Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a land division take?

How long does a identification/boundary survey take?

What is a identification/boundary survey?

When should I consult or engage a Licensed Surveyor?

When should I get a boundary survey done?

Do you have a step by step guide to Land Divisions?

How can land be divided?

What is the difference between Torrens Title and Community Title?





How long does a land division take?

Generally for Land Divisions to comply with Council requirements can be completed within 6 months.

It is advisable for anyone considering to sub-divide their property to discuss their intentions with a Council Planning Officer in the early stage of their planning as this can avoid lengthy delays once the land division process has commenced as quite often it is common for Council to request further information prior to finalising their assessment and recommendation.

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How long does a identification / boundary survey take?

From the time you request State Surveys to undertake a boundary survey of your property allow 5 – 7 working days. This allows us to complete a search of plans and property records from the Lands Titles Office, schedule the survey of your property into our program and provide you with an identification certificate.

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What is a boundary (Identification) survey?

A boundary identification survey provides you the means of identifying where your property boundaries are in relation to physical monuments such as fences and buildings.

As a part of all boundary identification surveys our drafting team will prepare an identification certificate showing where the true boundaries are in relation to your fences. The certificate will also clearly delineate where our surveyors have placed survey marks to assist you in re-locating the boundaries at a later date.

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When should I consult with or engage a Licensed Surveyor?

Whether you are buying a property, concerned about the property boundaries, have a boundary dispute over the location of fencing, walls, eaves or gutters, want to divide land into new allotments or create an entire new housing estate our licensed surveyors and professional staff can provide the appropriate solution to ensure your project is successful.

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When should I get a boundary survey done?

We would recommend if you are purchasing a property, intending to undertake any building work on or near your boundaries, erect new fencing or considering developing your property and need to confirm the actual property dimensions as the certificate of title dimensions are from very old original plans, having a boundary survey done is a good investment as the price of a survey represents a small percentage of your investment and can provide “peace of mind” in respect of any potential (costly) issues that may arise in the future.

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Do you have a step by step guide for Land Divisions?

Sub-dividing land is a complex process that takes time. A proposal involves many professionals and government agencies including surveyors, engineers, conveyancers, State and local Governments and infrastructure companies such as SA Water.

Knowing how all of these organizations work together to process your land division can be confusing. That's why we have put together this step-by-step guide. We hope this guide will assist you in understanding the land division process and make your project an enjoyable one.

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A step by step guide to sub-dividing land

Step 1 - Tell us about your project

To prepare your land division application, State Surveys requires some details about the land you wish to subdivide. This will include your contact details, the property's location, how you want to subdivide the land (if known), any plans you may have had drawn by an architect or builder for new houses and details about any existing buildings that may be on the site. You may also be able to provide additional documentation such as a copy of your Certificate of Title. Land can currently be divided in South Australia in three separate ways;

  • Torrens Title Land Division (a standard suburban home)

  • Community Land Division (a detached units)

  • Community Strata Division (multiple level apartments and office complexes)

It is important to understand the difference between the types of land divisions and which best suits your project. Our staff will be able to assist you in this process should you have any concerns. You may also like to do some research by contacting a local real estate agent to advise you on projected sales figures.


Step 2 - Prepare a Proposal Plan

Based on the information you provided to us in Step 1 and technical plans from other sources (such as the Lands Titles Office, your architect or builder and possibly an engineer), State Surveys prepares a proposal plan suitable for the planning process. In most cases we can prepare the proposal plan without going on-site, however some sites will require a small amount of field measurement to assist your application. After the proposal plan has been completed you are invited to check same prior to lodgment (major changes to your proposal after this point may attract additional plan lodgment fees).


Step 3 - Lodge the Land Division Application

At this point State Surveys will request from you the government lodgment fees for the land division application and then lodge the application on your behalf with the Development Assessment Commission (D.A.C.). Your application is then distributed to authorities such as:

  • Council
  • SA Water Corporation
  • Commissioner of Highways
  • Other Government agencies

Certain land division applications are "advertised" (neighbours and/or to the public in general if considered necessary).


Step 4 - Application Assessment

The Council or the Commission has up to 3 months to issue its decision and will assess your application against the applicable Development Plan. In many cases a decision will be issued before the 3 month deadline. Once approved, your application may be subject to one or several conditions that you must comply with in order for the land division to proceed. In most cases this will involve notifying SA Water of the new water meter location(s) and the payment of fees including (but not limited to) Open Space Contribution and SA Water for provision of sewer and water. State Surveys will advise you when each of these requires your attention. If the application is refused, a right of appeal may exist.


Step 5 - Field Measurement and Final Plan Drafting

State Surveys will undertake any field measurement required and the placement of boundary pegs or survey marks where appropriate. The field measurement may require more than one site visit and the finished distances will be calculated at our offices. A final plan is then drafted suitable for lodgment with the Lands Titles Office, showing the new boundaries, any easements over the land (both new and existing) as well as the relationship to the surrounding land. The final plan is often drawn in consultation with your conveyancer who may be preparing documentation for Lands Titles Office lodgement.


Step 6 - Request for Land Division Certificate

The final plan is issued to the Development Assessment Commission where a check is made to ensure it matches the proposal and all planning conditions have been met. The Land Division Certificate is issued only when all fees are paid and all planning conditions have been complied with. This Certificate and the original of the final plan are together passed on to you, or your conveyancer to be lodged in the Lands Titles Office (usually by your conveyancer), together with a Document requesting Plan Deposit and new titles.


Step 7 - Lands Titles Office Lodgement

The last step in the process involves a government check of the final plan by the Lands Titles Office. Once approved, the final plan is said to be deposited - at this point in time transfers for the sale or purchase of land or mortgage documents can be finalized. Certificates of Title for the parcels of land are issued shortly afterwards completing the project.

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How can land be divided?

In South Australia we have three options:

  • Torrens Title Land Division (for example a standard suburban home)

  • Community Land Division (for example detached units)

  • Community Strata Division (multiple level apartments and office complexes)

Land may also be leased for many purposes including shops, offices and telecommunications towers.

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What is the difference between Torrens Titles and Community Titles?

A Torrens Title Land Division involves sub-dividing land where the allotments created are serviced independently (e.g. sewer & water) and with access frontage to a public road.

As the name suggests Community allotments share services and access to public roads. It also involves the formation of a Community Corporation and By-laws for the management of the Community Scheme.

State Survey's professional staff can advise on what option best suits your site and circumstances.

Land may also be leased for many purposes including shops, offices and telecommunications towers.

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