Land title in NSW is based on a plan of survey, or a plan compiled from a survey, which defines the boundaries of a parcel of land at the date upon which it was registered.
When new land parcels are created (e.g. subdivision) or when all or part of an existing parcel is to be used for a specific purpose (e.g. easement or lease) a plan must be prepared, lodged and registered with LPI. In defining new parcel boundaries, the plan creates the legal identity of the land. The main plan types include:
- deposited plans: which most commonly depict a subdivision of a parcel of land
- strata plans: which depict the subdivision of a parcel of land to allow multiple occupancy and separate ownership of individual units, e.g. home unit and town house developments and
- community plans: which depict the development of planned communities of any type where the use of some land is shared.
From the inception of the Real Property Act on 1 January 1863 to the commencement of the Conveyancing Act and Part XII of the Local Government Act on 1 July 1920, proprietors were required to lodge a plan prepared by a certified surveyor when subdividing Real Property land or when lodging a primary application.
The Registrar General's Directions for Deposited Plans is a practical guide to assist with the preparation of deposited plans for lodgment at LPI.
The deposited plan series and other plan series introduced in 1920 ran concurrently until 24 January 1961 when the existing Conveyancing Act Regulations were repealed and replaced. From that date, all plans lodged for registration, irrespective of title system, purposes or number of lots, or whether they bear Council's approval, have been lodged as deposited plans, commencing initially at DP 200001.
It was soon realised that this series alone could not practically contain all plans lodged and it was subsequently maintained for plans having five or more lots, whilst those comprising less than five lots were numbered in a series commencing at 500001.
The 200000 and 5/600000 plan series continued until 31 October 1983, when with introduction of the computer based Automated Land Title System (ALTS), later redeveloped in February 1998 as ITS. A new plan series commenced from DP 700001 for all plans lodged for registration, other than those lodged for easement purposes.
A significant number of the plans in the 1 to 32392 and 200000 series were used for general charting purposes in the pyramidal system.
1 to 32399, 40000 series, 100000 series, 200001 to 245000, 255001 to 256000, 258001 to 259955, 259958 onwards and 500001 onwards. 1000 000 series plans commenced 10 March 1999 and were incorporated in the Integrated Titling System (ITS).
A strata scheme is the development of land to allow multiple occupancy and ownership of individual units, or other parts of a parcel, by separate individuals or companies. Creation of a strata scheme results in the issue of titles under strata scheme legislation.
The Registrar General's Directions for Strata Schemes is a practical guide to assist you with the preparation of plans for strata schemes for lodgment at LPI.
In strata schemes:
- the owner may be an individual, family or company
- the land occupied by the owners is referred to as a strata lot
- a scheme involves occupation/ownership of more than one strata lot (e.g. units, town houses) in a building or buildings within the one parcel of land, as in the case of retirement villages, rural development concepts and other multiple dwelling developments
- a strata scheme comprises strata lots and (usually) common property
- the common property is held and controlled by the Owners Corporation
- the strata lot does not have to adjoin or be near other strata lots within the same scheme, e.g. cabins, mobile home, caravan site, rural scheme
- they may own under fee simple or be a tenant under a lease, and
- most schemes have shared common property, i.e. hallway, garden area, driveway, recreational area, farmed paddock, structural walls, floors and roofs.
Since 1961, legislation has provided for the subdivision of land into strata lots and common property. The lots are cubic spaces defined by reference to the building or another permanent structural feature.
All strata plans are now held on the imaging system and copies may be obtained over the counter or online. All titles for lots and common property in strata subdivisions are held on the ITS data base and may be accessed online by the relevant folio identifier e.g. 1/SP6235 or CP/SP17435.
The community titles legislation was designed to fill the vacuum between conventional methods of subdivision and strata subdivision to enable shared property to be created within conventional subdivisions.
The Registrar General's Directions for Community Schemes is a practical guide to assist with the preparation of plans for community schemes for lodgment at LPI.
In addition to extending the concept of the shared use of common facilities to subdivisions, which might consist of no more than vacant blocks of land, the community title also provides for:
- the development of planned communities of any type where the use of some land is shared
- the development of non-staged 'stand-alone' schemes or schemes comprising several stages that can be developed over an unlimited time frame
- projects ranging in size from small groups of houses clustered around common open space to large communities with shared roadways and facilities based on commercial, sporting or agricultural features
- common areas within a community development owned and managed by an association comprising all lot owners
- association owned common areas, referred to as 'Association Property', the association is agent for its members in shares proportional to the member's unit entitlement, based on site values, which will determine voting rights and contributions to maintenance levies the promotion of theme or mixed use developments
- flexibility in the management and administrative arrangements operating for schemes set out to a specific theme or containing separate areas for residential, commercial, recreational and industrial uses. This necessary degree of flexibility is achieved by providing for a multi-tiered management concept and by permitting a management statement to be prepared for each scheme setting out the rules and procedures relating to the administration of and participation in the scheme
- an effective means of subdivision for medium density housing and can also facilitate the construction of major resort developments in New South Wales.
The Office of Fair Trading provides information and help on management and dispute resolution under the Strata Schemes Management Act. The Office of Fair Trading also provide a mediation service for the resolution of strata disputes.
You can contact Fair Trading Centres on 13 32 20 Monday to Friday between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm or by post Office of Fair Trading, PO Box 972, Parramatta NSW 2124.