TSE Bought a Goat?!
July 25, 2016
How Are Drones Transforming Land Surveying
March 16, 2017

Effective Tuesday, February 23, 2016, the ALTA/NSPS group has adopted changes to the listing of items to be included in a standard survey (what used to be called an “ALTA/ACSM” survey). The ALTA/NSPS survey standards are the joint work product of the American Land Title Association (i.e., title insure companies) and the National Society of Professional Surveyors (surveyors). The items on Table A have been updated in some ways that should be useful to end users and will modify what will appear on a typical survey. A survey that meets the current standards will be referred to as an “ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey.”

The more significant revisions include:

  • Providing more clarity as to the surveyor’s responsibility with regard to research in Section 4.
  • Clarifying the precision with which features are to be located on the ground and depicted on the plat/map of survey.
  • Providing better guidance as to locating and depicting abutting streets and roads.
  • Making it mandatory that observed utility features be shown, rather than as an option in Table A.
  • If the surveyor prepares a new description, there must be a note explaining why it was prepared, and how the land described in the new description relates to the land described in the record description.
  • Removing the mandatory requirement that adjoiners names be shown on the plat/map of survey and adding it to optional Table A item 13.
  • Providing an explanation for any Table A items that were negotiated in a manner different from how they are written in the Standards.
  • Clarifying the numbering of any Table A items that were negotiated in addition to the specific 19 items listed.
  • Providing that a zoning letter or report must be provided to surveyors before they can address the zoning issues of Table A item 6.
  • Removing Table A item 18 on use of the property as a solid waste dump, sump or sanitary landfill.  The near universal use of Phase One Environmental Assessments on commercial property has rendered item 18 unnecessary as a survey requirement, although to soften the effect, a new requirement is being added to Table A item 8 requiring that the surveyor show ’substantial areas of refuse.’
  • Removing former Table A item 19 on wetlands because its intent continues to be very severely misconstrued and misunderstood by those requesting it.
  • Removing Table A item 20b regarding the monumentation of appurtenant easements because parties requesting this item do not understand the potential ramifications and because of surveyor liability issues.

It is hoped and anticipated that these changes will provide for a more readily understood plat/map of survey resulting in fewer questions and communication problems between surveyors, title companies, lenders and clients.

For information about changes to the ALTA/NSPS Standards,  or to receive a redlined copy of the revised standards call us at 856-677-8742 or

TSE has also prepared a “lunch and learn” seminar for individuals who might order an ALTA/NSPS Survey including title searchers, agents, real estate and land use attorneys.  For more information call Joe Mancini at 856-677-8742 or