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Dividing properties (surveying for plot subdivisions)


Surveying for a subdivision makes it possible to divide a land plot into two or more pieces so that the subdivision of the property can receive a notarial certification for the land registry.

An official approval from the state is no longer required. The earlier regulations regarding subdivision approvals in the Hessian Building Code are no longer in effect. However, there continue to be building law regulations such as those regarding setbacks, fire protection and property use that need to be considered as well as zoning issues (e.g. divisions in the jurisdiction within a construction plan). 

Dividing properties (surveying for plot subdivisions)

The procedure for dividing properties involves the division of an existing plot into at least two separate pieces. After the Hessian Building Code regulations for dividing properties were rewritten, the division of a land parcel that has already been built on or one where building is permitted needs to receive official approval. When a publicly appointed surveying office has certified that the division does not raise building code issues, then such an approval is no longer necessary.

Description of services

In the land registry, each piece of property is listed under a number. When a portion of an existing property is to have its own independent listing, this can only take place on the basis of a plot subdivision survey. The survey work must be performed by a publicly appointed surveyor (ÖbVI). The subdivision survey is one step of the process of dividing an existing piece of property for the official land registry.


When is the division of a piece of property necessary?

When one part of a piece of property is to be sold, then the involved pieces of land must be officially separated from one another. Land parcels can be divided and sold for various reasons. For example, when the complete piece of property is too large and the care and maintenance that it requires are too demanding. Also when the children wish to build a house using land from their parents’ property, an officially regulated subdivision must be performed. Often larger land parcels are divided when there is a lack of land for construction.

The division of a land parcel is typically necessary when a sales contract or a gift contract for land is concluded.

Prerequisites and approvals

For an official land registry separation, the subdivision survey should be seen as a preparatory step. In connection with the survey the necessary approvals should be obtained and the legal implications of other laws which could impact the subdivision should be checked. Subdivisions, for example, must be obtained for forest and agricultural land. Our surveying office is happy to prepare the necessary requests and applications for such activities.

When a construction plan has been officially approved for the parcel that is to be subdivided or if the property is located within the built-up area of a locality, then the subdivision does not require further approval. In this case, the officially approved building plan and relevant building laws need to be observed to be sure that no there will be no problems with the subdivision.

It always makes sense to present your plans for the land parcel to us so that we can ensure that all relevant regulations are complied with and submit any requests or applications that are required.

Steps of a subdivision

In the subdivision procedure a basic distinction is made between the technical part – i.e. the subdivision measurement and calculation – and the formal part (administrative and regulatory aspects).

The subdivision survey is conducted at the instruction of the property owners and is performed on the basis of the official land survey registry. For this, the current cadastral files for the plot that is to be surveyed are brought together. Due to historical developments these files are often not up to date or are not presented in a consistent and uniform manner owing to past forms of data processing.

Now on the basis of the agreed arrangements for the size of the subdivided property and the exact position of the new plot, the coordinates of the new boundary line are calculated. Then an appointment can be made for the on-site survey work. All involved property holders are informed about the upcoming appointment so that the surveying team will be allowed to have access to neighboring properties.

The on-site survey begins with checking the boundary points and comparing them with the files from the cadastre. Now all relevant boundaries are closely examined and set out if necessary. The boundaries are also marked. For this the owners must be present to clarify the boundary situation. All the findings are then documented in the surveying files. This documentation will later become part of the land survey registry when the information is transferred.

The on-site surveying results are then transmitted to our surveying office. In a first step, copies are made of the on-site documentation.  These documents are presented to the owners and to all affected parties to check that they are correct. Within a specified period it is possible to file an objection and request that changes be made. When all of the boundary determinations are known, the coordinates of the boundary points for the new plots can be calculated.

The subdivision survey is now included in the official land survey registry. All involved property owners are entered in the cadastre so that it is up to date with all current information. The update notification serves as documentation of the changes. In this notification all the notations and descriptions of the old situation are listen and juxtaposed with the new changes. An excerpt of this change notification is sent to the property owners, the land survey registry, the land registry office and the notary for ordering the new listing.

In the overall process of dividing a property and performing the subdivision survey, new boundary points and boundaries are determined, marked and transferred into the land survey registry. The notarial sales contract is subsequently prepared on this basis.

Fees for property subdivision

The fees for the subdivision of a property are calculated in accordance with the administrative cost schedule for the business segment of the Ministry for Economics, Energy, Transport and Land Development (VwKostO-MWEVL). The exact costs depend on the particular situation. We will be happy to provide you with a preliminary estimate of the costs that can be expected for a given subdivision.


Legal regulations

In §19 (1) of the German Federal Building Code (BauGB), the division of a land parcel is defined.  Here it is stated that the division of a land parcel takes place through the declaration of the property holders to the land registry office. When the division is entered into the land registry and is listed there as an independent piece of property, then the division of the land parcel has been completed.

In §19 (2) of the BauGB the regulations governing this process are stipulated. Here it is stated that it is not allowed for the subdivision of a property to contradict an approved building plan.

§7 (1) of the Hessian Building Code (HBO) states that for the subdivision of a built-up property or a property that is zoned for building, there must be an approval from the building supervisory authorities. The HBO provides the basis for this and checks if all the necessary regulations are in agreement with the construction plans.

The subdivision can only occur when the portion of the piece of property is listed as a land plot in the land survey registry. Land plots (or parcels) can be subdivided, separated or merged. To create a new land plot, a subdivision survey is conducted.


A quick overview of the subdivision process

The subdivision survey is the basis for dividing a piece of property. Without such a survey, it is not possible to make the division. The official land registry division occurs when the alteration documentation has been officially approved. This can only take place if the subdivision conforms to all relevant planning and building law regulations. Property owners should get fully informed about all of the various prerequisites prior to having a subdivision survey performed. We will be happy to provide this information in our surveying office.