ALTA Surveys: Appurtenant Easements
Some of the changes to the 2016 ALTA/NSPS Minimum Standard Detail Requirements served as clarification to the previous (2011) Standards. Some unfortunately, caused more questions. Although, that might just be attributed to things changing after we had been used to it being a certain way for years.
Table A Item 19 might be one of those changes. This item addresses offsite (appurtenant) easements that are disclosed by the current title work provided to the surveyor. It reads as follows:
- Include any plottable offsite (i.e., appurtenant) easements or servitudes disclosed in documents provided to or obtained by the surveyor as a part of the survey pursuant to Sections 5 and 6 (and applicable selected Table A items) (client to obtain necessary permissions).”
Offsite (appurtenant) easements were previously addressed in Table A Item 20 of the 2011 ALTA/ACSM Minimum Standard Detail Requirements. The item was previously divided into two sections 20(a) and 20(b). They read as follows:
- (a) Locate improvements within any offsite easements or servitudes benefiting the surveyed property that are disclosed in the Record Documents provided to the surveyor and that are observed in the process of conducting the survey (client to obtain necessary permissions).
- (b) Monuments placed (or a reference monument or witness to the corner) at all major corners of any offsite easements or servitudes benefiting the surveyed property and disclosed in Record Documents provided to the surveyor (client to obtain necessary permissions).
A little background is necessary for this explanation. Section 6.c.i. of the 2016 Standards requires the location of all easements be shown, both those that burden and those that benefit (appurtenant) the subject property. It reads as follows:
“The location, width, and recording information of all plottable rights of way, easements, and servitudes burdening and benefiting the property surveyed, as evidenced by documents provided to or obtained by the surveyor pursuant to Section 4”
It is my opinion that the 2011 Standards also required them to be shown, although the language wasn’t as clear. As you can see from above, 20(a) and 20(b) only addressed two additional aspects of appurtenant easements; Placing monuments and Locating Improvements.
New Table A Item 19 requires the inclusion of appurtenant easements into the entire scope of the survey. Including all of Section 5 and 6 as well as all Option Table A Items.
Here are a few things to consider:
- If Table A item 1 is selected along with Item 19, monuments must be placed at all major corners of the appurtenant easement as well.
- If Table A Item 8 is selected along with Item 19, all substantial features (in addition to the improvements and features required pursuant to Section 5) would also have to be shown on the appurtenant easement. (e.g., parking lots, billboards, signs, swimming pools, landscaped areas, substantial areas of refuse).
- If Table A Item 11 is selected along with Item 19, then all above ground evidence of utilities will have to be shown on the appurtenant easement.
What does all this mean to a client? Contact one of our representatives regarding which Table A Items will best serve the needs of the transaction.