On this page:

1. Not getting professional help

For most people their home is the biggest investment they have.

Land transactions are complicated.

Members of the public invest a lot of time doing their own land transactions, often only to find themselves stuck or to get them wrong.

We therefore strongly recommend everyone seek advice and guidance from a professional. Our how to get help page has further information on how to find a conveyancer, lawyer or surveyor.

2. Not fully understanding what is required before starting a land transaction

Most land transactions involve complicated processes, forms and language. Land transactions are legal documents. Once processed, a land transaction can only be undone by another land transaction. It’s therefore very important to get them right.

Not understanding what is already recorded on the title, using the wrong form, not completing a form correctly and not including the right evidence can lead to long delays and a lot of frustration. It may not be possible to process the land transaction.

We strongly recommend all members of the public speak with a conveyancer or lawyer before they start.

If you’re a conveyancer, developer, financial institution, lawyer, surveyor or other professional, please refer to the relevant guide on our fees, guides and forms page.

3. Writing the wrong title reference on forms

We receive forms including the wrong title reference.  We also receive forms which do not include all of the title references for the land being dealt with. For example, a car park may be missed or adjoining land might be forgotten.

We therefore recommend you work out which land is being dealt with up front and search the register of land using LANDATA® or an authorised information broker. There’s a small fee for this service. Visit where to find information about land titles for more information.

Once you have your search results, you can double check you have the correct reference on your form and avoid any costly delays.

4. Not supplying original documents

We can’t accept any copies of documents. This includes forms, plans, statutory declarations and certificates of title.

Please make sure you only send us originals of all documents for all paper-based applications.

PDFs lodged using an Electronic Lodgment Network must be an image of the original document.

5. Missing identity verification

All parties to a conveyancing transaction must have their identity verified before lodgment. Please visit our verification of identity page to find out how.

6. Having the wrong name on the form

The name on the form must match the name on the title, or a justification for a change of name must be provided.

A search of the title using LANDATA® or an authorised information broker will show what name is currently recorded. Our where to find land title details page has further information.

7. Lodging a form without the certificate of title

For many land transaction forms, you'll need to make the certificate of title available to us.

It’s therefore very important you make sure you know exactly where your title is well before beginning your lodgment.

Conveyancers and lawyers often hold electronic or paper certificates on behalf of their clients. A mortgagee (lender) will hold the certificate if there is a mortgage on the property.

Before you can lodge an application form, you must either have the paper certificate with you or arrange for the electronic certificate to be nominated.

If you’re not sure whether a certificate of title is paper or electronic or what a nomination is, we strongly encourage you to speak with a conveyancer or lawyer. Find out how to get help.

8. Not confirming a plan is ready for lodgment

You can find out what stage a plan under the Subdivision Act 1988 is at on SPEAR. Please visit SPEAR’s search page.

There are many stages in a subdivision, and we sometimes get asked if we can help find out what’s happening. Unfortunately, we can’t offer assistance with this kind of enquiry.

9. Not understanding what it will cost to lodge your land transaction

Please visit our fees, guides and forms page to find all our current fees. Simply search by application name or Act to begin.

You’ll need to use a calculator to work out the cost of transfers of land and subdivisions. Please visit our transfer of land fees calculator or subdivision fee calculator to begin.

10. Image quality

In an electronic lodgment network, the image quality of attached paper instruments and other supporting documents is critical. Documents of poor image quality will not be accepted. Please ensure that when attaching an image, it is not upside down or sideways. Lodgments with poor images will be rejected, which will slow down processing time.

Image quality check list:

  • The resolution must be set to a minimum of 300 dpi for satisfactory image quality.
  • All documents must be produced in black and white. Colour and greyscale, and references to colour are not acceptable. We convert any colour and greyscale PDFs to black and white, which results in a loss of quality.
  • All pages in the PDF file must be upright when viewed on screen. This ensures watermarks are applied correctly. A landscape sheet must not appear in portrait orientation (rotated 90 degrees).
  • PDFs should not be password protected or encrypted.

Page last updated: 13/11/20