Land Law in NSW

Land Law in NSW

Land law in New South Wales was inherited from England in 1828. In England after 1290, all land (with a few exceptions) owned were held direct from the Crown. Accordingly, when English law was incorporated into New South Wales, all land was originally held by the Crown. Out of the English law came the term ‘fee simple’.

Fee simple is the term used for full ownership of land. So when a block of land is transferred from a vendor to a purchaser, the fee simple is, in most cases, what is conveyed, or transferred. There are exceptions, such as a ‘life estate’, but that will be the subject of a later blog.

Another interesting feature of land was that land must be continuously held in possession. If not, then subject to various rules, an application may be made by someone who was in adverse possession if the land was not held under the Real Property Act. That allowed someone who had not received the land by way of a conveyance, to apply to the State for ownership of that block or parcel of land, adverse to the interests of the true owner.

Next blog I will discuss further what is termed ‘old system land’ .

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