Knowledge Centre

What's Involved In A Boundary Survey?

A Boundary or Identification Survey involves the identification of a lot’s external boundaries and physically marking them on the ground. Whilst this sounds simple, the process of identifying where boundaries should be located is immensely complicated. 

Queensland operates within the Torrens Title system which guarantees the current facts relating to title for each registered lot; for example, the size, dimensions and location of a property's boundary.

To provide this guarantee, the state government requires all Boundary or Identification Surveys be complete exclusively by Registered Cadastral Surveyors with a Consulting Endorsement. This is the highest level of qualification and certification that a Surveyor can attain and normally takes several decades to earn. 

A Boundary or Identification Survey can take several days to complete and there are several time-intensive activities that need to take place before a single boundary mark can be placed on your property: 

  • Purchase and analysis of all Survey Plans affecting your lot
  • Location of all above and below ground survey marks listed on the Survey Plans
  • Measurement of the survey marks

Much of this process takes place on the streets around your property as well as in the office environment. 

As the majority of plans and information that a Surveyor is required to work from predate 1980 and were initially made using antiquated technology, there is often significant differences and inaccuracies during this location process.

Reconciling these differences is complicated and requires the use of advanced trigonometry, significant experience and skill. Once the Registered Cadastral Surveyor with a Consulting Endorsement has calculated the “most correct” position for your boundaries, they can finally place physical marks in the ground. This is the quickest part of the process and generally takes a few hours at your property.

Once your boundaries have been marked, the Surveyor is required to prepare a Survey Plan for lodgement to the Queensland Department of Resources as a matter of public record.

The Survey Plan is also considered a legal document that can be used in court proceedings.

A Boundary Survey is generally required when you need to identify the exact location of your boundaries. These circumstances include the material change to existing properties when you want to: 

  • Build a new house or pool
  • Build extensions onto an existing house
  • Erect new fences/retaining walls
  • Determine whether a neighbour's structure encroaches on your property

What should you do next?

If you're unsure whether you require a Boundary / Identification Survey or you have questions about your property, please feel free to contact us and we'll connect you with one of our Registered Cadastral Surveyors with a Consulting Endorsement.


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