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Land Divisions – Are you familiar with the process?

With our increasing population size and common desire to live in certain areas, land divisions have become an increasingly popular method of creating wealth through property of late. Whether subdividing a block you already own or buying a block to divide, it’s wise to have your head around what’s involved before pulling the trigger.

As always, we advise that your first step is to contact your Conveyancer. However, in instances of land divisions, it’s also critical to speak to a Surveyor very early on. You’ll want to contact the council too, to check their block size regulations. If you’re buying a block to divide, it’s absolutely necessary to speak with your Surveyor, council, and Conveyancer, during the cooling off period, or earlier.

Your Surveyor will tell you what can be done with the block. They’ll also help you formulate an idea of what kind of costs will be involved. Costs will be influenced by how many blocks you want to create and what kinds of titles you want (Torrens, Strata, Community title – Check out this previous blog of ours for some information about titles).

Your Surveyor will then guide you through the steps and assist you with getting approval from council, SA Water and the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP, formerly known as the Development Assessment Commission, DAC).

Next steps are to get the plans drawn up, the appropriate approvals confirmed, and government fees paid. Then your Surveyor will send through copies of the plans to your Conveyancer.

As your Conveyancer, it’s then my job to liaise with you and obtain consent from any banks that may have a mortgage registered on the Title, developers who have an Encumbrance on the Title and any other parties that may have an interest in that property. Once all interested parties are satisfied, we submit final documentation to the LTO to create the new Titles.

It can be a lengthy process at times. Especially if there’s a dwelling on the block that needs to be removed. 3 to 12 months is a reasonably accepted time frame. If it’s a larger land division where you’re creating a large number of blocks (i.e 50+) it can take even longer. It depends on the consent that need to be negotiated. If you’re adding the construction of a dwelling or dwellings on the block and selling them off with the land, expect the process to take another 12 months on top.

Land divisions certainly aren’t a get rich quick scheme…

But they do enjoy a reputation as being a solid investment if you have the time, patience, and investable money.

Hopefully this has given you a good idea of why you need to involve your Conveyancer early on with any land division. We also have some excellent contacts with Builders and Surveyors if you would like any additional information or quotes.

There’s some good info at this state government site also, but if you like your information clear and easy to understand, just call us on (08) 8261 5092, or email us here.