The American Land Title Association and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (now called the National Society of Professional Surveyors) have jointly prepared and adopted a set of minimum standards regarding the preparation of boundary surveys and as-built’s. This survey is often referred to as an ALTA survey and it provides a visual representation of property improvements, easements, rights-of-way, and any other elements impacting the ownership of land. The purpose is to allow the title company to review the information required to insure the title to the land and improvements to the high degree that a commercial development may require. In addition to the minimum standards set forth, a table of optional elements is included in the ALTA/NSPS standards. A careful review of the elements from the optional “Table A” is helpful in delineating a clear scope of the land surveyor’s services.

The ALTA Survey should be certified to the affected parties, including as appropriate the buyer, seller, title company, and lender. The surveyor must work in close association with the title insurance company, as the surveyor and the title company are relying on each other’s work to show the matters affecting the ownership of the land and improvements in a comprehensive manner.