Land is a natural resource and an asset that has its limits. Land development is a multi-billion dollar industry that only continues to grow with the populations high demand for both real estate and commercial properties. There are many facets involved in the use and development of different types of land depending on the area it is located, whether urban or rural. One of the most important aspects of land development is the audit.
A land audit is a general term that commonly reflects different types of evaluations to determine specific land compliance and inquire about operational management systems. Usually performed by professionals such as auditors, land surveyors, or even state officials, a land audit may be used to answer questions such as who owns the land. Other important information that may be gathered during a land audit includes the identification of the land user or occupant, the rights to the land, the past and current land usage, and any other information that might be found necessary. An audit is also expected to show what types of structures are built on the land and how the land has been improved by such structures.
The performance of a land audit is usually done with the aid of an audit checklist. The audit checklist will identify general operational and systemic requirements and environmental assessments. Depending on what the audit is being used for, it may contain questions regarding the land?s eligibility for commercial or residential development, privatization or regulations by state, sanitation, sustainability, optimization, and other operational practices.
An audit of any land that has existing vacant buildings and structures will answer to most of the same general assessments, especially ones that pertain to ownership and use. Vacant building audit checklists will generally cover property maintenance, zoning, fire, and building codes. Specific standards will also be inspected such as lot maintenance, security, and both interior and exterior maintenance.
The importance of land audits applies to many sectors and affiliates in different levels of state, local, business, and personal accounts. Audits are the necessary fundamental step before any entity can decide on what to do with a specific parcel of land. After an audit is performed, a report of findings is written. This land audit report will outline all aspects of findings and determine the effectiveness and viability of the land in study. Government officials, land developers, and any interested businesses and individuals mainly use this report for their own varied intentions.
Sound practices in land reform and development are important in establishing sustainable communities and building strong infrastructure. Land audits are imperative in the integrity of any community, large or small. Land audits also shed light on how the population and government makes use and takes care of its land. It promotes the social and economic responsibility and accountability to such a useful and limited resource. The accuracy of land audits should determine how a land is being used and how it could be more effectively used in the future.