formal identifiers are the legal description.
AND CADASTRAL DESCRIPTION
legal identifiers or legal description are the identifiers found on
the Certificate of Title (CT). The information can be found by
searching at the Land Titles Office (LTO). For example, a computer
folio search or using secondary evidence such as a rate or land tax
notice. The legal description consists of:
- LEGAL OWNER
The name and address of the
registered owner (proprietor) on the Certificate of Title. The legal
owner is the registered proprietor under the Torrens system. If owned
by more than one person the ownership should be noted as either joint
tenants or tenants in common.
- A company's ABN and
registration number should be notified
- LOT AND PLAN IDENTIFIER
For example, Lot 2 DP 234567. The title reference is also the lot/dp eg 2/234567.
The Deposited Plan (DP) is a plan registered with the Land Titles
Office and is the legal plan of the property. The strata equivalent is
the Strata Plan (SP) (NSW) or Unit Plan (UP) (ACT). In NSW the SP
replaces the DP but in the ACT the Block and Section are still used as
a identifier together with the UP.
- LEGAL DIMENSIONS
Are taken from the Certificate
of Title or DP and are abbreviated in the report as in the following
about 25/25.5 * about
of area should also be qualified as being approximate. For urban
sites the area is expressed in square metres and for rural
properties; in hectares (1 hectare =10 000 square metres). Do not
use square feet, acres or squares as metric units have replaced them.
Torrens title identifier traditionally used by the Land Titles Office is the Volume
and Folio number whereas that used under old system title is the
Book and Number.
Now use the lot/dp numbers. For example, lot49 of dp753228.
type of tenure should be stated. For example, Torrens, old system or
a crown title. In the ACT, the tenure is usually stated as "Crown
Leasehold" and the number of years left in the Crown Lease
Certificate of Title will reveal any registered encumbrance on the
land. The two most important encumbrances (as they have a major
impact on value) are easements and covenants. Some crown easements
may not be registered for example, statutory drainage and sewerage
easements by the water authority. However, they can usually be
discovered on site by looking for inspection covers.
most important registered interest is a commercial lease. The
Certificate may refer to a document number if the lease is lodged
with the Land Titles Office and this will allow the valuer to search
and find details of the lease. All data contained on the Certificate
of Title or in lodged documents are public domain, so that
information, which the parties to the agreement may wish to remain
confidential, can be discovered. However, the valuer cannot release
such data to a third party under the Privacy Act.
term residential leases are not usually registered on the title.
INFORMATION AT THE LAND TITLES OFFICE (LTO)
the advent of database programs to establish Land Information Systems
(LIS), a computer title search will also reveal other relevant
information for example, a heritage listing or road widening
affection. In NSW a s149 Certificate will reveal almost all the
controls and restrictions on the site that affect value.
example of a deposited plan
LTO will have a registered plan of the site or the plan on the
Certificate of Title can be used instead. The plan will provide the
following useful information:
- dimensions and area
- title reference
- encumbrances (if any) such as
easements or a road widening proposals.
ACT has a very good system of Block and Section maps issued by
ACTPLA. These show all released blocks and sections for each division
(suburb). There is no need to search for a Deposited Plan as is the
case in NSW.
inspection physical features should be noted such as reserves or
other local landmarks that can enable a more accurate and possible
field identification of the location of the property. These are
particularly important in new subdivisions where there are few ground
or street markers available.
inspection it may be found that the property is occupied. The valuer
must ascertain the status of the occupants if an unqualified market
value is required. If the client requires a valuation "subject
to vacant possession" then it is not necessary to pursue the
status of a tenancy. However, the rental being paid may be a useful
indicator of value.
a client provides information on the status of a tenancy and the
valuer in the valuation report uses that information, it should be
stated that the valuation has been determined on the information
supplied. It is often a good idea to include a copy of the letter
containing the information in the report.
also applies to information supplied by authorities about the subject
property. The most important is the certificate supplied by the local
council concerning the zoning and other government controls and
information on the property. In NSW the information is "certified"
by the council under s149 of the Local Government Act and therefore,
it can be safely used to value the property. Again a copy of the s149
certificate should be included in the valuation report.
provided verbally should be stated as such in the report which should
also have a disclaimer to the effect that if the information supplied
is shown to be wrong the valuer has the right to change the
valuation. Often sales are used that have not yet been recorded by
the relevant authorities. These should be noted as "reported".
information may be general public information and controls by way of
legislation. A copy of the relevant parts of such controls should be
included in the report.
of the above information is primary data and can be used with
confidence by the valuer.
