Frequently Asked Questions


What is an Improvement Location Certificate (ILC)?

An ILC is an option in the contract to buy and sell real estate. More and more, title companies and mortgage companies are requiring ILC's for all real estate transactions.

An ILC is prepared by a licensed surveyor. A visit to the property is made and all improvements (house, sheds, driveways, barns, etc.) are located and measurements are taken. Any easements, right-of-ways and setbacks, if shown on the recorded plat or listed in the title commitment, are accounted for. The surveyor will also verify that the legal description shown on the title commitment, is correct.

The ILC does not take the place of a boundary survey which is needed to install fencing or construct buildings or additions. The ILC will not locate any unrecorded easements or rights-of-way unless that information is provided by the title company, real estate agent or property owner.

This document is an inexpensive insurance policy for the title company and buyer to identify any potential issues with the property and check that all improvements on the property are generally in the correct location.​ Any potential issues identified can then be confirmed or disclaimed with a full boundary survey or Improvement Survey Plat.

Sample ILC

Will an ILC locate underground utilities?

No. Recorded easements that Landstar is made aware of, will be shown on the ILC but can not verify the exact location of underground utilities. An easement may be 20' wide and the piping, electrical, etc., could be anywhere within the 20' wide easement. Visible utility markers on the property do not necessarily indicate location of pipelines or easements.

Can an ILC be used to install a fence?
No. In order to verify property line locations for installing a fence or constructing any other improvements, a boundary survey must be done. Section 6.6 of the Colorado Code of Regulations 4 CCR 730-1 that oversees Architects, Engineers and Surveyors, specifically states that ILC's cannot be used for improvements or fencing. ILC's are prepared per Colorado Revised Statute C.R.S. 38-51-108 (TITLE 38. PROPERTY - REAL AND PERSONAL  SURVEY PLATS AND MONUMENT RECORDS ARTICLE 51. MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR LAND SURVEYS AND PLATS).

The building department is requiring a 'setback verification'. Can I use an ILC for that?

No. More and more, municipalities are requiring a survey or letter from a licensed surveyor to verify that the improvements do not encroach on any setbacks. Per Colorado Code of Regulations, and ILC can not be used to verify the exact location of improvements and compliance with setbacks. CCR's can be viewed at  https://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/colorado/​. Some munincipalities will accept an ILC for setback verification, but per State Code, "is not to be relied upon for the establishment of fence, building, or other future improvement lines".

Where can I find the legal description of my property?
The true and accurate legal description of real property can be found on the property deed or title insurance commitment. Property owners receive a copy of the deed from the county in which the property is located after the deed has been officially recorded. Additional copies can always be ordered from the county clerk and recorders office at any time, typically for a small fee. Buyers and sellers of property will receive a copy of the title insurance commitment after a contract to buy/sell is accepted by both parties.

For example, the assessor's website shows:
BEG AT PT ON E LN NE 1/4 27-7-70 FROM WH NE COR BEARS N 0 17' 43" E 1293.68 FT, TH S 0 17' 43" W ALG SD E LN NE 1/4 23.02 FT TO NE COR OF SE 1/4 OF NE 1/4, TH S 0 17' 43" W 1316.7 FT TO E 1/4 COR, TH S 89 43' 19" W 1294.56 FT TO SW COR OF SE 1/4 NE 1/4, TH N 0 25' 32" E 1314.77 FT TO NW COR OF SE 1/4 NE 1/4, TH N 89 38' 6" E 701.09 FT, S 0 21' 54" E 24.15 FT, N 72 5' 6" E 80.08 FT, N 89 38' 6" E 434.07 FT, N 73 38' 43" E 83.58 FT TPOB CONT 39.055 AC M/L ( NC18S001743W)

Complete and valid legal description per title commitment and recorded deed:
LOT 92
A tract of land being a part of the Northeast 1/4 of Section 27, Township 7 North, Range 70 West of the 6th Principal Meridian, County of Larimer, State of Colorado, being described as follows:
Basis of bearings: The East line of the Northeast 1/4 of said Section 27, monumented at the North end by a 2 1/2" aluminum cap stamped "U.S. General Land Office Survey, 1937" and at the South end by a 2 1/2" aluminum cap stamped "U.S. General Land Office, 1937" is assumed to bear South 00°17'43" West.
Beginning at a point on the East line of said Northeast 1/4 of said Section 27, from whence the Northeast corner of said Section 27 bears North 00°17'43" East a distance of 1293.68 feet; thence South 00°17'43" West on said East line of said Northeast 1/4 a distance of 23.02 feet to the Northeast corner of the Southeast 1/4 of the Northeast 1/4 of said Section 27; thence South 00°17'43" West on said East line a distance of 1316.70 feet to the East 1/4 corner of said Section 27; thence South 89°43'19" West a distance of 1294.56 feet to the Southwest corner of the Southeast 1/4 of said Northeast 1/4 of said Section 27; thence North 00°25'32" East a distance of 1314.77 feet to the Northwest corner of said Southeast 1/4 of said Northeast 1/4 of said Section 27; thence North 89°38'06" East on the North line of said Southeast 1/4 of said Northeast 1/4 of said Section 27 a distance of 701.09 feet; thence South 00°21'54" East a distance of 24.15 feet; thence North 72°05'06" East a distance of 80.08 feet to said North line; thence North 89°38'06" East on said North line a distance of 434.07 feet; thence North 73°38'43" East a distance of 83.58 feet to the point of beginning, County of Larimer, State of Colorado

