shall be produced in recordable form and recorded or filed in the appropriate office or with the appropriate agency. National Society of Professional Surveyors, Inc. Suite Livonia, MI

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2011 Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys

There are two distinct macro areas of concern that are often confused when it comes to ALTA Survey standards. First, are the standards themselves that make up the requirements that must be adhered to for a survey to be considered an ALTA Survey. Next, are the Table A items, which are optional. The important distinction to remember is the difference between requirements and options or Table A Items. The fact that many ALTA Surveys are used as a Title Insurance Underwriting tool on subsequent transactions enhances the credence of making certain the standards are adhered to on the current transaction.

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