If you are involved in any kind of construction or renovation work, you may require the services of a land surveyor – someone who inspects and records the shape of the land you have at your disposal. There are several times when this may be necessary.
When buying land
A land survey will be necessary to determine exactly what land you are acquiring. The surveyor will plan out the boundaries of the land, showing where it adjoins with other people's land, and will determine the position of any trees, outbuildings or other structures in relation to these boundaries. The survey should also determine any access issues and reveal if there is any public access to any of the land you have bought.
When renovating or constructing new buildings
A land survey will also be necessary if you are renovating any existing buildings or putting up new ones. It will make sure that what you are planning will physically fit on the site, and by taking into account such features as slopes or hills, it will tell you if the project is physically possible or if you will have to do any work on the land. The survey will also ensure that the project does not cross the legal boundaries of your land.
When you need a planning permit
If you need a permit for your building work, the project will be assessed against the many policies, permits and planning statements that are already in force. You will also need to fit in with any zoning regulations - there may be overlays to protect wildlife and vegetation, guard against wildfires or simply blend in with local buildings. In order to make a persuasive case that your project fits in with the local government's strategies and rules, you will need to back your argument up with a comprehensive land survey.
When you have a boundary dispute
Having to fight a boundary dispute in court can be time-consuming and expensive. A land surveyor may be able to settle the facts of the dispute without court action becoming necessary. If you can provide documentary evidence that your work has indeed stayed on your side of the boundary, it is unlikely that any court action would be taken against you.
Land surveying is a vital part of any building work. You should see it as a vital step, and not as something you can skimp on.