- April 25, 2015
Property Subdivision in Victoria
There is a lot of misinformation surrounding the process of property subdivision, so let’s start with some frequently asked questions:
Can I subdivide my block?
Not all properties can be subdivided. The proposed new lots must all possess a combination of requirements for subdivision certification be granted.
What exactly is Subdivision?
Subdivision is the process of dividing a large land allotment into two or more smaller land allotments, each on their own separate title.
Each lot needs to be fully self sufficient, i.e. each will have its own connections for water, electricity, gas, phone etc. The service connections for one lot, such as water pipes, phone lines etc, should not encroach on another lot.
Who carries out the land subdivision?
A qualified land surveyor is the central consultant in any land subdivision.
Is the subdivision process separate to the Town Planning Application and Town Planning Permit?
Yes. Land / Property Subdivision requires a separate permit application to that of a town planning permit.
Importantly, obtaining a town planning permit does not guarantee that you will be able to subdivide.
Do I have to subdivide in order to sell?
Yes. Although it is possible to obtain a town planning permit to build two or more dwellings on a property, without subdivision, these dwellings will all remain on the one title.
If you intend to sell the homes separately, then each home will need to be subdivided onto its own individual lot.
At the end of the process, the titles office will issue a brand new certificate of title for each subdivided lot.
How long does it take?
Typically in Victoria the process should take around 3-4 months. However timeframes for individual projects will vary.
What can go wrong?
Council may delay (or sometimes reject!) a subdivision permit application if:
- Each lot is not fully self sufficient for all required services.
- The service connections for one lot encroach on another lot. (in this case an easement may need to be created, or the service be reinstated)
- The designer fails to clearly indicate connection points on plans, causing trades to “guess” where services should be connected in order to acheive a clean subdivision.
- The designer places connection points in locations which cause service connections for one lot to cross lot boundaries of another lot.
- The trades for each service install connection points at the wrong locations.
All of these outcomes are costly in terms of delays and dollars.
Service connections to new dwellings should be considered right from the initial site layout of the proposed development.
It helps to consult with an experienced residential designer, a residential buiilder, an engineer and a licensed land surveyor before finalising your site layout.
With the input of all these professionals, your chances of a clean and swift subdivision are greatly increased.
Important Steps in the Subdivision process
- Clearly identify all service connection points (Gas, water, electricity, sewerage, telephone, cable etc) and asset locations on plans.
- Ensure that all lots are fully self sufficient.
- Plan layout of units to ensure there are no service connections crossing neighbouring lot boundaries.
- Make sure that each service contractor knows where their service connection points and assets should be located.
Subdivided lots can be sold as vacant, with plans and permits to build, or be built on and then sold as finished dwellings.
For more detailed information on the requirements for Subdividing land in Victoria, refer to Clause 56 of the Victorian State Planning Policy.