Disputes over the location of land boundaries can be serious and costly affairs. Even more serious and costly is the traditional means of resolving these disputes in the Supreme Court, a process which can take years, cause land owners financial and emotional distress and effectively frustrate the proper use of land.
Part 14A Real Property Act 1900 empowers the Registrar General to resolve boundary disputes by utilising the resources and technical expertise within the Office of the Registrar General to provide a simple, quick and an inexpensive alternative to the complexity, delays and expense of litigation.
An application for a boundary determination, under section 135B(1) Real Property Act 1900 and complying with section 135D Real Property Act 1900, can be lodged in NSW LRS as follows:
- an application can only be made by or on behalf of an owner of the land, the purchaser under a contract for the sale of the land (if the owner consents or the whole of the purchase price has been paid), a public or local authority or Head of a Government Department - see section 135B(2) Real Property Act 1900
- applications must be made in the approved Determination of Title Boundary form 14TB and accompanied by supporting information and the prescribed fee
- an application must be refused unless the Registrar General is satisfied there is doubt as to the position of the boundary
- notice of an application must be given to the owners of the land adjoining the boundary (and may be given to other persons) inviting submissions on the application to be raised within a specified period of not less than 21 days - see section 135E Real Property Act 1900
- the Registrar General is required to consult with a registered surveyor when determining the position of a boundary and may require the applicant to pay the cost of any survey work required - see section 135F Real Property Act 1900
- the Registrar General can determine the position of other boundaries if the consideration of an application reveals that there is doubt as to their position, but must consult with the Surveyor General before doing so and serve notice to the affected parties in the manner prescribed above - see section 135G Real Property Act 1900
- the Registrar General’s determination of the position of a boundary is made on the basis of all the evidence available but, if the evidence is inconclusive, is made on the basis of what is just and reasonable in the circumstances - see section 135H Real Property Act 1900
- notice of determination of a boundary position is given to any applicant for the determination, the owners of land adjoining the boundary, the Surveyor General and may be given to other persons - see section 135I Real Property Act 1900
- an owner, or applicant who is dissatisfied with the determination can request that the matter be referred to the Land and Environment Court. There is a 28 day period for appeal to the determination - see section 135J Real Property Act 1900
- the position of a boundary determined in this manner is to be shown on the appropriate plans and the boundary is then, for all purposes, to be taken as being in the position shown - see sections 135K and 135L Real Property Act 1900
- if the owners of all lands adjoining an affected boundary agree, the Registrar General can dispense with certain requirements set out in the provisions that would otherwise delay the finalisation of an application - see section 135O Real Property Act 1900.
The Registrar General may request that an applicant lodge a deposited plan showing the details of a boundary which has been determined under Part 14A of the Real Property Act 1900.
NOTE: Boundary determinations can be made in respect of land under Old System, Limited, Qualified or Full Torrens Title. In respect to Old System land, reference to the last Conveyance should be entered in the "Land" box of the approved Determination of Title Boundary form 14TB.
NOTE: In the case of Old System or Limited Torrens Title, the ‘boundary’ determined will be based on the most recent deed of conveyance. No consideration will be given to possessory rights that may have accrued.
All NSW legislation can be accessed at www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/