Blog : When Do You Need an ALTA Land Survey?

When Do You Need an ALTA Land Survey?

An ALTA Survey is a survey prepared by a licensed surveyor in accordance with detailed standards adopted by the American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the American Congress of Surveying and Mapping (ACSM). The ALTA Survey is a land title survey that assesses the boundaries, the location of the improvements on the property, including buildings and other structures, fences, utility lines and installations, trails, paths and roads, etc., as well as the titles and improvement locations of a property and the location of all access areas.

When acquiring commercial real estate, it is important to conduct due diligence to ensure there are no surprises that will affect the value or use of the property. One aspect of the due diligence process is considering obtaining an ALTA Land Survey. The following are two main reasons for obtaining an ALTA Survey:

  • To specifically locate both record and non-record matters that affect the property, which can be imperative for evaluating what terms to proceed with the land acquisition. This is important when the preliminary title report contains many or hard to locate easements, or when the ground appears to be complicated.
  • To satisfy the title insurer’s requirements for the issuance of ALTA title insurance coverage for Survey Risks.

When purchasing commercial real estate, title companies may require an ALTA Land Survey prior to issuing title insurance covering the Survey Risks such as (1) encroachments, boundary line disputes, or other matters that would be disclosed by an accurate survey of the commercial property; and (2) easements or claims of easements not shown in public records.

An ALTA Land Survey will identify:

  • Buildings, fences or other improvements from adjacent properties that encroach onto the property being acquired;
  • Buildings, fences or other improvements located on the commercial property being acquired that encroach onto adjacent properties;
  • Buildings, fences and other improvements located on the commercial property being acquired that encroach onto existing easements (utility, access, etc.) located on the commercial property being acquired;
  • Existing record easements that might have an adverse impact on the use of the property being acquired; and
  • Potential easements or claims of easements that may not be disclosed in the public records but indicated by facts on the ground that might adversely impact the commercial property being acquired.

It is recommended to request an ALTA Land Survey at least 30-days before the need for title insurance, as this survey will provide information necessary to the issuance of title insurance. In addition, the ALTA Land Survey must be completed prior to the closing of escrow. It is best to speak with a professional land surveyor as early on in the process as possible, in order to maximize time.

At Stoner & Associates, we are experts in the ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys specifications, including the optional Table “A” Requirements.  We can advise you on these confusing requirements and help you design a survey that will meet the lender’s requirements, without adding unnecessary and expensive requirements.

Most importantly, we have worked with legal professionals and know that you need accuracy and reliability.  We know that you need your survey to be completed on time for the closing date.  We work hard to be part of your team and to answer any and all questions pertaining to the survey drawing, certifications, and title commitments.

For more information regarding the ALTA / ACSM land title surveying services offered by Stoner & Associates, please call us at (954) 585-0997 or request a quote.



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Fort Lauderdale Surveyors
4341 Southwest 62nd Avenue
Davie, Florida  33314
Phone: (954) 585-0997
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