2016 ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey Standards: What Attorneys Need to Know

Leveraging the Feasibility Assessment Tool for Land Development Deals

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Recorded event now available

This CLE webinar will explain the process and considerations in revising the ALTA/ACSM Standards and identify the significant modifications to the mandatory sections of ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey Standards which became effective in 2016, as well as the modifications to the optional Table A items.


Land surveys are primary due diligence tools in real estate transactions or development deals. They depict location, boundary and topography, with a description of improvements, encumbrances and other observations.

The Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys were revised effective February 2016. The updated version is now identified as the ALTA/NSPS Standards.

Practitioners using these land surveys must understand the revised Standards to ensure surveys are accurately prepared and all parties’ expectations are met.

Listen as our authoritative panel of real estate practitioners previews the revised ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey Standards. The panel will look at how they changed from the 2011 Standards, with an emphasis on viewing land title surveys from the perspective of attorneys and what they need to know about title surveys.


  1. ALTA/NSPS land survey overview
    1. Purpose of survey
    2. Components of survey
  2. An overview of the revision process—ALTA’s perspective
  3. Section 4—New considerations related to records research
  4. Section 5.B.—Changes to subsections relating to rights of way and access
  5. Section 5.E.iv.—Treatment of utilities vis-à-vis evidence of easements
  6. Section 6.B.—When the surveyor prepares a new description
  7. Section 6.C.—Addressing easements on the plat of survey
  8. Changes in Table A
    1. Item 6—Addressing zoning on the survey
    2. Item 11—Utility investigations
    3. Former Item 18—Evidence of use of the property as a solid waste dump, sump or sanitary landfill
    4. Item 18—Addressing wetlands
    5. Item 19—Insured (Schedule A) easements


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What does a land survey accomplish, and when should it be conducted?
  • What documentation is to be provided to the surveyor pursuant to the new Standards and what is the surveyor’s responsibility if those documents are not forthcoming?
  • How do the new Standards address rights-of-way and easements?


Gary R. Kent, P.S., Integrated Services Director
The Schneider Corporation, Indianapolis

Mr. Kent is a past-president of both ACSM and the Indiana Society of Professional Land Surveyors. He has a BS degree in Land Surveying from Purdue University and is registered to practice surveying in Indiana and Michigan. He is chair of both the NSPS/ACSM committee and the ALTA committee on the ALTA/ACSM Standards. The Schneider Corporation is a 42-year-old consulting firm providing solutions in surveying, GIS, 3D graphics, architecture, and civil, municipal and transportation engineering.

Mary A. Slade, Underwriting Counsel
First American Title, Indianapolis

Ms. Slade is Education Chair of the Indiana Land Title Association and is currently Vice Chair of the Indiana State Bar Association’s Probate Trust & Real Property Section and serves as an editor of the Indiana Land Title Association Handbook. Her real estate career has also included private practice as a real estate transaction and litigation attorney and as regional underwriting and claims counsel and state underwriting counsel for two other national title underwriters for 16 states and the District of Columbia.


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