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Everything You Need to Know Before Subdividing a Property

Countless property developers have found lucrative returns from subdividing property across the world by creating more value out of an existing asset – land. But it’s hardly ever as simple as knocking down a structure and putting up two, three, or more in its place. In this blog, Boutique Lawyers explore everything you need to know before subdividing a property.

Understanding and Meeting Zoning Requirements

If you are planning to purchase a property with hopes of subdividing, it is important that you first understand any of the zoning requirements or local planning schemes applicable to that land, including those of individual policies of local councils. These will outline various stipulations under which new lot owners must abide, such as minimum sizes of land where subdividing can occur. Interested buyers must therefore make themselves aware of such influencing factors – especially as they will likely vary between councils and locations – because it will ultimately determine a development’s potential size and scale, and, by extension, whether it is a worthwhile investment. This isn’t only negative influencing factor, either. In addition to zoning restrictions, countless council policies also include several clauses that hold elements capable of improving a site’s development potential, such as variations on lot sizes. Regardless, the more you know, the more informed your decision-making process is. If you are concerned, have all requirements reviewed and communicated to you by professional lawyers.

Additional Hurdles to Subdividing

Now you are aware of all zoning restrictions and local council policies, start to take into account any of the other aspects in your lot’s vicinity that may create additional hurdles to your subdividing plans. Undertaking due diligence to build a feasibility report around the project could identify some alarming findings, like neighbouring sewerage systems, rendering building in that attributable area impossible. It could also uncover site-specific restrictions, for example, those applicable to lots in a location prone to bushfires or similar danger areas, leading to individual specifications for redevelopment. Lastly, it is good practice to look beyond local council policies that deal solely with subdividing, and closer to council requirements within domestic construction, such as those in regards to the upgrade of a dwelling, like the restriction of additional driveways. It may not end your subdividing plans, but it could introduce new demands and costs to the project.

Subdividing Demand

The more properties on a piece of land, the more potential for profit, yes? Well, not always. Simply because a property developer chooses to subdivide, does not translate to the location’s market holding the demand to support such a project once completed. Again, the best way to determine this is through research; get to know the area before you invest in it. Acknowledge what is selling well and what isn’t. For example, is there an excess of vacant properties within the area, or countless duplexes? If so, then logic suggests there isn’t the demand for the results of subdivided property.


Easements are rights taken by outside parties to give them permission to use your property for a pre-determined need. Electricity lines running beneath the land are the common cause for easements to be taken out by providers, as they need guarantees for access, should issues occur. Property developers planning to subdivide need to be aware of any easements in place of their prospective land, for the owner will have the responsibility thrust upon them to ensure access is not hampered by works or the finished product. Again, this can amount to far higher costs, especially on smaller lots, as greater measures are needed to be taken to make the most of the space.

Obtain Professional Assistance Before Making an Investment

Be certain you are making the right investment choice to begin subdividing.

Be sure you are aware and understand every aspect of the restrictions and requirements in relation to an interested lot.

Be proactive and contact the team at Boutique Lawyers today by calling 1300 556 140, or leaving your details on our contact page, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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