In Arizona, a land owner is allowed to divide his land up to five times through a minor land division if the division complies with local zoning and ordinances.
In Payson, a land owner is allowed to split their land up to three times.
What happens if you own a large piece of land and wish to divide it more than the five times allowed under the minor land division statutes? You, the land owner would now become a “subdivider” and must comply with the subdivision laws.
A subdivider must give a prospective buyer, which may be either vacant land or a lot with a home, a “public report.”
The report must give the buyer pertinent information regarding the property, including but not limited to: the identity of the subdivider, topo information on the property, availability of utilities and any and all pertinent information that may affect a buyer’s decision to purchase the property.
Public reports issued after 1997 are available on the Arizona Department of Real Estate’s Web site, www.re.state.az.us.
Some property owners may be at risk of unintentionally violating the subdivision laws.
In one instance, a buyer purchased six homes on six lots in a subdivision for rental purposes. After a period of five years, the owner decided he no longer wished to be a landlord.
Even though the owner was not the original builder or developer of the lots, the owner was now required to provide a public report to the subsequent buyers because he was selling over the property/parcel limit in one subdivision.
Some people have tried to evade the subdivision laws by splitting their property five times and deeding the parcels to relatives.
In turn, the relatives would attempt to split their parcels five times. This practice, which is an attempt to circumvent the subdivision laws, is illegal and may result in serious legal ramifications.
Even though a developer issues a public report with information about a property, it is in the buyer’s best interest to investigate any areas of concern.
In Payson we have a subdivision where the public report clearly states the following about the availability of electric service; “… current services are located at the lot lines.”
Unfortunately, the developer laid the conduit for the service but never paid to have the power lines run to the lot lines.
There is usually no reason to doubt the information that is provided in a public report, however, in the words of President Reagan, it is best to “trust, but verify.”
Ray Pugel is a designated broker with Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty. Contact him at (928) 474-2216.