What is a Professional Land Surveyor?

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What is a Professional Land Surveyor?

Licensed surveyors must have a current license and registration, have a National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying certificate of qualifications, meet experience and education criteria, and successfully pass state land surveying principles and practice examinations.

To become a licensed land surveyor, an applicant must complete the state surveying fundamentals examination, obtain certification as a surveyor-in-training and meet board experience requirements. These requirements include graduation from a four-year civil engineering program, at least six years of surveying experience or an associate degree in an approved program in surveying technology.

Land surveyors are required to have 24 hours of continuing education biannually.

What is a Land Survey?

A land survey is performed for the purpose of locating, describing, monumenting and mapping the boundaries and corners of a parcel of land.  It may also include mapping of the topography of the parcel, and the location of buildings or other improvements upon the parcel.

What is a boundary?

A boundary is any natural or artificial separation marking the border of two adjacent properties.  A natural boundary is one existing in nature, such as a river; while an artificial boundary is one created by written conveyance such as the Public Land Survey System, Subdivisions or Deeds.

How are boundaries created?

Most boundaries are created by written documents (such as warranty or quitclaim deeds) that contain specific descriptions. Property rights may also be established by unwritten means such as long time physical occupation of land. A Professional Land Surveyor will research these factors and how they affect the boundaries of your property.

When should I have my land surveyed?

You should have your land surveyed:

  • Before you purchase it, this will disclose the relationship between the lines of possession and the deeded property lines.
  • A lending institution may require either a Land Survey Plat of your property when you borrow money on it.
  • Whenever you believe there may be a conflict of use on your property.
  • Prior to dividing any parcel of land for sale.
  • The county or borough that your property is located in may require a Land Survey prior to the construction of any structure or improvement on the property.
  • When you intend to sell any tract of land.
  • When your lawyer, architect, real estate agent or municipal planning or engineering office advises or requires it.

What kind of Survey do I need?

Explain why you want the survey. The surveyor can then advise you as to what standards and type of survey is required. You should furnish the Professional Land Surveyor with a description of the property along with all other information or documents that you may have regarding the parcel. These would include deed, title reports, previous survey reports and maps, and the location of any corner monuments. The Professional Land Surveyor may request a retainer and written authorization to proceed prior to conducting the survey.

Duties of the Professional Land Surveyor

A Professional Land Surveyor renders a highly technical service to the Client.  As a licensed professional, the services provided by the surveyor must comply with applicable laws, regulations, standards and codes that have been established by state, county and local governments and professional societies. The Professional Land Surveyor must con form to these guidelines and will abide by these high standards of conduct and practice.

What can a Professional Land Surveyor do for me?

The Professional Land Surveyor can:

  • Review your deed along with other evidence and render a professional opinion as to the locations and conflicts of the boundaries of your land.
  • Set monuments at your property corner and mark them so they can be easily found and identified.
  • Keep an accurate record of all services performed and measurements obtained.
  • Identify and advise you of any apparent defect in your land description or evidence of conflict of ownership and/or use.
  • Prepare a plat or map of your property indicating boundary measurements, the monuments found and placed, and the calculated area.
  • Provide the client with copies of these maps bearing the Professional Land Surveyor’s signature and seal. Copies of these maps can also be filed in the County Records where the land is located. This will ensure that the plat or map is available for public inspection.

In addition, a Professional Land Surveyor is qualified to:

  • Create a property description for all new parcels or any existing parcels that may have a defect.
  • Appear in court as an expert witness concerning real property ownership, location or use.
  • Assist you in the planning and layout of the Lots, Blocks, streets, easements, etc. in a new subdivision.

Protect your investment

In order to protect your investment, it is best to retain a Professional Land Surveyor prior to the planning of your development and investment of funds. The Professional Land Surveyor can locate the boundaries of a property upon which improvements are planned and constructed, and can layout proposed improvements on your property. These professional services assure that your improvements are positioned correctly, possibly preventing costly complications.


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