Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys Updates

3 min read

On February 23, 2021, the latest revisions to the Minimum Standard Detail Requirements For ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys went into effect, with some modest modifications to the language and requirements. Originally published in 1962, the 2021 Standards are the ninth revision to the ALTA Survey Standards; however, little has changed with respect to the need for ALTA Survey being driven by the lender’s desire to limit the risk associated with their investment in real property.

To limit risk, the lender looks to minimize the number of title exceptions that are made as part of the title insurance policy for the property. For the title agent to maximize these accommodations and remove or limit exceptions in the policy, they need to know what, if, and how those exceptions may impact the property. That is where the surveyor comes in. The surveyor, as the expert in analyzing and mapping real property, will report and identity potential encumbrances that might not be identified without their expertise.

As your surveyor, PEA Group prepares the ALTA Survey the same as your lenders – as a report to help you understand and limit your risk and protect your purchase. Our team looks to identify the potential real property risks, e.g., utilities that do not have an easement, blanket type easements, non-conforming or unauthorized uses, etc., and work with you to understand and resolve them.

As a standardized formal survey, an ALTA Survey will be required for most any real estate transaction and is recommended even if you are purchasing without a lender. While the depth of analysis and level of work required to complete an accurate ALTA Survey is imperative for closing on a real property acquisition, it generally is not necessary when evaluating a property under a Purchase Agreement and completing due diligence. At its core, an ALTA Survey is a boundary survey, and a boundary survey cannot be completed without boots on the ground, monumention found, and field measurements taken, however, the review and plotting of title items can. Discuss with your PEA Group Survey Project Manager alternatives that will help you evaluate the property and understand the potential risks prior to committing to a full survey.

As with any request for an ALTA Survey, discuss with your PEA Group Survey Project Manager the expectations and requirements for your project, as well as negotiating the Table A requirements being requested by your lender.

If you are interested in the specific changes within the 2021 Standards, details can be reviewed here:

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