New Property Descriptions on ALTA Land Survey - Bock & Clark

May 15, 2017

Requirements for New Property Description on the ALTA Land Survey?

The 2016 Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA Surveys states in Section 6.B.ii that the surveyor now has additional responsibilities when presenting a NEW “As-Surveyed” property description on the front of the survey.

What Does this New Property Description Mean?

Based on their professional opinion, it’s the surveyor’s decision whether the observations made in the field and/or a review and reconciliation of record information warrants a new description. In some states, the statutes for the practice of land surveying may mandate a new description

The additional responsibility that was added in the new Minimum Standards now requires the following: “Except in the case of an original survey, if a new description is prepared, a note shall be provided stating:

A. that the new description describes the same real estate as the record description
or, if it does not,

B. how the new description differs from the record description.”

Usually this information is provided in a notation at the end of the new description, or in a general note on the survey that allows all parties to find comfort with how the new description relates to the current record description.

Who Does this Effect the Most?

It’s usually the title company that is most concerned with the issue of new descriptions, especially in cases where they are asked to issue a “SAME AS” survey endorsement. If the surveyor states that the property described in the new description is one and the same as the property in the record description, the title company will gain the needed assurance. It is understood that the differences between the two descriptions are differing opinions of the previous surveyor who prepared the record description as compared to the new surveyor. However, if the surveyor can’t state the descriptions are one and the same, it may uncover errors in the record description or gaps or overlaps with adjoining properties that could cause title problems.

Important Takeaways

Depending on the transaction and parties involved, decisions need to be made with regard to what description should be cited when moving forward. Looking from the title company’s perspective, they need assurance that the property is conveyed in the exact same way that the current owner took (the record description). It is important to realize, however, the new surveyor’s opinion in the new description because all parties are relying on what is reported and shown on the survey. Have more questions? Visit our survey page for more information.

At Bock & Clark, we are dedicated to preparing quality ALTA surveys for projects of all sizes, nationwide. For more information on how we can assist you with all your ALTA survey needs, request a quote today or contact us.