Dual Occupancy

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01

What is a Dual Occupancy?

A Dual Occupancy is the development of two dwellings on one single legal lot of land. These can either be attached dwellings where the dwellings share a common wall (also commonly known as duplexes) or detached where the dwellings are separate standalone buildings.

Dual Occupancy Subdivision

Subdivision is the process of legally dividing a property into two or more lots. When looking at subdividing your Dual Occupancy the main factor that must be considered is the method of subdivision that the property is eligible for.
There are two possible methods for subdividing a Dual Occupancy
1.) Torrens Title Subdivision
2.) Strata Subdivision.

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02

Torrens Title Subdivision

A Torrens Title Subdivision is the separation of two or more lots with the result being legally separate independent ownership of each lot without any common property.

Strata Subdivision

A Strata Subdivision is the separation of lots with the result being independent ownership of all lots and parts that form those lots such as car spaces and storage spaces and areas known as Common Property which are owned and maintained by all owners collectively under one Strata Plan. Common Property areas include stairwells, driveways and any other portions of the property that are used by all inhabitants.

Unlike Torrens Title Subdivision, Strata Subdivision does not have minimum lot sizing requirements.

03

How long does subdividing my Dual Occupancy take?

The length of time required to gain subdivision approval is largely dependent upon the method of subdivision and who the approving authority is.
Applications for Torrens Title Subdivision submitted to the local council can take between 3-6 months to be approved. Several factors dictate this, including:

  • The current workload of your local council
  • Requests by your local council assessing officer for additional or clarifying information
  • The complexity of your property
  • Whether the subdivision is purely a standalone Development Application of part of a combined construction Development Application

The length of the process to have the Torrens Title Subdivision registered with Land Registry Services is specific to the circumstances of each individual site.

It is dependent on factors such as:

  • Whether the approval was issued with a construction Development Application – in this case the Dual Occupancy would need to be constructed first
  • The extent of physical drainage work that needs to be carried out
  • Length of time that Council, Mortgagees etc take to consent to the subdivision
  • Length of time for Land Registry Services to register the plan and issue separate Certificates of Title

Applications for Strata Subdivision can be a faster process if it is eligible to be approved by a Strata Certifier. In general, it can take up to three weeks.
If the Strata approval is to be issued by your Local Council, it can take up to three months. Again, this is dependent upon whether the application is combined with a construction approval.
The length of the process to have the Strata Subdivision registered with Land Registry Services is specific to the circumstances of each individual site.
It is dependent on factors such as:

  • Whether the Dual Occupancy still needs to be constructed as per a Development Approval issued by Council or a Private Certifier (Building)
  • Length of time that Council, Mortgagees etc take to consent to the subdivision
  • Length of time for Land Registry Services to register the plan and issue separate Certificates of Title
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    More information about a plan of easement

    The plan of easement will need to be signed by yourself, the adjoining property owners and any mortgagees prior to submission to Land Registry Services. In cases where Council land is involved, the plan will also need to be signed by Council.

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