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Identification Survey: You should confirm title matters before purchase

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An Identification Survey confirms or otherwise that what you have seen on site is reflected in the title you purchase. It clarifies the relationship between the improvements (fences, buildings, sheds, driveways etc) at the location with the title boundaries. It does NOT redefine the boundaries of the site (ie the boundaries are not certified as correct for legal purposes) nor provide level or contour information, it gives a general relationship between the boundaries and the improvements. It does NOT result in survey marks, boundary or corner pegs being placed and should NOT be used as the basis of a building or structure setout. If instructing firstly have a look at those links relating to Survey Fees, Terms of Contract and Survey MethologyPlease note there is no Identification Survey that generates fees less than $800 + gst. All Identification surveys are subject to Survey Methodology and the rules of Boundary Re-establishment which can result in substantial increase in fees. Older surveys, travel, slope and vegetation effect survey costs.

It should be noted that if your instruction relates to a Strata Title, then formal Identification of Common Property boundaries will not occur unless specifically instructed to do so.

The example to the right is extreme but is a real life case. An Identification Certificate will carry the following or similar report: 

We refer to your instructions in relation to the above and enclose our Identification Certificate as instructed. We ask you to peruse the enclosed and ensure that same is in accordance with your understanding of instructions given

The enclosed survey is an Identification Survey and as such is not registered at the Lands Titles Office for future boundary identification. We refer you to our web page at


(the glossary section) for a full description of such Identification Surveys. A glance at the “Subdivision Overview” section on the front page will also give you an idea of why we do what we do and our Terms of Contract.

We enclose our account covering our time and costs involved and again ask you to contact us with any queries you may have.

We thank you for your instructions

Yours faithfully


My identification survey includes this certificate, together with the enclosed report and Identification Plan.


I note that your instructions dated XX were verbal rather than written, therefore you should satisfy yourself that this survey is in accordance with your requirements.


I have only identified the land contained within the title details you supplied. The title and plan documents used in the survey relate to a cadastral search I carried out on XX


This survey is prepared for (the sole use of XX/ your sole use) and responsibility for its contents do not extend to the withholding of any information by others or the misuse of any information provided.


The land has been surveyed for identification purposes only and relates to apparent above or clear of ground features


Other interests in the land not covered by this survey may include-

  • Any notations or recordings in Schedule 2 of your title
  • Council land use or zoning implications
  • DEIR land slip implications
  • Council building regulations
  • The identification of any asbestos materials on site
  • Underground services, foundations, rights or easements that are not apparent
  • Cultural or heritage notification or listing

I draw your attention to the major XXXXXXX and XXXXX XXX running through the property. This drain collects, retains and distributes drainage from and to other properties. It is recommended that its existence be formalised by survey and registration on the title, with costs to be borne by the instructor to construction


The subject land is irregularly fenced as shown on the sketch plan attached hereto.


This certificate relates to a Strata Title. Please note that different building code requirements relate to different use strata titles. In particular, Residential Strata Titles have a higher requirement of Fire Protection than, say, a Warehouse or Commercial Strata Title. Conversion from one use to another may not be possible even if planning requirements can be satisfied.


I advise that this title is a “Sketch By Way of Illustration” title and as such, has not been derived from an accepted registered survey plan lodged at the Lands Titles Office. With such titles, the ownership shown in the first Schedule of the Title is guaranteed by Act, but the description of the land is, as is stated, just a sketch (to illustrate the title only). This Survey Certificate Identifies the lands that are your entitlement, the lands one can claim as ‘the title’.


I draw to your attention the existence of an agreement pursuant to Section 71 of the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993. Such agreements are lodged with the local Council (not the Lands Titles Office) and may be viewed at the Council Chambers.


Apart from those that may be shown on the plan, there is no other apparent easements over or affecting the subject land.


I draw your attention to the encroachment by a XXXXXXX building in the XXXXXX corner of the property.


Apart from those shown on the sketch plan, there is no other encroachments by or upon the subject land.


I refer you to the attached copy of the Certificate of Title for Burdening Easements that may apply.


I refer you to the substandard nature of the frontage of the property to a Public Road.


Erected on the subject land are buildings, the position of which are indicated on the sketch plan attached hereto.


I draw your attention to the fact that the title boundary is NOT along the paling fence on the north-western side of the property. It adjoins a Roadway 4.63 wide.


All Surveyors are required by legislation to connect into Map Grid of Australia (MGA) co-ordinates. This connection has formed part of our time and costs. Due to this connection side benefits are available. You can use a ‘hand held’ gps to find your boundaries or if you are running “Google earth”, you can view your Boundary Points at the following link. (double click and accept the warning.)





Identification surveys are neither lodged, examined, nor registered in the Office of the Recorder of Titles unless specifically desired. Note if lodgement is required significant additional information is required to be added to my plan for lodgement purposes.


It is always possible that the registration of a future cadastral survey plan may vary or re-define the title boundaries in accordance with established boundary evidence and the legal rules of boundary re-instatement.


No responsibility can be accepted for your title boundaries that were last defined in XX by Sealed Plan/Strata Plan/ Plan XX.


An Identification Survey gives you security in relation to your new purchase and highlights any survey deficiencies that may be applicable to the site. Survey Fees are applicable.



An Identification Survey should be undertaken before settlement on a new purchase and indeed should form part of the Contract Conditions (ie. This Contract is subject to Confirmation of Title Matters and Occupation by means of an Identification Survey by a Authorised Surveyor)


We undertake Identification Surveys providing a Certificate covering those matters referred to above.

Contact us for advice in relation to these matters.