ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey Standards Update

Date: May 13, 2021

Surveying equipment set up on a pier in New Jersey looking across the water to New York City skyline

American Land Title Association (ALTA) & National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS)

On October 30th, NSPS adopted the new 2021 Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys. ALTA had previously adopted them on October 1st.

NEW ALTA/NSPS Standards became effective on February 23, 2021.

Members of the American Land Title Association® (ALTA) have specific needs, unique to title insurance matters, when asked to insure title to land without exception as to the many matters which might be discoverable from survey and inspection, and which are not evidenced by the public records.

For a survey of real property, and the plat, map or record of such survey to be acceptable to a title insurance company for the purpose of insuring title to said real property free and clear of survey matters (except those matters disclosed by the survey and indicated on the plat or map), certain specific and pertinent information must be presented for the distinct and clear understanding between the insured, the Client (if different from the insured), the title insurance company (insurer), the lender, and the Surveyor professionally responsible.

In order to meet such needs, Clients, insurers, insureds and lenders are entitled to rely on Surveyors to conduct surveys and prepare associated plats or maps that are of a professional quality and appropriately uniform, complete and accurate. To that end and in the interests of the general public, the surveying profession, title insurers and abstracters, the ALTA and the NSPS jointly promulgate the below details and criteria, setting forth a minimum standard of performance for ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys.

A complete 2021 ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey includes:

  • Enhanced measurement standards for Relative Positional Precision.
  • Optional Survey responsibilities and specifications from updated Table A items as requested by the Client.
  • Records research and analysis of most recent title commitment.
  • The on-site fieldwork required pursuant to Section 5.
  • The preparation of a plat or map pursuant to Section 6 showing the results of the fieldwork and its relationship to documents provided to or obtained by the Surveyor pursuant to Section 4.
  • The certification outlined in Section 7

What does this mean for SCE’s Clients?

An ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey is a comprehensive survey deliverable designed to assist all parties involved in a commercial real estate transaction. Whether being used by the title insurer to delete or determine exceptions, or by the buyer and seller to assess potential risk, it properly documents site conditions that allows for a detailed view of a particular property.

Align your project goals with those most competent and committed to ensuring overall project success!

This Notice is to assist our Client’s in understanding the current changes to the minimum standards and how it may affect your upcoming projects. Our Professional Surveyors are available to guide our Client’s through these new standards and properly engage in professional services to avoid unnecessary delays in commercial real estate transactions.

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