Boundary Adjustment (October 2015)

Boundary adjustments provide you with options

Recently I’ve fielded several calls from people faced with challenging times as a result of the lower dairy payout.  Obviously everyone wants to hold on to their land at all cost as, after all, it will produce their income in the longer term. But some have no choice and may need to sell some. 

So what can you do?  It may be too late for some if you don’t own multiple titles already however many district plans do still have scope for subdividing properties, particularly if they are of a reasonable size.  Most Councils allow the adjustment of boundaries between adjoining titles.

So, if you have acted early and created or purchased additional titles along the way, you should have options.  The aim of the game will generally be to sell as little land as possible – most value lies in the house site. 

This means selling a lifestyle block with enough land for a garden and a few animals, without including too much productive land in the deal.  If your existing titles are large, we can often gain approval to shrink one in size and transfer the bulk of the land into the other title. 

When up-sizing the farm by purchasing the property next door you should always try to obtain a separate title.  Often people sell off the additional house to claw back some capital, but if you don't this additional title can be used somewhere else on the property to create a lifestyle block or be retained just in case your situation changes.  Some people use these additional titles to create a retirement lot around their house when they eventually sell their farm or better still create a title separate from the farm business right away to protect the family home.

If your current goal is to rearrange your boundaries or subdivide prior to next season, now is the time to act.  It is not uncommon for the simplest boundary change to take six months to complete and, if there are legal issues or delays in gaining approvals from other parties, there is potential for this to be even longer.

Boundary adjustments, where there are no new titles created, are becoming more common now as a means of subdividing, since many councils moved to tighten their subdivision rules.  However, if there is a chance of creating a new title under the local council's rules, we always advise that you  do that.  That way you will have more options in the future for rearranging boundaries or selling part of your land.

So, if you are contemplating any changes to your boundaries or wanting to subdivide for flexibility in the future and to get the best value out of your land, now is the time to act, before it is too late.  Feel free to give me a call and discuss your situation. 

Brent Trail, Managing Director of Surveying Services, specialises in resource consent applications for subdivisions across the Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Coromandel.  For further information call 0800 268 632 or email


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