Florida Avoids Deregulation of Land Surveyors

April 14, 2011

The current regulatory and licensing system for surveyors will remain unchanged after the Florida Land Title Association (FLTA) and other interested stakeholders successfully lobbied against a bill that would have deregulated the industry.

Because of the industry’s efforts, the Florida House Economic Affairs Committee cut out the massive deregulation from HB 5005.

Many FLTA members contacted their state representatives and senators sharing their concern about the proposal to deregulate Florida’s surveyors. Alan Fields, executive director of FLTA, thanked everyone for their efforts.

“With a little hard work and dedication, we really can have an impact on our government,” Fields said. “This experience should remind all of us in the broader real estate industry – title, surveyors, mortgage professionals and even Realtors – that the importance of what we do is not particularly well understood. We will continue to be diligent in monitoring what is going on, quick to respond to these proposals, and continue in our efforts to educate our elected officials."

The title industry relies on the accuracy of surveys to remove the "standard" title exceptions and replace them with exceptions specific to the insured property.

“As an industry, we simply can't afford to leave the critical function of land surveying to anyone who can buy a used transit and tape measure at their local pawn shop, and slap a magnetic sign on the side of their pick-up,” Fields said. The FLTA received an outpouring of recognition from the surveyors for taking a lead role in the issue.

“They recognize that on an issue like this, their position seemed a bit ‘self-serving,’" Fields said. “So our lobbying, as a ‘customer’ of the surveyors, had intrinsic credibility.”

Kenneth Drury, president of Atlas Surveying and Mapping and secretary of the Gold Coast Land Surveyors Council (GCLSC) in West Palm Beach, Fla., sent a letter to the FLTA thanking the association for support on preventing the deregulation of surveyors.

“(The title insurance) industry is a very large consumer for our services,” Drury wrote. “You all know, all too well, why we adopted and maintain such a high degree of Minimum Technical Standards. Some may think they are too strict, others think areas should be stricter. But the one thing we do all agree on is that the rules are necessary.”

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or [email protected].