Denying Permission to Survey Your Land

To deny permission to survey, you must send a certified, return-receipt letter to the firm which sent you a request for more information denying permission. We received a letter from Coates Field Services, but you may receive a letter from another firm.

It is not sufficient to not respond. They may take no response as tacit agreement to survey.  Be aware that even if you have properly denied permission, they may send you an “Intent to Enter” letter, which does not acknowledge your refusal.  They may consider this “continuing to work with the landowner”.  Regardless, you may choose to send a second letter of denial demanding acknowledgement of your refusal and a cessation of further “Intent to Enter” letters, or you may choose to telephone them and demand written acknowledgement.   

If you have already given permission, or threw their letter away, you can still write a new letter denying permission and/or rescinding previous communication giving permission to survey.

  • If surveyors arrive on your property, you should be prepared to show them your return-receipt demonstrating that you refused permission to survey.
  • Then, you can politely ask them to leave.  If they do not, you should call the sheriff’s department in your county, e.g., Montgomery County (540) 382-6904 or (540) 382-2951.
  • Posting highly visible “No Trespassing” signs with your name and phone number is also recommended.

Sample Letters*:

  1. Letter 1 to send after receiving initial notice requesting information
  2. Letter 2 to send after receiving initial notice requesting information
  3. Letter 3 to send after receiving initial notice requesting information
  4. Letter Rescinding previous permission to survey

*Note: These sample letters are in responding to the initial letter sent by Coates Field Services via regular mail requesting property owner information – it is our belief that the more people who tell them no, the less likely they will want to engage with us.  If you receive a certified letter that includes the date the company intends to inspect your property and does so no fewer than 15 days prior to the inspection, that is a different issue as Section 56-49.01 of the Code of Virginia applies. At this point, you have  no choice as they are permitted by law to enter your property if you do not respond or if you tell them you do not want them on your property.  At that point or at any time you are uncertain of your rights, you may wish to seek legal counsel experienced in these matters.