On 11 October 2021, the Real Property Amendment (Certificates of Title) Act 2021 commenced, which abolished the Certificates of Title (CTs) and the control of the right to deal (CoRD) framework. All existing CTs have been cancelled and CTs will no longer be issued. Existing CTs will not need to be produced, and CoRD holder consent will not be required, for a dealing or plan to be registered. All existing Guidelines subject to this change are currently being reviewed and will be updated to reflect these changes. For further information regarding the abolition of CTs, please see https://www.registrargeneral.nsw.gov.au/property-and-conveyancing/eConveyancing/abolition-of-certificates-of-title

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Slivers are small strips of land that are sometimes created when Old System or Limited title parcels are surveyed for conversion to full Torrens title. They arise when part of the land in the Old System Deed or Limited Torrens folio has been adversely occupied by an adjoining owner for a period greater than twelve years.

In these situations, the documentary owner is only able to include the adversely occupied land (the sliver) in their new title with the consent of the adjoining owner in possession. If created, a sliver can only be dealt with if it is uniquely identified and fully defined by survey.  
In view of this, the Registrar General requires landholders, developers and surveyors, when preparing deposited plans of survey over Old System or Limited Title land, to deal with the whole of the land in the subject Deed or Limited folio.
A standardised approach to the identification and processing of sliver lots will:

  • prevent, wherever possible, a sliver being created, left unclaimed or unidentified
  • where the creation of a sliver is unavoidable, identify the sliver as a separate, fully defined lot in the new plan
  • introduce a simplified process to allow for the vesting of legal ownership of sliver lots into the name of the adjoining owner in possession.

Plan Preparation

In all cases, the plan must be one of survey and must include the whole of the land in the Deed or Limited title. The survey must not be restricted only to the internal occupations. NSW LRS has set out scenarios below to assist in preparing a plan:

Scenario 1:

The adjoining owner has indicated no interest in the occupied land and no intention to pursue a claim for it:

  • surveyor to adopt the Deed boundary as the common boundary (internal occupations to be shown in normal manner)
  • consent of adjoining owner to the common boundary definition to be supplied at lodgment.

Scenario 2: (Diagram “A”)

The adjoining owner indicates their interest in the occupied land:

  • sliver lot(s) must be created and fully dimensioned, lot number shown and area provided
  • the marking of the extremities of the sliver lot are not required
  • the standard statement regarding status of sliver lot must be added to plan
  • expression of interest proforma (adjoining owner) furnished (optional).

Diagram A: Plan of delimitation or Primary Application together with sliver lot

The sliver (Lot 2 in Diagram A) is identified as a separate, fully dimensioned lot (including area) in the new plan. The owner/developer, by creating a sliver lot, acknowledges that their ownership and any rights or claims over the sliver have been relinquished.
The sliver lot(s) are created for identification purposes only in the plan and titling system. Consequently, the marking of the extremities of sliver lots adjoining the possessors land (that is, the original Deed boundaries) will not be required. The surveyor will include the following standard statement (as shown in Diagram A above) on the plan to clearly indicate the creation of a sliver lot and the purpose for its creation:

                                 LOT (X) CREATED FOR IDENTIFICATION PURPOSES ONLY.

Obtaining consent of adjoining owners
The surveyor must always attempt to deal with the whole of the land in their Old System Deed or Limited Title folio. Where there is potential for a sliver lot to be created, the owner, developer and/or surveyor are encouraged to discuss any issues regarding possessory rights with the adjoining owner(s) in possession.
If the adjoining owner(s) have no interest in the adversely occupied land and have no intention to pursue any future claim over that land (see Scenario 1 above), the surveyor should adopt the Deed boundary as the common boundary between the lots. The adjoining owner(s) should sign a copy of the plan bearing the following statement: 

"I/We being the owner(s) of ….[insert details of land]…. adjoining hereby consent to the location of the boundary defined in the plan hereon"
Where written consent has been so obtained, the following note will be added to the plan:

                                             BOUNDARY HAS BEEN FURNISHED

Where the adjoining owner(s) in possession wish to maintain their interest in the adversely occupied land (Scenario 2 above), they should be encouraged to register that interest by completing the Pro Forma Sliver Lot document that has been made available on the LRS NSW website.     
If this proforma document is provided at the time of plan lodgment then, subject to any other requirements and/or requisitions, the plan will proceed to registration. NSW LRS will also correspond with the adjoining owner in possession and provide information on the process to follow to pursue their possessory claim.
NOTE: Where the proforma document is not provided, and where there is potential for an adjoining owner to claim the sliver by possession, registration of the plan will await a formal notification process whereby the adjoining owner(s) will be contacted by NSW LRS to ascertain their intentions regarding possession.

Claiming a sliver lot
An adjoining owner in possession intending to formally claim the land shown in a sliver lot must lodge a plan of consolidation, prepared by a registered land surveyor, consolidating their adjoining land with the sliver lot. The evidence required to accompany the plan will include a statutory declaration detailing the adjoining owner’s period of possession.
Further information will be provided in Claiming a Sliver Lot.
Where the adjoining land is Old System a primary application will need to be lodged.
It is recommended that an applicant seek their own independent legal and surveying advice on adverse possession and claiming of slivers of land.