When you are investing in a new home or property, survey reports in property law are extremely important. Essentially, property survey report confirms the accurate boundaries of any property.
In Australian property law and conveyancing, survey reports refer to documents that contain information about the physical legal boundaries, dimensions, and characteristics of a specific piece of land or property.
Licensed land surveyors typically prepare these property surveys/house survey reports. These are used to identify and clarify property boundaries, which can be important in disputes or legal proceedings related to land ownership or use. Survey reports in property law in Australia may include details such as:
- the exact location and size of the property,
- the legal boundary of the property or boundary lines/property lines
- the presence of any structures or features on the property, and
- any encroachments or easements that may affect the property.
Additionally, survey reports may also include information about any relevant zoning or planning regulations that apply to the property. Land survey can also give details about any environmental or other factors that may impact the property.
Types of Survey Reports
There are several types of survey reports available in Australia for property law purposes. The most common types of survey reports are:
- Boundary Survey: A boundary survey identifies the exact boundaries of a property, provides legal description of property, and can help to resolve disputes over property ownership and use.
- Feature Survey: A feature survey provides information about the physical features of a property, such as buildings, fences, and trees.
- Contour Survey: A contour survey provides information about the topography and elevations of a property. It can be used to identify potential drainage or flood issues.
- Strata Survey: A strata survey is used for strata-titled properties and provides information about common areas, shared facilities, and unit boundaries.
- Engineering Survey: An engineering survey provides information about the location and elevation of infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, and utilities.
- Subdivision Survey: A subdivision survey is used to divide a larger property into smaller lots and can be used for the purposes of land development.
- Construction Survey: Contractors who work on the property may order this before commencing work.
- Topographic Survey: Businesses or developers may order this type for planning or building a new facility.
The type of survey report required will depend on the specific needs of the property owner, buyer, or developer. It is recommended to consult with a licensed surveyor to determine which type of survey report is required for a particular property.
Importance of Survey Reports
Parties may use survey reports in property law for various reasons including property transactions, boundary disputes, land development, and legal disputes. They are an important tool that ensure that party’s properly establish and protect their property rights. These also help to avoid conflicts and disputes over property boundaries and use. Importance of survey reports include:
- Clarifying property boundaries: Survey reports help to clarify the exact boundaries of a property, which is important for establishing property ownership and avoiding disputes with neighbours.
- Identifying encroachments: Survey reports can identify any encroachments, such as fences or buildings, that may be located on or near property boundaries. This can help to resolve disputes over property ownership and use.
- Ensuring compliance with regulations: Survey reports can help to ensure that development projects comply with relevant zoning and planning regulations, as well as any environmental or other factors that may impact the property.
- Supporting legal disputes: Parties can use survey reports as evidence in legal disputes related to property boundaries, ownership, or use, helping to establish the facts of the case and support the claims of the parties involved.
- Protecting property rights: Survey reports can help to protect property rights by providing clear and accurate information about the physical characteristics of the property, including its boundaries and any encroachments or easements that may affect its use.
Overall, survey reports are an important tool for ensuring the establishment of property rights and for avoiding disputes and conflicts related to property ownership and use. They provide valuable information about the physical characteristics of a property, which is essential for making informed decisions about property transactions, development projects, and legal disputes.
Who Needs Survey Reports?
There are different types of stakeholders who may require survey reports. A variety of stakeholders may require survey reports in property law in Australia, including:
- Property buyers and sellers: Buyers and sellers of property may need survey reports to clarify property boundaries, identify any encroachments, and ensure that they have a clear understanding of the property’s physical characteristics before entering into a transaction.
- Property developers: Property developers may need survey reports to determine the feasibility of a proposed development project, identify any constraints or challenges related to the property’s physical characteristics, and ensure that the development complies with relevant zoning and planning regulations.
- Landowners: Landowners may need survey reports to clarify property boundaries, identify any encroachments or easements that may affect the property, and ensure that they protect their property rights.
- Local governments: Local governments may use survey reports to inform planning and zoning decisions, ensure compliance with relevant regulations, and resolve disputes related to land use and ownership.
- Legal professionals: Lawyers and other legal professionals may need survey reports to support legal disputes related to property boundaries, ownership, or use.
In general, anyone involved in the ownership, use, or development of land or property in Australia may need to use survey reports in property law to ensure that their interests are protected and that they comply with relevant laws and regulations.
I Am a Property Buyer. Do I Really Need a Survey Report?
While property buyers have no legally obligation to obtain such a report, increasingly, many people have been opting to get this report. So, although you do not need to get one, and the laws and regulations do not mandate this, lawyers always recommend property buyers to obtain survey reports.
In addition to the reasons listed above, you may want to consider obtaining a survey report before buying a property so you can:
- Prevent Issues in the Future: A survey report can help you to identify any potential issues with the property before you make the purchase, helping you to avoid surprises down the line.
- Protect Your Investment: This report can help to protect your investment by providing clear and accurate information about the physical characteristics of the property, including its boundaries and any encroachments or easements that may affect its use.
Contact Our Conveyancing Team
Before you get in touch with licensed conveyors, and before you proceed with all conveyancing procedures, it is necessary to obtain legal advice. If you have questions about the property surveyed, or the property surveyor, speak to our lawyers.
Purchasing property is no small feat. Because of the costs involved, it is important that you ensure you have all the information you need. Moreover, people often wonder about the costs of getting these reports.
The cost of survey reports in Australia can vary depending on a number of factors, including the size and complexity of the property, the type of survey required, and the location of the property.
Generally, a basic boundary survey report can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 AUD, while more complex surveys, such as feature or contour surveys, can cost upwards of $5,000 AUD or more.