Thinking of subdividing your property? Considerations before you start.

19 June 2018

With land prices at a premium and demand high, subdividing your land could be a great way to sell part of your property and use the money to repay debt or to invest. However, there are a number of considerations to make before jumping into the process feet first.

Is your land actually capable of being subdivided?

The best place to ask this question is by speaking with your Local Council, surveyor and lawyer. Generally, for a residential section to be subdividable (dependent on the District Plan relevant to the area where the property is located), it will need to be larger than 950m2. If your section is a regular shape this will make the likelihood of subdivision more feasible. Your lawyer will also be able to check that your property isn’t subject to any restrictive covenants and also liaise with your accountant as to whether there are any taxation issues.

I think I can subdivide – now what?

Your surveyor and lawyer can help you understand the process and whether completing a subdivision is practical or not. Undertaking a subdivision can be exciting however there are risks as well as the potential for it to be very costly.

Obtaining Subdivision Consent

You will need to obtain a resource consent from your Local Council to complete a subdivision. This is often a complex process and one which requires your lawyer, surveyor and possibly a planner to be involved. You may need specific advice on matters such as zoning and whether there will be any conditions or restrictions which will be necessary to comply with. During this stage, plans of the subdivision detailing the separate proposed lots will be submitted as part of the consent application.

Once the Council has granted its consent you can move on to having your surveyor complete a formal survey of the property which will finalise the new boundaries of the separate lots. It may also be necessary to complete any physical works required and satisfy any conditions required by the Council (as required by the Resource Consent).

Final Sign Off and Lodging Documentation for Registration

Once all the necessary works have been completed and all conditions met, the Council will provide your lawyer and surveyor with the certificates needed to have the subdivision lodged for registration. Your lawyer and surveyor will work together to lodge the subdivision documentation (including any easements, and land covenants) to enable the separate titles to issue.

What are the costs involved in a subdivision?

Unfortunately as no two subdivisions are ever the same, it means the cost of completing a subdivision is often hard to gauge. The costs you are likely to incur include Council and LINZ fees such as the resource consent application fee and development contributions, and fees charged by your surveying company, lawyer and any other consultants required to be involved. By making sure you get the right advice from the start, this can help you avoid the risk of unnecessary delays and unexpected costs.

Odette Cottle is part of our Corporate & Commercial team at Norris Ward McKinnon.

Corporate & Commercial Team