ALTA Surveys (Commercial)
The American Land Title Association (ALTA) is the national trade association and the voice of the abstract and title insurance industry. ALTA and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) have jointly developed a nationwide set of land surveying standards with the goal of promoting uniformity in survey information.
An ALTA survey is a boundary survey prepared to a stringent set of minimum standards developed and adopted by ALTA and ACSM. Sometimes referred to as "the Cadillac of surveys”, an ALTA survey is specifically designed to satisfy the needs of lenders, corporations and title companies when dealing with valuable commercial properties. An ALTA survey provides the title company with the information required to insure the title to the land and will show improvements to the high degree that commercial development may require. In addition to the minimum standards set forth, a table of optional elements is included in the ALTA/ACSM 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.
A current title commitment is required before an ALTA Survey can be completed. The surveyor will refer to the title commitment for the legal description of the property and the legal description of any encumbrances (exceptions such as easements and rights-of-ways). Areas of ownership, improvements, encroachments and encumbrances will be shown graphically and a note indicating the nature of the encroachment or encumbrance may also be added.
The certification language of the ALTA Survey will include the names of the affected parties, including as appropriate the buyer, title company, and lender. Our firm will work in close association with the title insurance company, as we are relying on each other’s work to show the details of the matters affecting the ownership of the land and the improvements thereon, in a comprehensive manner.