Property Corners Lovated In The Right-Of-Way
By:Glen Tanner, PLS, Copyright Reserved 2011
Too many of the public are blindly relying on recorded plats and the word of the existing Property Owner or Realtor,as to the location of the property.Some rely on the word of the Builders site plan, many rely on a copy of the recorded lot given to them by a Closing Attorney or use an old survey without checking existing monuments by getting an up to date survey or have a land surveyor recheck and verify existing Property Corners against the recorded plat or deed. Another common problem is accepting monumentation on a survey that may be in conflict with existing monumentation on the ground. Here are some examples. County acquired deeded Right-Of-Way from the public and marked it with concrete monuments.
(Photo Concrete Right-of-way Marker)
ALL Right-Of-Way points were marked on the ground with concrete monuments. A survey was done, instead of using Right-of way as monumented, this survey was determined by shooting centerline of road and was calculated based on centerline shots. Capped iron pins were set based on the centerline of road.
(Photo Capped Rebar)
This method might be fine in the case of a prescriptive Right-Of-Way, but in this case the Property Corner bordered a dedicated County road. ALL Right-Of-Way points were marked on the ground with concrete monuments. This capped rebar was set in right-of-way some 2 feet in deeded, monumented County Right-Of-Way.
(Photo Conc.Right-Of-Way Marker & Capped Rebar)
None of this was shown on the recorded plat. Who owns the property between the "Concrete Monument" and the "Capped Rebar"? Does the property owner own to the "Capped Rebar" even if it matches the recorded plat?
Others ignored the monuments and continued the errors. Does the property owner have clear title to all his property? Are the Property Corners correct as they are located on the ground?
Another Example, a company surveyed a 2-acre parcel of land, which had been reported in yards. In 1954 the County acquired right-of-way off of the 2-acres and was marked on the ground with concrete markers .
(Photo Concrete Right-Of-Way Monument)
The deed wasn’t revised at that time. The Company surveyed the 2 acre parcel and wrote a new legal and a new deed prepared, just one problem, it did not exclude the deeded and monumented right-of-way acquired by the County. Not only that, the Company made the property line straight along the County Right-Of-Way, as the deed called for, disregarding the 6-inch by 6-inch concrete monument sticking up 5 inches out of the ground and next to the drive way and the large curve appearing in the pavement. By doing this the property line is now located in what the County is calls the "County Right-Of-Way".
(Photo Right-Of-Way Marker and Curved Roadway)
Even though the original deed called for a straight line and the County put a curve in the property line, does the property owner still own it as called for in both the old and new deed?
In both of these cases, whether the monuments were not found, were not looked for, or just plain ignored does not change the fact that the County acquired deeded right-of-way. In both cases even though the property owner has a deed, copy of a recorded plat or even an old survey showing ownership, the property owner DOES NOT OWN the property within the County deeded right-of-way, even if there is a marked Property Corner. The property owner CAN NOT lay claim to it by adverse possession, you can not claim adverse possession against the County. So in both cases the property line moves back to the deeded and monumented Right-Of-Way.
The reliance on the word of "Property Owners", "Realtors" or "Old Surveys" and NOT an up to date Property Survey does not “safeguard the life, health, PROPERTY and welfare of the public." Only a new Property Survey, marking your Property Corners performed by a Professional Alabama Land Surveying Company. We at Glen Tanner Land Surveying strive to “maintain a high standard of integrity, skills, and practice in the profession of land surveying.” (See Alabama Code 330-X-14.)
Not sure where your corners belong or you need help finding your actual property corners, hire a competent, licensed land surveyor. Glen Tanner @ Glen Tanner Land Surveying has been surveying in the Montgomery, Prattville, Elmore County area for over 30 years. Call us at 334-625-8175 or fill out our Contact Form.