Doesn't the aerial images from the County Assessors office show me exactly where my property lines are?

No. The lines shown on the assessors GIS mapping online can be very close or very inaccurate. The only way to find out where you're property lines are actually located, is with a survey. There are many types of surveys available. Please read the descriptions of each shown on this FAQ page to make sure you're getting exactly what you need for your circumstances.

Why do you need the title commitment?
The title commitment has all of the information needed to setup and complete an ILC, including names of Buyer, Seller, Banks, Title Company, file number, etc. It also includes the legal description that is being recorded with the county for the transfer of ownership.

The title commitment also includes specific requirements and exceptions for the title insurance which will often include easements, right-of-way agreements, covenants that are sometimes recorded with the county, but sometimes are a gentleman's agreement between prior property owners and their neighbors. 

Information that is not recorded with the county will not be shown on the ILC unless that information is provided in the title commitment or by the property owner. When an ILC is a requirement of the title insurance company, there can also be requirements as to how the ILC is certified.

What is a Title Commitment?

The title commitment is a document prepared by the title insurance company that is a summary of pertinent information discovered during the search of county records that is used as a basis for clearing title and issuing a clear or marketable title insurance policy.  The title commitment is produced based on information contained in the purchase contract and documents of public record. A final title insurance policy will be issued upon completion of closing and the satisfaction of any requirements. Contact your title insurance company or real estate broker for more detailed information.

Is an ILC the same as a survey?
No. An ILC is not a survey. It is a surveyor's expert analysis after on-site inspections and measurements, that the buildings and major improvements appear to be located on the property described. Many lending institutions and title companies require this inspection to check for obvious problems with the parcel such as encroachments and setback violations, but it does not set or locate all boundary corners as described in the deed.

What does a boundary survey entail?
The surveyor thoroughly examines the historical records relating to the land in question and often all lands surrounding it. In addition to the Registry of Deeds, this research may include: The Registry of Probate, County Commissioners' offices, town offices, historical associations and the Department of Transportation. The surveyor may also talk with prior owners and owners of adjoining properties.

The field work begins after the research is completed and involves establishing a control network of known points called a traverse. The points are used to search for and locate existing monuments and other evidence of the boundaries. Although the field portion of a survey is the most visible phase of surveying, it usually represents only a third of the entire project.

The results of the field work are compared with the research and the surveyor then reconciles all of the information to arrive at a final conclusion about the boundaries. A second field trip is then needed to set the new monuments. Finally, the surveyor will draft a plan, prepare a legal description and write a report.

Landstar is no longer equipped to do boundary surveys. Feel free to call for a referral to another survey company.

What is an Improvement Survey Plat?
In the State of Colorado, an Improvement Survey Plat is a monumented land survey showing all visible improvements situated on a particular parcel and within five feet of the boundaries of said parcel. A monumented land survey is a boundary survey in which all monuments are either found or set. If monuments are set in a platted subdivision older than 20 years old, a surveyor must also file a Land Survey Plat with the County Clerk Recorder’s office.

What is an ALTA Survey?
An ALTA survey is a property survey prepared to minimum requirements set forth by the American Land Title Association (ALTA) and American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM). This type of survey is often required by lending institutions and title companies prior to the closing of a real estate transaction or refinance. An ALTA survey shows improvements, easements, rights-of-way, and other elements impacting the ownership of land. An ALTA Survey is often prepared for commercial and industrial properties, as it will provide the title company with the information required to insure the title to the land and improvements to the high degree that a commercial development may require. In addition to the minimum standards set forth, a table of optional elements is included in the ALTA/ACSM standards. A careful review of the elements from this optional "Table A" is helpful in delineating a clear scope of the land surveyor's services. A current title commitment is required to complete an ALTA survey. The title commitment will provide the surveyor with the legal description of the property and any easements or restrictions of record affecting the property. The surveyor is required to show these easements graphically on the survey map along with the “Table A” requirements requested by the client. Any encroachments discovered by the surveyor will also be shown. The surveyor will certify the map to the client, the client’s lender and the title company issuing the commitment. For more information on ALTA surveys: http://www.alta.org/