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Land titles

NSW Land Registry Services (NSW LRS) maintains the largest centralised land title registry in Australia. Nearly all freehold land titles in New South Wales are Torrens Titles, based on plans registered by NSW LRS which define the boundaries of each parcel of land. Every year, thousands of new land parcels are created through subdivision activity and NSW LRS issues a Certificate of Title for each new land parcel to provide proof of ownership.

Future transactions involving the land, called dealings, are also recorded on the Certificate of Title. Hundreds of thousands of these transactions occur in New South Wales each year. As well as buying and selling property, people take out mortgages, pay off mortgages, lease their property and inherit property, to name but a few.

A very small proportion of land in New South Wales is still owned under the common law deeds based system that was used before the introduction of the Torrens system in 1863. NSW LRS is currently converting remaining Old System parcels to the Torrens system.

All land title records registered are maintained in public registers.

Identity fraud

In any transaction affecting land, be it a sale or a purchase or establishing a mortgage over land, it is important to confirm the identity of the parties involved in the transaction.

To ensure you don't become a victim of identity fraud when dealing with land, it is recommended that stringent processes be adopted in verifying the identity of person(s) claiming a right to deal with the land.

More information

From 1 August 2016 a Representative must take reasonable steps to verify the identity of clients or their agents, and persons to whom certificates of title are given see Verification of identity and the right to deal.

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