The meanings attributed to terms set out for the purpose of explanation only and are not necessarily valid legal definitions for other purposes.

Where precise definitions are sought appropriate statutes or authorities should be studied. See Greg Stilanou, Land Titling Law and Practice in NSW, Lawbook Co. 2013 [Definitions on pages xxvii – xxxi].


Cadastral: Records of a cadastre, concerned with keeping a cadastre, an official register of property, with details such as boundaries and ownership.

Cadastral map: A map showing legal survey boundaries, portion and plan numbers, parish and county names and boundaries. In NSW the 'cadastre map' is the official index map of land showing boundaries, railways, roads, waterways, parcel identifiers and other information which define subdivision patterns and other parcel features of a locality on the ground. This is currently maintained by NSW LRS in the Digital Cadastral Database (DCDB).

Cadastre: The current subdivision pattern of a locality on the ground i.e. boundaries, roads, waterways, parcel identifiers, names etc - 'Cadastral' has a corresponding meaning.

Cause: Any grounds for legal proceedings before a court. Causes affecting Old System property may be searched using the Causes Writs and Orders (CWO) Search.

Causes, Writs and Orders: NSW LRS' computerised system supports a consolidated search of causes, writs, and orders. Writs and Orders affecting land are issued by courts for the purposes of enforcing a judgment, and Causes are legal notifications that court action is taking place. Such documents can restrict transfer or protect a party’s interest with respect to an Old System property.

Caution: A warning, pursuant to s28J Real Property Act 1900 and entered on a Qualified title, to persons dealing with the registered proprietor of land that the land is held subject to any subsisting interests under s28K Real Property Act 1900, whether recorded or not on the title.

Caveat: A document recorded on a Torrens land title which states a claim of an interest or estate in the land and may have the effect of an injunction that requires NSW LRS to refrain from registering specific transactions on the land title. If a caveat has been registered, it appears in the Second Schedule of a title search.

Caveator: The person by whom or on whose behalf a caveat has been lodged in NSW LRS.

Certificate of Title: A counterpart document to the Torrens Title land Register which is issued as a certificate of ownership and provides evidence of a persons right to deal with the land in the title. A new edition of the CT is issued by NSW LRS each time that a property changes ownership and when certain other transactions occur, such as registration of a mortgage or lease.

Certification: A certificate endorsed on a dealing stating it is correct for the purposes of the Real Property Act 1900.

Certified Copy: A copy of an original document endorsed by a solicitor or any other prescribed functionary verifying that the document is a true and correct copy of the original.

Chain of Title: The series of deeds and documents evidencing title to land held under Common Law title - like any chain, it is no stronger than its weakest link.

Charge: A form of security encumbering land created for the purposes of securing the payment of an annuity, rent-charge or sum of money other than a debt.

Check Survey: Historical Departmental Surveys, now catalogued as Examination Surveys. Check Surveys were undertaken by the Registrar General’s surveyors to check and confirm the standard of work shown on other surveyors’ plans lodged for registration. Check surveys are no longer undertaken by the Registrar General.

Classified Road: A road declared by the Minister for Transport Services under Part 5 of the Roads Act 1993 for a specific public purpose or use e.g. highway, freeway, tourist road etc.

Common Law Title: Land alienated from the Crown in fee and not subject to the provisions of the Real Property Act 1900 or any estate or interest therein. See also Old System Land.

Common Property: In a strata scheme, it is all the areas of land and buildings not included in any lot. The property is owned jointly by all the unit owners in each strata. There is a separate title for the common property, distinct from the title held by each individual unit owner.

Community Plan: A plan of subdivision subject to the Community Land Development Act 1989 that divides land into two or more community development lots and at least one community property lot. Shows a subdivision of land consisting of private lots and common property, where the proposed future uses of the lots can be specified.

Community Scheme: A community, precinct or neighbourhood development subdividing land under the provisions of the Community Land Development Act 1989. Has up to three tiers of management called, 'Community', 'Precinct' and 'Neighbourhood' Associations. A Strata Plan can be part of a community development scheme but generally such a scheme would contain individual privately owned lots and individual parcels which are owned in common. A strata scheme on its own has different requirements to a community development scheme.

Compiled Plan: A plan of land compiled mathematically from existing survey information without further survey on the ground.

Consent Authority: The local council or other authority that has the function of giving an approval, consent or certificate under the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 or Chapter 7 of the Local Government Act 1993. See also subdivision certificate.

Consolidation: In relation to land, the combining of two or more land parcels into one parcel.

Contiguous: Adjoining, side by side, having a common boundary - land is contiguous to other land even if it is divided by, or separated from the other land by, a natural feature (such as a watercourse) or by a railway, road, public reserve or drainage reserve.

Conversion Action: An action initiated by NSW LRS to convert Old System land to Torrens title.

Conveyance: An assurance of property, by deed (other than a will), passing an estate or interest in land held under Common Law (Old System) title, but can have a wider application to land transactions generally, hence conveyancing.

County: One of 141 basic divisions of the State of New South Wales, further divided into parishes, for administrative purposes, especially for management and disposal of Crown lands.

Covenant: Generally a mutual agreement between two or more parties to do, or to refrain from doing, certain acts in relation to land. Often contained in lease agreements, but in these directions it particularly refers to a restrictive covenant (now a restriction on the use of land) or a positive covenant binding a proprietor to do or complete a specified action.

Covenant Charge: A charge imposed on land (resulting from a failure to perform a positive covenant) for securing the payment of money.

Cross-easement: See 'Party wall'.

Crown Grant: The instrument under the hand of the Governor representing the Crown whereby the Crown passed an estate in fee simple to the grantee.

Crown Land: Land vested in the State of New South Wales and under the direct care and control of the Minister Administering the Crown Land Act 1989. This land may be held under Crown title or Torrens title.

Crown Road: A road under the care and control of the Minister Administering the Crown Lands Act 1989 and including boundary and reserved roads. They remain Crown land.

Crown Title: Unalienated land, vested in the Crown under the direct care and control of the Minister Administering the Crown Lands Act 1989, not held under Torrens title system.

Current Plan: Generally the most recently registered plan of subdivision including a particular parcel of land - with some exceptions, land may not be dealt with except as a lot in the current plan.