Why You Need to Be Careful about Your Property's Title before Scheduling Complex Improvements

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Why You Need to Be Careful about Your Property's Title before Scheduling Complex Improvements

24 August 2017
 Categories: , Blog

If you are getting excited about an upcoming improvement to your existing property, you may need to pause for a while to consider some legal elements first. Did you know that your upgrades may have an impact on the title that you hold? What do you need to consider in this case?


Local councils require every individual property within their jurisdiction to be carefully surveyed, so that they get accurate information. While these surveys are typically done when a property is built or changes hands, it's frequently necessary when any major alterations are scheduled. The government will want to know how these alterations will affect the property and will call for a "re-establishment" survey.

This type of survey is especially important if you're considering any building improvements that may be near, or even on top of a boundary. This may affect a sizeable addition (such as a kitchen extension), or will definitely be pertinent if you're building a retaining wall on your property edge.

Different Surveying Methods

Surveyors will implement a number of different methods to re-establish your boundaries and underline your title. They will look for relevant records and information from within the council offices to provide them with a reference. These pertinent marks will provide them with what is known in legal terms as a "direct link."

There may be some indirect links contained within early plans as well, which might refer to physical indications attached to the property, or other landmarks. The planners will need to verify the existence of these indicators, before they can be considered as accurate reference markers.

It's also possible that no markers exist at all and in this case planners will need to do an extensive survey "on-site" to give them a place to start the process.

In an ideal world, existing records held in a central location will provide all the data necessary for re-establishment. It's also possible, however, for a large project to complicate matters and sometimes a surveyor will need to look at other properties in the neighbourhood, to help determine the outcome.

Occasionally, the experts will find that the current survey differs from the original in some way. It's possible that the land surrounding the property has settled if the master survey is quite old, but in any case, it's important to itemise why such a difference exists.

Before You Proceed

To avoid any potential disputes in the future, always ensure that you re-establish the boundaries of your property, so that you have a clear call on its title. It's far better to be sure before any work commences and this is why you should get in touch with a land surveyor as soon as possible.