Identification Surveys


G.V.Hull & Associates undertake numerous identification surveys for local Councils, solicitors, architects, builders and developers. Identification Surveys, as they are known in New South Wales, have developed over the years as an 'insurance policy' for finance bodies, council building inspectors or people intending to purchase property, and provide some security and confidence that there are no special problems associated with the property such as encroachments or encumbrances.

An 'ident' is a report by a surveyor derived from measurements and observations taken in the field, and subsequent calculations which help form his professional opinion as to the location of the boundaries. The report is an 'official' document in as much as it is accepted by the legal profession and the community at large as a true representation of the current status of the boundaries of the subject property and the improvements thereon. It is relied upon by banker, lawyer, valuer, real estate agent, builder and

home buyer alike as protection against costly litigation should there be misrepresentation by the vendor, loss of value due to encroachment of buildings, or some unfortunate breakdown in the system which may cause the title to the property to be questioned.

Unlike other countries (e.g New Zealand), these 'ident' or mortgage surveys are the result of a contract between two parties, and their existence is not recorded in any way by any government department. As such, a survey report can disappear into an archived file and a property may be surveyed every time the title changes ownership, unless the previous report is tendered in the contract for sale.

An identification survey report deals firstly with 'identifying' that the actual parcel of land is as described within the contract for sale. This requires the surveyor to attend the property, take measurements to known reference points such as street corners, public reserves or pathways or old survey marks placed by a previous surveyor, and make certain that the parcel of land described in the Folio of the Register (previously known as the Certificate of Title) exists in its entirety on the ground. The surveyor then reports on improvements he has observed and their position in relation to the boundaries, whether they are wholly within the boundaries or whether they encroach upon adjoining lands. If the survey relates to a private residence, he must make comment whether the position of the building complies with regulations relating to minimum distances of walls from boundaries.

The report is expected to make comment on the existence or otherwise of drainage easements, covenants and restrictions on the use of the land. The surveyor needs to verify the location of easements and compliance with the terms of covenants or restrictions.

Identification survey reports constitute a large proportion of surveys undertaken in New South Wales each year and can represent the majority of a consulting surveyor's workload.




18 Blamey St, Revesby,
NSW 2212, Australia


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