INSPECTION OF THE PROPERTY
valuer should obtain legitimate access to the property to enable a
physical inspection in accordance with industry standards and
assignment requirements. This is usually by permission of the owner
if the property is owner occupied or vacant. If the property is
subject to a tenancy then the physical inspection is at the
convenience of the tenant as he/she has the right of quiet enjoyment.
It is usually left to the owner or property manager to arrange a
suitable inspection time with the. tenant. On no account should the
valuer inspect on his own volition as this may jeopardize the status
of the tenancy.
physical identification of the property is usually by way of address
but should be checked against known features from the plan or map.
For example, if it is a corner site. Very occasionally the address is
notes, and verifications of the physical aspects of the land,
buildings, plant and equipment, and/or improvements are in accordance
with the local authority's and government's requirements,
regulations, and the relevant industry standards.
plan is an accurate and formal document usually prepared by a
surveyor or survey draftsman. If plans are available of the house
they should be incorporated in the report and thus making it easier
to measure the building or the site.
sketch on the other hand is an informal plan of the building, site or
land and is the diagram most used by valuers.
is not necessary for the valuer to make the sketch as accurate as
that for a plan prepared by a surveyor. For example, approximate
areas only are required for the valuation of a house. An informal
sketch of a site or land is sometimes called a "mud sketch".
All urban valuations should include at least site and building plans
at a suitable scale to fit on an A4 page. A house sketch should be at
a scale of about 1:100.
locality sketch or map is most useful to aid the broader definition
of locality and can be used to show the location of macrofactors such
as a nearby shopping centre. The locality sketch is most useful for
finding rural properties. The number of small scale maps and sketches
used to locate the property will depend on the needs of the client.
For example, an overseas client will require a map showing where the
subject city or town is in Australia.
locality map requirements are as follows:
of city or town
of city or town
scale of the site plan will vary according to the size of the subject
property however, the scale for a typical suburban site plan is 1:500
or 1:1000. If a scale plan is reduced or enlarged on a photocopier so
that the new scale is not known, a note to that effect should be
shown on the altered plan and the old scale deleted.
valuer should also identify the buildings within the boundaries
looking particularly for signs of encroachment. Is there appears to
be encroachment from either side, the valuer should make his/her
report subject to a satisfactory identification survey report.
extent of inspection
AND FILE OBSERVATIONS AND OTHER INFORMATION OBTAINED THROUGH
proper taking, keeping and storage of field notes is most important
particularly if litigation should occur over the valuation. The
courts and opposing counsel are only concerned with your field notes.
Each valuer has his/her own particular field note system but a
typical system records the identifiers, physical description and an
inventory of inclusions on one side and the building sketch on the
and a list of sales are also often recorded on the reverse side.
is often necessary to use codes and abbreviations to fit a reasonable
description of the property on an A4 page. There are no valuation
standards for abbreviations, but it is recommended that those used by
real estate agents in real estate advertisements be used - see copy
of standard abbreviations.
attributes of the property are ascertained by way of physical
inspection of the property but many can also be checked by other
sources. This may include a previous valuation carried out by the
valuer. A useful verification, if the property is on the market or
has just been sold, are advertisements and sale brochures published
by the agent.
advantage of the sales brochure is that it emphasises those features
that the agent and owner consider to be important and therefore, most
likely by the market.
notes, transcripts, photographs, and other evidence (eg sale
brochures or house plans) gathered through the inspection process are
securely filed and retained by the valuer in accordance with his/her
company's requirements and industry standards. Professional indemnity
insurers and lending bodies may also have their own requirements on
inspections - questions