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Subdividing Property — 12 Comments

  1. if an acre of land was surveyed off from a large parcel of land yet was never recorded at the deeds office for 26 years and the land has passed ownership twice… is the 26 year old survey legal since it was never recorded for 26 years?

    • A survey is ALWAYS legal (provided the surveyor didn’t have their license revoked regarding that specific survey). I don’t think this is what you are asking, though.
      As for recording it, there is a high likelihood that the old survey will not conform to current recording standards. What I mean by that is that it doesn’t have the required certifications and other elements that are now needed that may not have been needed at the time of the survey. If the surveyor is still alive and working, they could update the map to conform to said standards. More than likely, they would require resurveying the property.

      On to the actual land. I am assuming that the “pass(ing) ownership” included a description of the land from the survey so that you are talking about the transfer of the subdivided piece and not that of the parent tract. This means that the subdivision was done by deed and that the survey is not “needed” to be recorded. There may be information on that survey plat that would be of benefit and has some legal standings (if the deed refers to it) should there be an issue. I am not too certain that any register of deeds I know would actually record a map like that – unless it is over 5 acres and again, the surveyor is in good standing.

  2. My father, which passed, has 5 acres I’m probably getting. Is it possible to put three dwellings on that property?

  3. I want to buy 1 acre which is on a 2 acres and a home the 1 acre I want needs to be cut off of the 2 acres. I’m not planning on building on it or living on it it does have a barn on it I’m wanting it for my horse. So can it be done in Tennessee with out being in a subdivision

    • If it is less than 5 acres, you must have it able to sustain a residence. While you are not planning on it, once the land is “created,” you can sell it, and the next person may try.

  4. I just purchased an R8 property with two parcels of land included. However, I would like to separate the parcels by redrawing the parcel line. Is this allowed? And what all is needed if so?

    • If you have existing parcels, you don’t necessarily need to do anything to “separate” them. However, if you are wanting to move the lines, you will likely be subject to planning approval.

  5. This Tennessee law does not protect the public in a few counties with low populations. (Pickett). There is not any zoning or planning commission. The subdivision was not required to be filed. I am currently in a lawsuit where the owner / contractor of the subdivision has closed a road out of spite, 8 years from the creation of the subdivision. The road is written on all the deeds except those lots created before the subdivision was created. I was able to keep the road open for now, but the trial is in early June, 5 years after filing suit. I expect to win, but the road to get there is $$$$$.

    • Like most Tennessee laws, there are exceptions. I assume you have an attorney. If not, I highly recommend NOT trying to do this pro se. And yes, there may be a clear answer, but because of the way the US system is, a person has to go through the courts for nearly any decision.

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