About 8 years ago I purchased a 68.3 acre parcel of property in South Georgia. It was surveyed and pins/stakes were located or put in. We fenced the front of the property (east border) but the sides (north,south) and rear (west) had a preexisting fence that was , in the opinion of the surveyor at the time, in the correct location(s) and was apparently agreeable to the adjacent landowners as they harrowed, mowed beside the fence as we did/do and have even helped each other put out a wild fire that crossed the boundary with the neighbor very apologetic about it crossing over. The deed was recorded and the boundaries matched the description of the boundaries of the adjacent properties. The original surveyor died several years ago and I have since used a local firm of good reputation who conducted earlier surveys on both the adjacent property and our property over a 30 year period. I hired the new surveyor to perform some cut-out surveying to separate my home and my office building from the rest of the farm and more recently, to establish an accurate line on my south border on which to establish a new fence to replace one in poor repair. According to the surveyor the fence was 5 feet or so on the neighboring property so we took that as accurate and gave up the 5 feet and established the new fence as per the surveyors locating with pins/stakes.( I mention these previous surveys to establish the fact that the surveyor is more than familiar, or professionally should be, with the property or he would have been unable to perform/be paid for the surveys). About 4 months ago the same surveyor re-surveyed my North border on behalf of a new owner of property adjacent to it and called to tell me that the old fence as installed on that border was also in error and that I had lost 3-4 feet along that border. Not much I could say, as he was "my" surveyor as well so I trusted him. Upon inspection they had felled trees onto my property and pushed up debri onto my property even over their "newly" established line.
2 weeks ago the land owner behind me ( my west border) had a survey done by an unknown firm and I "discovered" surveying stakes 20-25 feet across the fence on my side of the original fencerow which has never been questioned until now. No notice, no request to come on my property, just stakes and pins indicating I have now lost an additional 20-25 feet x 1658 feet across the west boundary of my property. My surveyor, when questioned about the boundaries and accuracy of the surveys he has conducted began back peddaling and telling me that he needs to sit down and talk with me and show me "some things I may need to know" and "share some things about the property" with me and indicating that the property rights of the individual behind me may supercede mine due to their purchasing the porperty from the same owner but earlier than my purchase, etc., and generally being very vague and weak on his support of my property as deeded. He saif he'd have to wait until they filed a "new deed" and he'd get a copy and look it over and compare it to his notes/files.
When questioned about the fact that the West and North border are located exactly on Georgia Land Lot Lines and that fact is agreed on in both deeds and that we should simply locate the crossing of those 2 L.L.L.'s and work out from there to establish the true boundaries ( please understand that I do not want someone to find "in my favor", I want to know what my boundaries are and to prevent future encroachment) he indicated that Georgia Land Lot Lines are not accurate and can't be used for determining a plat/boundary,. He further saifd they could not be located. I asked about sub-centimeter GPS and he said that it wouldn't work in wooded areas.
If Georgia Land Lot Lines are referenced as part of a recorded deed and both pieces of property use those same lines to establish the shared boundary of the two properties then how can they not be relevant or locatable.
Additionally, can someone conduct a survey on your property, establish grossly different boundaries than have been in place for 30 plus years and not notify/discuss this issue prior to developing the property.
Is their an obligation on behalf of the surveyor to defend his surveys in the past?
What good does having a plat and deed description for 68.3 acres of land filed at the courthouse do to protect the purchaser?
This will further reduce my property by an acre or more if I roll over and give up the property without a fight, and it will be the 3rd time now in less than a year that I have lost property due to a resurvey.
If the surveyors will not stand behind their surveys how can I prevent this from happening again and again?
If my west and north corner are platted and described in the deed as being situated on Georgia Land Lot Lines...can someone not have the integrity/strength/honor...to stand up and say this is the boundary...and that stick in a court of law?
I only want my 68.3 acres as deeded. Within reason I do not care where the boundaries fall as long as I wind up with what I purchased. If I do not in fact own 68.3 acres due to a faulty survey then should the seller not reimburse me for the current fair market per acre price for the reduction in my property acreage from the as-sold acreage?
Any opinions or insights would be very much appreciated. We only want what is ours but the stress of constantly losing property on all sides is ridiculous. If the surveyor can't stand behind their work they need to decline the jobs or be held accountable for the damage caused by their poor performance.
I have been trying to locate a truly professional GPS/GIS equipped survey firm who can provide definitive/solid surveys but apparently they are few and far between . I still am under the impression that by either determining the exact crossing of the 2 Ga. Land Lot Lines, or by traditional means, someone should be able to determine where my property is in space and time!
I apologize for the frustration that I am sure is evident but we have been through the ringer several times now and from day-one we simply found a piece of property on which to build our home and purchased it as per the deed desription and surveys provided but are regularly having to roll-over and accept losing property because of the lack of professionalism of surveyors and the lack of courtesy of adjacent landowners.