In NSW, Land Title is based on a plan created from a survey of the land. The plan defines the boundaries of a piece of land. When a new land parcel is created or existing land is going to be used for an easement, lease or another specific purpose, a plan must be prepared, lodged and registered with NSW Land Registry Services. The three main types of plans in NSW are deposited plans, strata plans and community plans.

Deposited plans

Deposited plans define legal boundaries of land and generally depict a subdivision of a parcel of land. Since 1961, all plans lodged for registration, regardless of title system, purpose or number of lots, have been lodged as deposited plans. They are the conventional way to subdivide land.

Strata plans

A strata scheme is the development of land to allow multiple occupancy and separate ownership of individual units. Owners may be individuals, families or companies. Strata title types can include residential, commercial, retail, industrial, serviced apartments, retirement villages, caravan parks and resorts. Strata title complex styles can include townhouses, villas, factories, warehouses, storage units, retail shops and offices.

Strata plans differ from conventional subdivisions in various ways:

  • All lots are defined as a cubic space and must be limited in height and depth.
  • Every strata plan must have a building on the parcel.
  • The lots are defined on the floor plan by the building or other permanent structures within the parcel.
  • Everything within the parcel which does not form part of a lot is common property i.e. garden areas, driveways, hallways, roofs, etc.
  • It is the responsibility of the owners corporation to maintain and repair common property.
  • The owners corporation is a body corporate of all of the lot owners in a scheme.
  • Each lot in a strata plan is allocated a unit entitlement based upon its value relative to the other lots in the scheme. The unit entitlement represents that lot’s share of the common property.

Community titles

Community titles allow for the development of planned communities of any type where the use of some land is shared. The community titles legislation was designed to allow communal property to be incorporated into subdivisions and provide an alternative between conventional methods of subdivision and strata subdivision.

Community titles allow for:

  • The development of planned communities of any type where the use of some land is shared
  • A range of project sizes from small clusters of house around a common space to large communities with shared roads and facilities
  • Common areas within a community development which are owned and managed by all lot owners