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Frequently Asked Questions

We would strongly advise you to engage a licensed Surveyor to undertake a Boundary Identification Survey. The survey will identify the position of the boundary so that you can avoid building over your neighbour’s land. The cost of such a survey will be far less than the costs associated with dealing an encroachment over neighbouring land. The remedies for encroachments can be complicated and expensive, and can cause a lot of ill feeling between neighbours.

Your local Council may also require you to have a survey done in these circumstances as a condition of building approval.

We provide services for projects all across South Australia, and occasionally in other states as well. In particular, we provide services from the Greater Adelaide area, including the Hills and Barossa districts, and in the Mid-North, Flinders and Riverland regions.

Torrens Title allotments are the most common form of a land parcel in South Australia. A Torrens Title land division will create allotments which all have independent services and generally they will have frontage on a public street.

Community Title divisions involve the division of land into land parcels (lots) and common property. Each lot has its own certificate of title and can, therefore, be bought and sold separately, just as with Torrens Title allotments. The Community Title scheme though has areas of common property, which can be used for common areas (such as shared driveways, or recreation space) or associated with the provision of common service infrastructure to the various lots (e.g. water, electricity, gas and sewer services). A Community Title Scheme also involves the formation of a Community Corporation and Bylaws for the control of the scheme.

Many options exist within each type of proposal and we can advise you on those that relate to your particular circumstances.

Your land division application to divide the land into two or more allotments may take in the order of 6 months to complete, but the time frame can vary depending on your ability to comply with the land division conditions in a timely manner. Sawley Lock O’Callaghan is an expert in the management of land division applications and we’ll be able to guide you through the entire process.

If you contact Sawley Lock O’Callaghan our staff will be able to discuss your proposal with you, and provide advice in relation to your proposal’s compliance with the local Council’s planning policies as set out in their Development Plan. You may also like to discuss your proposal with a Council Planning Officer.

The land division process is broadly divided into three distinct stages, namely:

  1. Assessment by Council – The planning phase during which the application is assessed under the Development Act generally takes approximately 3 months. Council will issue a Planning Decision Notification, granting either approval or refusal of the land division application. 
  2. Compliance with the Land Division Conditions of Approval – You will then have to comply with the Conditions of Approval listed on the Planning Decision Notification issued by Council. The Conditions of Approval may include requirements to pay government fees and to demolish any existing buildings and structures on the land. Sawley Lock O’Callaghan will carry out a survey of the land and peg the boundaries of the new allotments. 
  3. Lands Titles Office – When all the Conditions of Approval have been satisfied, the final Land Division Plan can be lodged at the Lands Titles Office. Documentation facilitating the issuing of new Certificates of Title is also lodged. When the plan and documents have been examined and approved, the plan is said to be deposited and the new allotments come into existence. 

The Fences Act sets out the legal protocol that neighbours should adopt in the cases of erecting new fences. It does not set out protocol for having a boundary survey done. However, these costs can be mutually agreed to between neighbours along with the fence costs. A survey would avoid future boundary disputes and give you “peace of mind”. It is also wise to note that the local council will not enter into neighbour’s boundary disputes.

We would advise that the cost of a survey represents a very small percentage of the investment you are about to make. It would be wise to have a survey done before you sign any contract to determine if in fact, any problems do exist. You could also sign a contract subject to satisfactory outcome of a boundary survey. We have found many instances where properties have been bought without survey and where encroachments have been discovered later that can only be fixed at great expense.

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Sawley Lock O’Callaghan’s professional & experienced team is here to help you with all your land division & survey needs in Adelaide & regional South Australia.

Our firm provides surveying and associated services throughout the state. Providing residential & commercial infrastructure surveys.

It is our aim to provide our clients with a very high standard of professional services at an affordable rate.

If you would like to see more of our work please click on the links below. If you would like to learn more about our other staff please click here.