What Is an Improvement Location Certificate?

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An improvement location certificate is a document issued as the result of a special type of survey called an improvement location survey, performed for various types of real estate development and construction or upgrading processes and mainly used by title insurer and mortgage companies, not by the property’s owners. Here are some things that you should know about the document.

Features Addressed in an Improvement Location Certificate

Improvement location surveys are performed to assess various features of a particular plot of land. Here are some:

  • Encroachments – in real estate, the term is used to denote a situation when a neighbor builds a structure that is on your territory or that is overhanging your terrain. While the existence of such a structure on your territory might not hinder your ability to use your terrain, if something, such as an accident, happens as a consequence of using the structure, you, as the owner of the terrain on which the structure is located, might be liable for that accident. To be able to prove the existence of the structure, the owner of the terrain can hire a land survey company to provide an improvement location certificate;
  • Easements – an easement is also something that has been created by a neighbor or a shared feature on your terrain such as a common driveway. In the context of these issues, improvement location certificates are used for determining the exact size and location of the easements;
  • Legal descriptions – the certificates used for these purposes confirm that the territory’s boundaries are accurate and that the property’s address is correct;
  • Fences – fences must be located exactly on the property line, but they are often not placed accurately, which might give rise to various disputes. The certificates that document the exact location of property fences are often used by mortgage lenders.

How to Obtain an Improvement Location Certificate

Improvement location certificates are prepared by property surveyor companies or by licensed, individual land surveyors. The document can be ordered by anyone who needs it, including mortgage lenders, home sellers and homebuyers, just look for surveyors near me for quick response.

The first step toward getting the certificate is to find a suitable land surveyor. You can find the right expert to turn to through your title company (they usually work with reputable, licensed surveyors that you can trust) or you can find the contact details of local land surveyors online, with a simple query. In the next phase, you should contact the surveyor or the surveyors that you consider suitable to discuss your needs and requirements and to schedule the day and time when the survey will be conducted. The next step is the actual survey: your surveyor and a team of assistants and helpers will go to the property for which you need the survey on the date that you have agreed upon and will make measurements necessary for the certificate using advanced measurement methods and high-precision devices, then they will prepare and hand you over the certificate. Improvement location certificates come for a fee, the usual rate being around $350.

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