Leases are bought and sold in the same way as freehold property. However, when you 'buy' a lease, you are in fact only buying the improvements on the leased land and the right to lease the land from the state.
Under the new Crown land legislation that is now in force, we have simplified the process for leaseholders to buy the Crown land they currently lease. The new streamlined process for converting leasehold land to freehold gives a financial return to the state where the land is sold. It also reduces red tape and administrative costs.
This is a fairer and more consistent approach to Crown land tenures and ensures all lessees (that is, all tenants) with purchase rights go through the same purchase process. The Purchasing Crown leasehold land to obtain freehold title policy (PDF, 552 KB) provides a framework for the department to assess and determine applications to purchase a lease.
For more information, download:
- Purchasing a Crown land lease to obtain freehold title—fact sheet (PDF, 310 KB)
- Purchasing a Crown land lease to obtain freehold title—frequently asked questions (PDF, 121 KB)
- Purchasing a Wentworth or Hay Irrigation Act lease to obtain freehold title—frequently asked questions (PDF, 176 KB)
- Lease: purchasing Crown leasehold land to obtain freehold title guideline (PDF, 385 KB)
We have a policy (PDF, 288 KB) for lessees who want to lodge an objection to the purchase price for Crown leasehold land.
To find out if you are eligible to convert your lease to freehold, contact us.
Purchasing Crown leasehold land to obtain freehold title
New opportunity for Western Lands leaseholders
The Crown Land Management Act 2016 (the CLM Act) allows eligible leaseholders to purchase their Western lands lease, which will convert the title to freehold.
Some leaseholders in the Western Division have been able to purchase their Western lands lease for some time; these include urban leases for business and residential purposes and several agricultural leases.
The CLM Act provides a new opportunity for grazing leaseholders in the Western Division.
Leaseholders who currently hold purchase rights can still apply to purchase their lease under the CLM Act.
Purchasing your Western Lands Lease to obtain freehold title
An incomplete purchase is a tenure describing a former lease from the Crown that is in the process of being purchased. Some of these tenures were also previously known as:
- auction purchases
- after-auction purchases
- conditional purchases
- improvement purchases
- residential lease purchases
- returned soldiers special holding purchases
- settlement purchases
- soldiers group purchases
- special purchases
- suburban holding purchases
- tender purchases
- after-tender purchases
- town lands lease purchases
- weekend lease purchases
- irrigation farm purchases
- non-irrigable purchases
- town land purchases.
If your incomplete purchase was granted before the commencement of the Crown Land Management Act 2016 on 1 July 2018, you will continue to pay instalments, interest and any other amounts payable in the same way and the same amounts over the agreed timeframe.
If your incomplete purchase was granted after the commencement of the Crown Land Management Act 2016, on 1 July 2018 some new options are available. For example, you will have the option of paying the purchase price in annual instalments (including interest) over a period of up to 20 years, subject to a minimum annual instalment being at least $2,500.
Extra payments may also be made at any time during the term of the purchase and there are no penalties for paying out the incomplete purchase early. Purchasers may also consider pursuing external finance arrangements.
While the land remains as an incomplete purchase it will have notations on the certificate of title that record the Crown's interest in the land. These notations relate to the requirement for payment of the balance of purchase and other monies, forfeiture provisions, and restrictions on subdivision.
When all monies owing to the Crown have been paid, the department will lodge a dealing form with NSW Land Registry Services, which will remove the notations from the title.
Where an incomplete purchase is transferred with monies still owing, the Crown Land Management Act 2016 requires all outstanding monies to be paid in full within three months of the registration of the transfer.
Affected parties may request an exception, using the criteria listed below. If approval is given using this exception, the new owner can continue with the existing payment structure.
- a devise under a will
- the taking of an interest under an intestacy
- survivorship of a joint tenant
- a discharge of mortgage
- a transfer to the Official Trustee in Bankruptcy
- a transfer by order of the Family Court or under a provision of the Family Law Act 1975 the Commonwealth (except a transfer to a person who is not a party to, or a child of, the marriage)
- a transfer by order of any other court (except a transfer effected under a writ of execution) if the minister has directed that this clause is not to apply to the transfer.