All privately owned land in NSW is registered with The Department of Lands. An allotment of land requires a title so that it can be registered and sold. There are several different types of titles.
Old System Title
Originally land was described in writing. This was often a long description and sometimes ambiguous. The description of the land was referenced to both natural and man made features to identify it's location.
Torrens titling involved drawing a plan of the land, giving it's dimensions on the plan and referencing it to a state wide system of permanent markers. The plan of the land is called a Deposited Plan and is given a number when it is registered with The Department of Land's Lands Title Office.
A Strata Title is used to give a title to a unit within a residential building. The building and land is owned by The Body Corporate, which is a legal committee set up by the strata title. Each owner has a seat on the Body Corporate. The Body Corporate owns the building and each individual owner owns the space within their unit and their private outdoor area. Any alterations to the building must be passed by the body corporate.
A community title is a combination of both Torrens Title and Strata Title. It will consist of land that is wholly owned by the owner plus a share of a common asset like swimming pool, tennis court, road or park. Each individual may do what they like with their own house but must pay toward the upkeep of the common asset.
On some land it is permitted to build two dwellings. This is a dual occupancy. The dwellings may be attached or separate. They cannot be sold separately until they have been subdivided and a title given to each dwelling. This title may be a Torrens Title, Strata Title or a Community Title.
When land is subdivided the title is annulled and new titles are created for the new allotments that have been created. The first step in subdividing is to get permission from the local government. In the Hunter Region this also includes Hunter Water. This is done by way of a Development Application. The development approval conditions will include construction of services for providing essential services to all of the lots of land created. This includes power, water, storm water, sewer and roads. Once approval has been granted the services will need to be designed and the designs submitted for approval by the local council or Hunter Water. The local council will issue a construction certificate and the construction can proceed. Once the construction has been completed and inspected The Local council and Hunter Water will issue a compliance certificate. The subdivision linen plans are the documents that are submitted to the Lands Title Office. They must be drawn by a registered surveyor. When completed they are submitted to the local council where they are signed and returned and then submitted to the Lands Title office. Of course each step in this process has fees charges.
Obtaining a Deposited Plan
It is possible to get an electronic copy of the Deposited Plan of your land for a small fee.