What do we do?
Boundaries are created and altered by the land owners. Our responsibility is to evaluate the available evidence to determine where the boundary was created and what the land owners have done since that time to perpetuate and/or alter the boundary.
There are a number of factors that determine the location of a boundary. Records are researched to determine how the boundary was created and how it may have been altered afterwords. Field research is done to determine existing monuments and usage that may influence the boundary location. Sometimes it is necessary to talk with neighbors to better understand the history of the boundary and to learn of monuments or usage that has changed or disappeared. The evidence is then evaluated to determine where, in our expert opinion, the boundary is. It is not uncommon for there to be conflicting evidence regarding a boundary. Sometimes, we can resolve these conflicts by using established rules. Other times, it may involve working with you and your neighbor(s) to resolve the conflict. While we can help you understand the evidence and rules we used to determine a boundary, we are not allowed to prepare legal documents or advocate the application of particular rules to favor one side. In some circumstances, you may need an attorney to provide these services.
Normally on a boundary survey, we will set one of two different monuments at the property corner. If the corner falls in dirt or asphalt, we will set a 5/8” iron rebar with a yellow cap marked ‘STRATTON 10677’ at the actual corner and a stake next to it to make it easy to find. If the corner falls in concrete, we will drill a small hole in the concrete, fill the hole with lead, and then place a nail and brass washer labeled ‘LS 10677’ at the property corner. We will paint a white circle around the corner to make it easy to find. Occasionally, a corner will fall in a fence post, tree, building, water or other obstacle where it is impractical to set a monument. In these situations, we may set a variety of markers to best mark the boundary. 10677 is Rob’s Idaho Land Surveyor’s number. This number will be different for different states and different surveyors.
Note that we may set monuments at angle points and at the ends of curves. Sometimes these corners fall close to main corners of the property. Please review the survey while the markers are fresh to understand their relationship to the boundary. If you are unsure which markers are which, please contact us to help you understand them.
If a record of survey is not required, your invoice will be your receipt that your property was surveyed by our company. You should store a copy of this statement with your other records concerning your property.
Encroachments and discrepancies:
There are a variety of issues that can effect what you legally own. Some of the more common issues are:
- Encroachments: An encroachment is a physical feature such as a fence, irrigation system, landscaping or building that crosses over the deed boundary. Our crews will pick up any observed apparent encroachments for our records and for use if you need additional services. IMPORTANT: There is a law called Adverse Possession (some people refer to this as being grandfathered) which generally states that, if an encroachment has existed for enough time and meets other criteria, the legal ownership can run with the usage and not the deed. For this reason, it is usually in your interest to address encroachments with your neighbors and work out a resolution to the problem. We can assist in this process to some extent. You may also need an attorney's help in resolving these situations. If an encroachment goes unaddressed, you may lose that property. It is equally important that you do not do damage to the disputed area until the issue is resolved as you may be found liable for this damage.
- Incorrect or ambiguous deed/ conflict with adjoining deeds: Deeds are recorded with the County to document the transfer of land and contain legal descriptions of that land. A variety of issues can arise from the deed/ descriptions. These may include typos, poorly written descriptions and/or incorrect person(s) signing them. They also may not agree with the neighbor's deed. Resolving these discrepancies may require additional research and the application of legal principals like senior rights to determine the boundary. While we will conduct what we believe to be adequate research to determine the boundaries we are surveying, any information that you can provide can help us get a more complete knowledge of the boundary. This may include a copy of your title report from when you purchased your property, prior surveys and informing us of changes to your property such as new easements, dedications, vacations, boundary line adjustments or agreements.
- Easements and Rights-of-way: An easement is a right to use a portion of someone else's property. Rights-of-way are, by definition, a form of easement. This term is often misused to refer to a strip of land that is used for roads and/or utilities but is owned by the agency. In the case of roads along your property, you may own to the center of the road. We will typically place monuments at the edge of access or roadway easements instead of the true property corner as this is more usable for our client and has less chance of being disturbed by road maintenance. Note that easements may not be researched as part of a boundary survey unless it pertains to the reason for needing the survey.
If you have any questions regarding this information, please feel free to contact us.