How to Split a Land Parcel

By Jerry Garner ; Updated June 19, 2017
Land for sale sign on green grass

Sometimes a land owner wants to split a parcel of land into a number of individual lots. This is sometimes done to divide property among family members or to prepare the property for sale to individual buyers. When splitting a parcel of land into lots or fractional lots, it is important to make sure that you follow the proper procedures and correctly file the deeds for each piece of property.

Create a rough draft of how the property will be divided. Draw an outline on a piece of paper to represent the land parcel that is being split. Draw division lines on the parcel to represent how it will be divided. If there are any figures that relate to how large each section should be, note those on the map.

Research the land split to make sure there will be no problems with the way you intend to divide the parcel. There may be local zoning restrictions that will effect the way you split the parcel. There may also be deed restrictions that limit the number of times the original parcel can be split. Identify the local requirements and compare them to the draft of how you propose splitting the land. If there is a conflict, you will need to petition city council for permission to modify the rules.

Hire a licensed surveyor to create a development plan for the land parcel. The surveyor will take accurate measurements of the parcel and the lots it will contain, as well as physically marking the ground with orange flags to show where the division of property will be. The development plan prepared by the surveyor will also include the written description of each lot in the parcel, which will be used on all legal documents.

Go to the Clerk of Courts office and obtain an application to split/divide land. Fill out the application and affix the development plan to the back before handing it in to the clerk. In some jurisdictions, you may be ask to surrender the deed to the property as part of the application.

Wait for the application to be processed. The procedure, and therefore the processing time, may vary by location. In some areas, there is a mandatory waiting period, during which neighboring land owners may object to the split. In other locations, it is simply a matter of waiting a few days for your application to circulate to the top of the list. When the application is approved, you will receive a new dead for each lot on the parcel. You may also receive the original deed back in voided condition, depending on the rules where you live.

About the Author

Jerry Garner has been writing semi-professionally for more than 15 years. The body of Garner's work includes informative articles, news and current events and historical essays. He is an avid sports fan and frequently writes about outdoor activities online.