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Land Surveyors’ Contractual Obligations

Back in December, we discussed how land surveyors may be liable to property owners for damages caused by their negligence or mistake based on breach of duty rather than breach of contract. This does not mean, however, that land surveyors are not required to enter into a contractual relationship with their clients. Today, we’ll look at some of the rules and regulations governing land surveyors under California’s Professional Land Surveyors’ Act.

Entering into a Contract with a Land Surveyor

According to the Act, a licensed land surveyor or registered civil engineer authorized to practice land surveying must use a written contract when agreeing to provide professional services to a client. The contract must be executed by the licensed land surveyor or registered civil engineer and the client (or his representative) before starting work, unless the client knowingly states in writing that work may be commenced before the contract is executed. The contract must include the following information:

  • A description of the services to be provided
  • A description of any basis of compensation applicable to the contract and the method of payment
  • The name, address, and license or certificate number of the land surveyor and the name and address of the client
  • A description of the procedure that will be used to accommodate additional services
  • A description of the procedure to be used by any party to terminate the contract

At a minimum these terms must be included in a land surveyor contract, and likely, your contract will contain many more–in fact, the more specific the contract, the better. If a land surveyor engages in any fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation in his or her practice of land surveying, or breaches or violates a contract to provide land surveying services, the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists may investigate the land surveyor’s actions, and subsequently reprove, suspend, or revoke his or her license.

Professional Engineer Evaluating Land Surveyor Liability

Land surveyors must comply with strict rules, regulations, and licensure requirements enforced by the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists. If you discover that a land surveyor you have used in the past is under investigation for any type of negligence or wrongdoing, he or she may be liable for any damages to your property resulting from the same action. Pierre Handl, P.E. evaluates land and construction issues in California and nationwide to identify their cause and determine whether professional negligence may have led to the problem. Contact Engineering Expert Witnesses today for a free consultation.

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