Explained: What is a property Boundary Survey?
WHAT IS A PROPERTY BOUNDARY SURVEY?
Realserve is an Australian property measurement company that can complete a property boundary survey of a block of land that is being used for residential, commercial or industrial purposes to:
- Determine the identity and location of improvements, fencing and boundary occupations relative to the boundary.
- Investigation and reporting into: encroachments, easements, restrictions, leases and other interests that may affect the land.
Preparation of a title boundary survey plan and report is then provided & if required the boundaries can also be pegged or marked on request.
WHAT ARE THE STATE VARIATIONS OF A BOUNDARY SURVEY?
Each state has its own requirements for a Boundary Survey and sometimes they are referred to using slightly different terminology;
NSW boundary survey is commonly referred to as a Boundary Identification Survey
VIC boundary survey is commonly referred to as a Title Re-establishment Survey
QLD boundary survey is commonly referred to as a Location Certificate Survey (Not a “Boundary Survey”)
SA boundary survey – is also referred to as a Boundary Identification Survey
WA boundary survey – is also referred to as a Boundary Identification Survey
While the names of the boundary surveys and some terminology differs from state to state, the output is essentially the same. Realserve has professionals in each state who can prepare plans in accordance with each state’s plan requirements. Realserve has an office in each state of Australia and can provide a quotation for a boundary survey to satisfy your requirements.
HOW MUCH DOES A BOUNDARY SURVEY COST?
A Boundary Survey cost will typically need to cover for all fieldwork, resources, office computations and the final plan drawing/s. We can provide an obligation free quotation that will take into consideration the Size, Location, Site Complexities and Timing required so that you can arrive at a fixed fee for your survey boundary.
Marking/Pegging the boundary corners are always at an additional cost.
When obtaining a quote for a boundary survey, it’s important to clarify whether a written report is required with the survey plan as in some cases, ie for a residential property, a report is not always required.
WHY DO YOU NEED A BOUNDARY SURVEY?
Land and improvements thereon are most often a land owner’s most valuable asset. As such, it is important to know what affects, burdens or benefits the parcel of land. It can also be equally important to have this information when selling the land. Having this information available to future vendors can show transparency and save time in a negotiations or sale process.
The cost / benefit is enormous given the overall cost of a typical property transaction.
We had a client who owned and occupied an industrial warehouse in metropolitan Sydney but had made the decision to sell their property. They engaged a sales agent who advised that the best tools for a quick sale would be to have the prudent boundary information available to any interested investors, as well as basic marketing drawings.
Realserve were engaged to;
- Undertake a Boundary Identification Survey
- Prepare a Survey Report
- Prepare Marketing Drawings for the warehouse and site.
The Boundary Identification Survey highlighted a few complexities regarding where the actual boundary was on the site. Realserve’s investigations established the true, and legal location, of the northern boundary on the site.
By doing this at the time of their decision to sell, the vendor was prepared and able to inform a potential buyer of the discovery and result. This prevented any delays in the property sale compared to if it had been discovered when the buyer was doing their due diligence prior to acquiring the property.
WHEN DO YOU NEED TO REQUEST A BOUNDARY SURVEY?
In most cases you would engage a surveyor during the Due Diligence period for most major property acquisitions. It is particularly important information to have when looking at purchasing land where you have the intention of developing it. So this could be for a residential apartment block, commercial office building or industrial warehousing complex. This critical information assists property professionals in decision making, land division and price point negotiations etc.
Some vendors may engage a surveyor at the time of deciding put a property up for sale in order to have all the relevant information available to potential buyers and prevent any delays in the process.
Another scenario that may require a Boundary Survey to be done is when there is a dispute about the boundaries on a property. The survey will help you fully understand your land and any potential issues or encumbrances.
A boundary survey can be used to confirm the exact location of existing boundary fence/s or when building a fence. There could be a dispute between neighbouring property owners as to which property a fence sits on. A boundary survey will help clarify this for both parties.
HOW IS A BOUNDARY SURVEY COMPLETED?
Step 1: Any land boundary survey starts with retrieving the title of land. This outlines all interests in land and encumbrances that affect the land (eg: easements, leases, restrictions etc.) To identify this information a Realserve surveyor will order the relevant titles and registered survey plans that are on record with the relevant state titles office.
Step 2: A site survey of your property will connect to boundary reference survey marks to identify the boundary location. Then the location of improvements, adjacent improvements, fencing and boundary walls can be located relative to the boundary. This will confirm set-backs & possible encroachments by or upon the property.
Step 3: We will then compile this information and summarise it in the finished Boundary Survey report that you receive.
WHO CAN LEGALLY PRODUCE A BOUNDARY SURVEY?
Realserve has a team of local surveyors that have Cadastral Endorsement. This industry acknowledgment means you can rely on the information produced. Only registered / licensed surveyors can legally survey boundaries and the relationship of the improvements to these. A cadastral surveyor is responsible for accurately defining property boundaries and understanding the laws of land ownership. This can include the identification of residential or rural boundaries, re-establishing boundaries that have been previously surveyed or creating new boundaries as part of the land subdivision process.
A Realserve cadastral surveyor has the skill and knowledge to interpret and advise on the location of boundaries plus if there are any rights or restrictions relating to the property. The information and measurements taken by the cadastral surveyor are recorded and lodged with the relevant government agency in each state.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN A BOUNDARY SURVEY?
Realserve have licensed land surveyors that will concentrate on the boundaries and how any infrastructure or improvements interfaces with those boundaries with examples including a wall, fence, column or gutter etc. The infrastructure location is then described as: on the boundary, over the boundary or clear of the boundary.
A typical scope of work for a boundary survey will include;
A) Investigate existing survey information and purchase relevant title and plan searches of Real Property Description.
B) Carry out the fieldwork to determine the relationship of occupation and location of boundaries and any associated improvements.
C) Survey Report and Sketch Plan to include:
- The general identity & area of the land.
- The general identity of the improvements.
- Any encroachments by buildings or other improvements (where visible/accessible).
- The location of buildings & improvements relative to title boundaries (where visible/accessible).
- The general position/type of fencing/boundary walls/occupations.
- Any easements benefiting the property or to which it may be subject.
- Notation of the existence of any Covenants, Restrictions and Leases to which the land and the Title may be subject.
- The option of Marking / Pegging of a boundary
WHY DO BOUNDARY SURVEY COSTS VARY SO MUCH?
The prices of boundary survey quotes vary and are based on a number of key determining factors including what is actually outlined in the scope of works.
Some elements that that will affect the cost of having a survey completed includes;
- The property’s size
- Complexities of the site including;
- how many individual lots are included in the scope of works,
- the number of boundaries and adjoining properties
- the number of buildings and improvements on or near the boundary
- other considerations include timing and accessibility into and around the property
- The deliverables also affect cost such as whether the plan is to be delivered as a PDF, 2D or 3D CAD file, and whether a Survey Report or Boundary Marking on site is required.