The Land Surveyor is not an Advocate in Boundary Surveying
Attorneys, title companies, lenders, real estate agents, owners are advocates. Land surveyors are fact finders. The land surveyor is NOT an advocate for the client but instead is required by license and/or registration to discover and present all of the facts found in the survey along with an opinion of the boundary location without regard to the impact on the client. Much confusion about this issue can be seen from situations that include, but are not limited to the following:
• The land surveyor being told not to show certain facts that affect the boundary such as, buildings, driveways, easements, unrecorded uses that might be or become easements;
• The land surveyor being coerced by unscrupulous attorneys, title companies, lenders, real estate agents, owners or others into stating that the boundary location is at another location other than where the evidence suggests;
• The land surveyor being coerced by unscrupulous attorneys, title companies, lenders, owners or others into reissuing an old (often ancient) boundary survey that has not been updated with recent field work;
• The land surveyor executing affidavits and/or testifying in hearings to boundary locations that favor the client but which are not coincident with the facts and evidence; and
• The land surveyor being required to wait for payment for boundary surveys until after the closing of the real estate transaction (if the deal doesn’t close, the land surveyor doesn’t get paid).
The land surveyor is NOT an advocate when preparing a boundary survey. Our job is NOT to be a mouthpiece for what a client or other real estate professional wants us to say. This confusion is increased during these tough economic times when many unethical land surveyors will virtually do anything in order to get work.
State Boards of Licensing or Registration for land surveyors must be aware of this important distinction and act to discipline their licensees/registrants for misleading the public by performing such acts of advocacy.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
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