Selecting A Surveyor

Only a Professional Land Surveyor (land surveyor) licensed through the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineers and Land Surveyors (OSBEELS) is authorized to perform land surveys in Oregon.

Before selecting a land surveyor, a property owner or developer needs to consider the surveyor’s qualifications. Details of the surveyor’s past experience and references should be requested. Like many professions, price is not the sole indicator of the quality of work that will be done for you. Select a land surveyor only when you are confident the person has the necessary facts as well as a thorough awareness of your needs and the requirements of governmental agencies.

In more complex land development projects or where boundary disputes occur, a land surveyor is often part of a team comprised of other professionals; e.g., attorneys, engineers, architects, planners and environmental specialists.

View the PLSO brochure

Value of Retaining A Land Surveyor

As a property owner, have you been in the position of needing a land surveyor? If so, the Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon (PLSO) has prepared this brochure to help you better understand this process.

Surveying is a highly technical field that requires expertise in real property law, public records research, evaluation of historical survey evidence, mathematics, statistics, measurement systems, planning regulations and current computer technologies.

Surveyors are often retained:

  • Prior to purchasing real property
  • Prior to beginning any construction improvements within property boundaries
  • When dividing parcels of land for sale or adjusting existing parcel boundaries
  • When property ownership disputes arise
  • To investigate written records and historical survey evidence

Employing the services of a land surveyor can help property owners avoid lawsuits or unnecessary expenses relating to land ownership or a potential land purchase.



The next-door neighbor or the property next to the owner’s.

Adverse Possession

A situation where ownership can be claimed by use or occupation. As defined by law, certain rules apply which are best understood through consultation with a land surveyor or legal counsel.

Agreed Boundary

When adjoiners reach agreement where boundary locations are in conflict. This can save thousands of dollars that would otherwise be wasted in resolving disputes.


Physical evidence that may represent intrusion or trespass by someone with no legal rights to use the property as described in a deed (use of an owner’s land without permission).

Occupied Boundary

Land the property owner occupies that may be defined by fences, hedges or other improvements constructed near or on boundary lines, erected by either the owner or neighbors (adjoiners).

Ownership Boundary

The perimeter of a parcel of land as defined in a deed or represented on a subdivision/partition plat. When the “Record Title Boundary” and the “Occupied Boundary” agree without evidence of unwritten “Encroachments,” a parcel is considered to be free of encumbrances. If the deed is in conflict with the “Occupied Boundary” or evidence exists of unwritten rights only the counts can settle the issue of ownership; e.g.; the public creates a path across property without securing permission from the owner.

Record Title Boundary

The limits of land conveyed as described in a property owner’s deed.