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

Staged development

Section 73(1) Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 provides the following explanation of staged development:

The proposed development in stages of a parcel subject to a strata scheme consists of:

  • the progressive improvement of the parcel by the construction of buildings or the carrying out of works on development lots, and
  • the subsequent subdivision of each development lot and the consequential adjustment of the unit entitlement of lots in the scheme.

A staged development strata plan requires a developer to provide a disclosure document which indicates the proposed future developments within a scheme.

  • The disclosure document is called a Strata Development Contract Approved Form 8 and provides details of future subdivision of the parcel.
  • All developments will have at least 2 stages and 1 development lot.
  • Stage 1 is the original plan creating the scheme and includes the Strata Development Contract.
  • The stages described in the contract begin with Stage 2.
  • Each new stage must be a subdivision of a development lot.
  • A new development lot may be created at each stage. The new development lot(s) must be indicated in the strata plan of subdivision in accordance with the Strata Development Contract. See section 73(2) Strata Schemes Development Act 2015.

From 1997 to present

  • The legislation regarding staged development commenced 1 July 1997 to permit more flexible development of a strata scheme than was available.
  • The disclosure document became known as a Strata Development Contract.
  • The Strata Development Contract comprises the written description of the proposed development prepared on Approved Form 8 (PDF 60 KB) and includes the concept plan(s).
  • The contract permits the specified development without the owners corporation consent and without the initial period having expired.
  • There can be 2 types of development, Warranted Development and Authorised Proposals
    • Warranted development - the developer may be compelled to carry out.
    • Authorised proposals - the developer is permitted to carry out, but not compelled.
    • Authorised proposals can give numerous options for the development, for example:

      • up to a certain number of lots
      • buildings up to a certain number of levels
      • can also give selection of numerous proposals which the developer can pick from depending on market trends at the time
  • The current provisions are found at Part 5 Strata Schemes Development Act 2015 and Part 3 Strata Schemes Development Regulation 2016.

History prior to 1997

Pre March 1986

Prior to 1 March 1986 there was no legislation in place to govern staged development:

The developer could create an open space lot described as a Reserved Lot with the intention of subdividing this lot in the future.

However It was no different to any other lot:

  • Required consent of Body Corporate, which was not guaranteed.
  • If common property was created the initial period must be expired.
  • Did not inform buyers in the initial stage what was proposed for the future development of the scheme.
  • Overall this system was uncertain and did not work well.

1986 - 1997

  • From March 1986 strata plans for staged strata incorporated a disclosure document known as a Development Statement.
  • The reserve lot was then known as a development lot.
  • The statement disclosed the developer's full intentions for the development lot.
  • This permitted the developer to subdivide the development lot in accordance with the statement without the consent of the Body Corporate and without expiring the initial period.
  • This system was also beneficial for buyers in the first stage as they knew exactly what was to be built in the future.
  • However this system locked the developer into completing the development.
  • Any change required the consent of the body corporate.
  • This legislation did not permit vertical staging where the development lots were above or below other lots.
  • It unreasonably disadvantaged the developer.