Below we discuss a case study showing just WHY you should always engage a LICENSED LAND SURVEYOR from the offset when building on your property.

But firstly you might ask, WHEN do I need a title re-establishment completed on my property?

The answer is simple:

Any works on or within close proximity to a Title boundary would require a Title Re-Establishment.

These may include building a House/Shed/Fence/Garage/Pool/Extension/ or retaining wall.

Title Re-Establishment Case Study

Here’s what can happen when a Licensed Surveyor is not engaged at the appropriate time!
First I’ll give an overview of the facts of a recent project we were involved in, and then follow by what should have happened.


1. Land owner engages a building designer

2. Building designer engages a surveyor (unsure who) to do a feature and level survey only, the fences are assumed to closely represent the Title position and the underground asset (large sewer main) is plotted from the assumed Title position.

3. Designs completed, engineering plans/comps done, building permit issued.

4. Builder accepts the build job from the land owner.

5. Builder engages a Licensed Surveyor (us) to complete the Title re-establishment so the house setout can be done.

6. We complete the site survey only to find the fences are 200-500mm out on both sides of the parcel (refer to plan above).

7. Builder immediately notifies both the land owner and the building designer of the major discrepancy.

8. Building designer has to re-design the home, shifting it across which upsets the levels/elevations and also needing to respect the correct location of the underground sewer main (as its assumed position was also wrong).

9. Structural engineering plans/comps all need to be redone

10. The re-design cost the landowner considerable money and around 3 months in delays. It also caused significant tension between the builder and building designer

11. Finally the builder starts, but due to the incorrect fence location there is not enough room for the scaffolding down one side which leads to a WorkCover investigation/issue for the builder

12. Months later the landowner is still in (strained) negotiations with their neighbour to relocate the fence to the correct Title position

All of this tension, extra cost and delay could have been avoided if the building designer and/or the landowner had of engaged a Licensed Surveyor to undertake a Title Re-Establishment survey in point 2 – the initial design phase.

It is not often we see discrepancies this large, but this isn’t the first time we’ve seen it and we’re sure it won’t be the last.

If you’re planning on building, whether it be a new home or an extension, don’t get caught like these unlucky landowners, contact a Licensed Surveyor today!

Example RE Plan