ALTA Land Title Survey: Its Value for Hotels and Motels
Hotels, unlike many other businesses, solely rely on a high turnover of clients to survive. There can be a lot of hotels in one place, so they have to compete hard with each other in order to get more clients.
In order to do this, hotels need to constantly upgrade and renovate their facilities in order to remain competitive. With a new structure and possible new technologies, a hotel or a motel business can entice more clients.
Whenever any renovations or additions are made to the structure of a hotel, this requires funding. Commercial lenders typically require an ALTA land title survey may completed on the property and premises.
What is an ALTA Land Title Survey?
This type of survey is completed based on the Minimum Standard Detail Requirements and Accuracy Standards for ALTA/ ACSM Land Title Surveys. The guidelines for performing this survey are regularly revised by a combination of Title industry and Surveying industry professionals. The newest document is the 2011 revision.
An ALTA title survey is a lot like a boundary or a lot survey except that it’s stricter in terms of the requirements placed on the land surveyor as he or she carries out the survey in both field and office.
One of the biggest problems when upgrading a hotel (or motel) or building a new one is meeting the number of parking spaces required by local zoning codes. These zoning codes change regularly. So much so that about anytime an upgrade is done, the requirements have probably increased.
Other planning and zoning ordinances are also important. Landscaping changes, signage requirements, maybe even the zoning itself has changed. If another use is proposed, say a hotel wants to add a restaurant or bar.
These are changes that would require lots of approvals by the zoning and planning boards of most cities. An ALTA land title survey can be used to identify these new or changed requirements.
Another item that has come up recently in a lot of areas is that flood zones have encroached on areas formerly not expected to flood. This is because of more detailed studies that have been done in the past.
Increased government spending has allowed these studies to be undertaken across the nation. It would be prudent for a commercial lender to question whether a hotel or motel is located within a special flood hazard area.
Knowing that the zoning and planning conditions, as well as other physical conditions change over time, the most prudent step for a commercial lender on a hotel or motel project, or any commercial project for that matter, is to have an ALTA Land Title Survey completed by a licensed professional land surveyor.