Conveyancers, Solicitors and Real Estate Agents
There are some unique differences in dealing with Crown land as opposed to private (freehold) land which real estate agents, conveyancers and solicitors should be aware of, such as:
- issue of a Land Grant vs Transfer of a Title
- Crown land plan of divisions and special exemptions
- application of Regulated fees and Stamp Duty
- native title implications
- Crown licences associated with private land e.g. pump and pipeline licences
- existing improvements
- structures encroaching on adjoining Crown land.
Property professionals should advise their clients of their legal obligations under any existing Crown land tenure arrangement, including unauthorised structures occupying Crown land.
Adjoining private (freehold) owners should be counselled to ensure authorisation for the occupation of adjoining Crown land is sought from the department prior to selling their private property.
It is highly recommended that property professionals undertake thorough searches when dealing with property and land which involves or adjoins Crown land and is particularly important for waterfront land and rural properties.
Any Crown land transaction documents which require registration in the Lands Titles Office are prepared by the Crown Lands Conveyancer.
Unpaid Council rates
Some unpaid Council rates matters require notification or an application to the Minister for Climate, Environment and Water pursuant to the Local Government Act 1999:
- Section 184(3)(c) – a copy of a notice sent to the principal ratepayer if the land is held from the Crown under a lease or licence
- Section 184(7) – application for consent to sell land held under a Crown lease or licence by public auction
- Section 185(1) – application for an order to transfer freehold land to the council or the Crown, or for leased/licensed land to be forfeited to the Crown.
Section 185 applications can only be considered when the rates have been in arrears for three years or more and
- The council has made reasonable attempts to sell the land and it appears the council has no reasonable prospect of selling the land within a reasonable time OR
- The current valuation of the land is less than the amount of outstanding rates.
Please send any correspondence related to sections 184 or 185 of the Local Government Act 1999 to the Crown Lands Program at DEW.Crownlandsapplications@sa.gov.au. A copy does not need to be sent to the Minister’s email address.
Please complete a Section 185 form for each Certificate of Title or include the form details in your application letter.