Everything you wanted to know about Subdividing Land

Subdividing land. What does it mean, what’s involved? and am I allowed to subdivide my land?  And if not why not?

Simply put subdividing land is the process of breaking down a parcel of land into two or more smaller parcels of land. The cost of subdividing land varies depending on the size, location and complexity of your project and the consultants and professionals engaged to assist in that process.

What are some of the reasons for Subdividing land?

In our experience three of the most common reasons for subdividing land are:

  • It may be more profitable for the landowner
  • It may provide a way to increase return on investment or provide greater flexibility on investment
  • It may allow the landowner to sell part of his/her property, as there would be separate titles issued for each parcel of land

What are the different types of Subdivisions ?

  • Two lot subdivision: May or may not have common property or common services or could be two complete separate parcels of land
  • Multiple lot subdivision: May be apartments, townhouses or mixed-use developments (commercial/retail and residential); usually has common property or common services, but in some circumstances may be separate parcels of land
  • Broadacre subdivision: Broadacre is land greater than 4,000 m2 that is subdivided, sometimes to create a small estate or suburb

Can my property be subdivided?

If you considering subdividing your property you will need to consider the following:

Neighbourhood Precedent: Research on recent approved subdivisions around the subject property would give you a good idea and suggest similar outcome could be possible for your property (subject to planning requirements)

Land Size: Depending on the Council and planning requirements, your land size will more than likely be a factor on whether you can subdivide

Restrictive Covenant: Checking if there is a restrictive covenant registered on your title is an important consideration; for example, a single dwelling covenant may prevent development of another dwelling on the land and subdivision

Planning Requirements: The zoning and planning controls affecting your property will indicate whether you are able to develop and subdivide your property.

Who is involved in a Subdivision?

Generally speaking, the following consultants and professionals would be engaged to assist with a subdivision project:

  • Town Planner
  • Architect
  • Land Surveyor
  • Building Surveyor
  • Project Manager
  • Property Lawyer
  • Accountant
  • Owners Corporation Manager

What is the process involved in a Subdivision?

Whilst there are varying factors that should be considered in your subdivision project, as a guide, the following would ordinarily be part of the process you would follow:

  1. Engaging consultants to assist with your subdivision project.
  2. Planning due diligence: Finding out whether your property can be subdivided. You may engage a lawyer, town planner or architect to assist in this process.
  3. Planning approval: obtaining a planning permit and creating the proposed plan of subdivision. You will likely need to engage a town planner and land surveyor for this part of the process.
  4. Council approval: having the proposed plan of subdivision certified by Council and a statement of compliance issued to indicate that the planning permit conditions have been satisfied. Your land surveyor should assist in this regard.
  5. Creating Titles: lodging a subdivision application for the proposed plan of subdivision to have it registered at the Land Use Victoria where new titles for each lot on the proposed plan of subdivision will then be issued. Once the certified plan of subdivision is released by your land surveyor, you will then require a property lawyer to assist in this part of the process.

In addition to the list outlined above, if you are intending to develop the land, you will also require architectural plans, elevations and specifications to be endorsed by Council.

How we can assist you with your Subdivision

At Burke & Associates Lawyers we have a dedicated Property & Property Development Division who can assist you with all of your subdivision requirements.  We have over thirty years of experience within our legal team to provide the right advice and support to guide you through the Subdivision process including:

  • Property and Planning Due Diligence – finding out whether you are able to subdivide and develop the land.
  • Acquisition – structure advice, negotiating for your purchase, assisting in reviewing and advising on the Contract of Sale and Vendors Statement, allowing us to highlight any restrictive covenants, planning restrictions and other potential issues that may obstruct your proposed subdivision. We will also be able to assist in drafting special conditions tailored to suit your development objectives.
  • Subdivision – Working with your consultants to have your plan of subdivision registered.
  • Sales –preparing off-the-plan (or post registration) Contract of Sale, certifying pre-sales for your construction lender and conveyancing for each of the lots sold
  • Construction – reviewing and advising on building and construction contracts and the like
  • Development and Joint Venture Agreements
  • Dispute resolution

Our Property & Property development lawyers have a depth of experience in dealing with all aspects of property law.  Our team of property lawyers including an accredited specialist have assisted many clients with their Subdivsions.

If you have any questions or would like to find out how our property lawyers can assist you with your Subdivision please don’t hesitate to contact our office on +61 3 9822 8588.

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