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The question Surveyors hear most often, after “Are you taking my picture” is “If you are surveying my neighbor’s property, why are you over here on mine?” The most concise answer I can give is that to survey our client’s property, we must also “survey” the neighbors (adjoining) property. 

Considerable research is conducted before the fieldwork. This includes obtaining recorded deed and plan information for our client’s property and surrounding properties. This information, among others, is put together so our surveyors have the clearest possible idea of the property and can best plan our fieldwork. 

The fieldwork includes searching for our client’s property corners and adjoiner corners to verify the proper location of found corners. I often describe the process as putting a puzzle together. The deeds and plan information along with physical details found in the field are analyzed by the field crew and licensed surveyor in the office to determine the true location of property corners and lines. 

The job of the surveyor is to have as much information as possible before starting fieldwork and work as efficiently as possible in the field. We strive to be as minimally intrusive as possible when working. We will communicate with adjoiners and address their concerns regarding our fieldwork. 

Some things our clients can do to help us perform our jobs include notifying your neighbors of upcoming survey work and being upfront with us regarding any potential issues with neighbors.  

PA Senate Bill No. 166 Session 2013 enacts a Surveyor’s right to enter the land of another to perform surveying services (Click here to view the bill!). Our surveyors will make an effort to engage adjoiners during the survey to make them comfortable with the work required to perform the survey. We can provide appropriate information to neighbors, including the name of our client and our professional certification. If there is an issue with an adjoiner that cannot be resolved in the field, the surveyor will make the client aware. 

One of our goals is to leave our client’s relationship with their neighbors better than when we started. We can achieve this through friendly encounters and professional behavior. When we hear “Why are you on my property,” we most often reply with, “We are surveying your neighbor’s property….” It is our job to do everything possible to ensure that the neighbor is informed on why we need to be on their property. Most often, this can be accomplished with a smile and clear, concise information.