Question: I own a five acre “mini-ranch” in western Maricopa County. Although these five acres are vacant land now, I intend to build a home on these five acres next year. Last week when I drove out to look at my five acres, I saw an individual walking all over my land. When I asked this individual to stop trespassing on my land, he said that he had a right to trespass on my land because he was a registered surveyor. Does a registered surveyor have a right to trespass on my land? If I build a home on my land in the next few years, can a registered surveyor still trespass on my land?
Answer: Although the owner of a home or other real property generally has the right to exclusive possession of the real property without trespass by others, there are certain exceptions, e.g., the right of policemen and firemen to enter onto the real property in the event of an emergency. Another exception is registered surveyors, after making reasonable efforts to notify the owner of the real property. A.R.S. § 33-104. This exemption for registered surveyors applies to all types of real property, even if you build a home on your land.