At G.V.HULL & ASSOCIATES, cadastral surveys are our major pastime - and they represent 80% of all work performed by our surveyors. A cadastral survey involves the creation of new boundaries or the redefinition of existing land boundaries, and can be undertaken for a multitude of reasons.
Title to land in New South Wales is held under the Torrens system established via the Real Property Act of 1863. A Torrens title carries a State Government guarantee that the land is actually available on the ground, and any person who suffers financial loss by a breakdown of the Torrens system is entitled to compensation from a special fund set up and administered by the government. Prior to 1863, land was held under a Register of Deeds system, where proof of ownership was tied into occupation of the land and an unbroken 'chain of deeds'. Over the years the Torrens title legislation has evolved to cater for community needs, and we now have three forms of Torrens title:
Conventional Title (commonly called Torrens Title)
Strata Title, and
In New South Wales, a surveyor must be licensed by the Board of Surveyors to perform a cadastral survey for the purpose of re-defining a property boundary. The Survey Practice Regulations 1996 govern the way surveyors must perform their survey and have evolved through many variations of Lands Department 'Directions for Licenced Surveyors' dating back to the early nineteenth century.
The most basic cadastral survey can take many forms and can be required for a variety of reasons. A new dividing fence must be erected exactly on the boundary to protect the interests of both adjoining neighbours. A new house must not only be built wholly within it's boundaries but must also adhere to strict Council boundary setbacks as required by the Council LEP in place at the time of construction.
Recently, a solicitor contacted our office in relation to a compensation claim that his client was about to lodge at the Supreme Court. His client had slipped and fell at a shopping centre injuring their back. We were asked to identify the site of the accident and determine the unique identifier to the land - the Lot number and Deposited Plan number - so that he could undertake a title search at the Land Title Office to determine exactly who owned the land, and therefore the defendent against his client's claim.
Cadastral surveys can involve new land releases comprising hundreds of new lots. They can be surveys of land in Newtown which might have an area of 100 square metres or surveys of large land holdings in the west of the state which can be 1,000's of square kilometres. Subdivision of land, whether it be Conventional, Strata or Community Title, requires a registered surveyor to prepare a detailed plan of subdivision for registration by the Director of Land Titles. The issue of a title (now known as a Folio of the Register) by the Land Titles Office and the subsequent guarantee of title by the State Government make up the basic framework for our Torrens Title system.
18 Blamey St, Revesby,
NSW 2212, Australia
(02) 9792 2888
(02) 9772 2484